Home5G & BeyondDeutsche Telekom offers 5G mmWave for industrial customers

    Deutsche Telekom offers 5G mmWave for industrial customers


    First mmWave services for businesses and the operator also announces free 5G upgrades for LTE users

    Deutsche Telekom said it has successfully trialled 5G 26GHz mmWave for the first time with industrial use cases and is now offering the band commercially to industrial customers. The operator said the first customer, Ger4tech Mechatronik Center, was getting latencies of three to four milliseconds RTT (round trip time) and a data rate of over 4Gbps in download and 2Gbps in upload.  

    The company is using mmWave to network autonomous industrial machines and robots with a router in the 5G campus environment of the Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science in Berlin. In addition to 5G standalone in the industrial spectrum at 3.7Ghz, this router also supports the so-called mmWave spectrum for the first time, according to Telekom. 

    Ericsson provided the private 5G network at the site, from the antennas and active system technology to the core network. IoT solutions company Telit Cinterion provided a dual-band 3.7GHz and 26GHz router. 

    “It is important for our industrial customers in the age of artificial intelligence to be able to upload data from machines and thus make it available and analyzable in real time,” said Telekom Deutschland managing director business customers Klaus Werner. “This is the only way for companies to introduce AI applications sensibly and efficiently and derive great benefits for their business.” 

    “We’re enabling customers to access unparalleled levels of efficiency, productivity and innovation. Through the seamless integration of 5G mmWave into their operations, every device and process can achieve connectivity at an unprecedented scale,” said Telit Cinterion VP of product management, mobile broadband Marco Contento.  

    What’s good for the robots 

    The 5G standalone campus network of the Werner-von-Siemens Centre operates separately from Telekom’s public mobile network. Based on this network, a fleet of autonomously driving and operating robots works on activities at the centre. The 5G standalone network is often sufficient to control the robots.  

    However, the 5G millimetre waves come into play when the requirements for communication and data transmission increase, and therefore also when solving more complex tasks. For example, in a computer vision application: the robot picks up an order and checks whether the ordered goods are complete on the way to the next destination. If there is a discrepancy, it immediately reorders the goods.  

    In addition to these, many other scenarios are mapped in the Werner-von-Siemens Centre. Here, industry, research institutions (including TU Berlin and Fraunhofer), small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups work on practical solutions for companies – including for autonomous production logistics and other challenges in industrial manufacturing. 

    Why mmWave?  

    Telekom said that while customers are already deploying 5G campus network in mid-band for many industry applications, they can now leverage the potential by using 5G mmWave for additional applications. Machines collect terabytes of data, which can be uploaded to the cloud and analysed to enable a variety of new use cases including AI. The operator said 5G mmWave is playing an increasingly important role in wireless communication technology and imaging, among others.  

    It is characterized by short coverage range and high bandwidth and speeds. The special ability of mmWave lies in its ability to transmit large amounts of data in real time. The frequency spectrum around 26GHz is allocated exclusively to interested parties in Germany by the Federal Network Agency. It can currently only be used for local applications.  

    Free 5G for all 

    Telekom also announced all tariffs for private customers and many business customer tariffs that previously only included the LTE mobile communications standard will automatically be activated for its 5G network. This impacts more than four million customers on 4G usage and is further proof operators can’t charge a premium for 5G services. Why? Because conditions of existing contracts remain in place. 

    “Our networks stand for high speed and the experience of seamless connectivity. After the unlimited data volume, more than four million customers are receiving another gift from us,” said Telekom managing director of private customers Wolfgang Metze.