Telenor Sweden has signed what is claimed to be the world's first commercial agreement for a private 5G network.
The network has been installed and activated at industrial tools producer Atlas Copco's manufacturing plant at Sickla in Stockholm in collaboration with Fujitsu. It is is based on Ericsson Industry Connect and uses the the latest wireless technology and the 3.7 GHz spectrum.
The agreement will pave the way for the next generation of smart factories and the technology creates completely new conditions for the industrial sector to continue to digitise and streamline its operations, the company said in a statement.
"It is very gratifying that we are consolidating our leading position in the field when Telenor is now the first operator in the world to enter into a commercial 5G agreement with Atlas Copco based on Ericsson Industry Connect. We know that private networks will be an important piece of the puzzle for the industrial sector and together we are now taking a massive step towards Industry 4.0", Andreas Kristensson, the head of Internet of Things and new businesses at Telenor Sweden, told the news outlet IT-Kanalen.
According to Kristensson, the company plans to connect two more partners in Sweden to the 5G industrial manufacturing spectrum before the end of 2020. As one of the first operators in the world, Telenor offers package solutions for private mobile networks tailored for companies and smart factories in the manufacturing industry.
The 5G network technology in Belgium and Sweden provides new possibilities in automation and smart connected systems, it will support our customers on their journey towards fully connected smart manufacturing processes.— Atlas Copco (@AtlasCopcoGroup) September 29, 2020
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A major transformation is currently underway within the manufacturing industry, where processes, products, and services are becoming increasingly digitised and connected. However, the connection is still mainly via cable, which implies higher maintenance costs and reduces the efficiency and flexibility of the business. For instance, Lars Eklöf, the president of the Atlas Copco motor vehicle industry division, said more than 90 percent of its tools are connected to its customers' systems, mostly through fixed couplings.
Atlas Copco is a Swedish multinational industrial company founded in 1873. It develops, manufactures, and services industrial tools and equipment, including air compressors, in which it is considered among the world's leaders. In 2019, the company's global revenues totalled SEK 104 billion ($11.6 billion). It has a staff of about 39,000 people.
Telenor is a Norwegian majority state-owned multinational telecommunications company headquartered at Fornebu close to Oslo. It is one of the world's largest mobile telecommunications companies, with operations worldwide, but focuses mainly on Scandinavia and Asia, owning networks in nine countries.