The capacity, reactivity and flexibility of 5G enables various new real-time use cases, including private wireless networks for smart factories. With 5G use cases creating demanding requirements for coverage, latency, and reliability, deployment can pose challenges for network planners and operators. As Rohde & Schwarz provides a wide portfolio of wireless network testing solutions addressing Industry 4.0 use cases, it has initiated its own campus network, in preparation for the development of smart factories. This allows Rohde & Schwarz to optimize production processes and to validate its own network testing solutions first hand.
Beginning July 2020, a private wireless 5G NSA (non-standalone) wireless network, based on Nokia’s flexible and scalable DAC solution, has been deployed in one of the Rohde & Schwarz production sites in Germany. The set-up encompasses 5G gNodeBs in NSA mode using the frequency band n78, supplemented by LTE as the anchor in frequency band 40. The indoor network covers an area of about 1,500 m2. Both companies are using solutions from the Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing portfolio for site acceptance and coverage testing with the aim of ensuring high performance network quality. The equipment in use includes the R&S FPH handheld spectrum analyzer, the R&S TSMx6 scanning receiver, the QualiPoc Android smartphone-based network optimizer and the R&S 5G STS site testing solution.
Following installation of this 5G campus network at the Teisnach plant, Rohde & Schwarz is gaining valuable insights into testing 5G coverage, capacity and configuration parameters in a real factory environment. Rohde & Schwarz will apply findings from this pioneering project to improving its own test equipment portfolio and to support customers rolling out and optimizing their own campus networks. Additionally, the company is preparing its production facility for the future by paving the way for Industry 4.0 features such as automated guided vehicles (AGV) and advanced robotics.
How testing makes factories smart
5G introduces the possibility of faster and safer operations, as well as new capabilities and efficiencies in industrial processes. It also creates some degree of complexity and performance demands for the network. Industry 4.0 applications in particular create specific demands on communications technology with regard to latency, reliability and security.
To support highly reliable wireless connectivity in a smart factory, it is crucial to cover the following test phases: rollout preparation and spectrum clearance for a clean RF environment inside the factory, acceptance testing for correctly installed network infrastructure as well as coverage and performance testing. In addition to this, 24/7 real-time service quality monitoring and tests for regulatory compliance are recommended. Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing provides the necessary tools for each of these phases. Accurate and insightful testing to prepare, deploy and operate smart factories enables faster rollout, efficient use of network resources and awareness of issues before they become critical.
For further information on test solutions from Rohde & Schwarz for smart factories, go to: https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/mnt/smart-factory
Mobile network testing in brief
Rohde & Schwarz is a leading global supplier of standalone products, integrated solutions and managed services for testing and improving the quality of mobile networks along the entire network lifecycle – from lab verification, spectral clearance, interference hunting and base station installation to site acceptance, benchmarking, optimization, troubleshooting and monitoring. The comprehensive portfolio supports all technologies, from 2G to 5G, and addresses all test and measurement scenarios from RF to end-user quality of experience (QoE). The innovative solutions allow users to accurately collect data and to gain machine learning-assisted deep insights into the QoE delivered to end users. Solutions from Rohde & Schwarz empower top-tier mobile network industry players to make QoE-centric business decisions with confidence, to deliver better services with higher quality for end users, to reduce time to market for new technologies and services and to secure and increase the value of their business.
Rohde & Schwarz is a leading supplier of solutions in the fields of test and measurement, broadcast and media, aerospace | defense | security and networks and cybersecurity. The technology group’s innovative communications, information and security products help industry and government customers ensure a safer and connected world. On June 30, 2020, Rohde & Schwarz had about 12,300 employees worldwide. The independent group achieved a net revenue of EUR 2.58 billion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, with regional hubs in Asia and America.
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