Kathrin Langkamp


From the lab to the factories: Deutsche Telekom offers 5G mmWave for industrial customers in Germany

  • 5G mmWave commercially available for industrial customers for the first time 
  • Use of 5G frequency in the 26 gigahertz millimeter wave band 
  • Lower latency times and data rates above 4 gigabits 
5Gmmwaves für Industriekunden

5G-Millimeterwellen eignen sich besonders für datenintensive Anwendungen - beispielsweise in der Fertigungsindustrie.; © Bildnachweis: Deutsche Telekom/ iStock/onurdongel; Montage: Evelyn Ebert Meneses

Deutsche Telekom has successfully trialled 5G frequencies in the millimeter wave (mmWave) range at 26 gigahertz (GHz) for the first time with industrial use cases and is now offering them commercially to industrial customers. For the customer Ger4tech Mechatronik Center, autonomous industrial machines and robots were networked 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 3.7 Ghz, this router also supports the so-called mmWave spectrum for the first time. With low latency times of three to four milliseconds RTT (round trip time) and a data rate of over 4 gigabits per second in download and 2 gigabits in upload, mmWave has huge potential in data-intensive applications in the manufacturing industry. The 5G mmWave communications are enabled by Telit Cinterion, a global end-to-end IoT solutions provider.

Focus on upload instead of download

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 countless terabytes of data, which can be uploaded to the cloud and analysed to enable a variety of new use cases - especially in the field of artificial intelligence. 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. It has enormous potential for development within 5G campus networks and for applications in the field of autonomous vehicles and the manufacturing industry. The special ability of mmWave lies in its ability to transmit large amounts of data in real time. The frequency spectrum around 26 GHz is allocated exclusively to interested parties in Germany by the Federal Network Agency. It can currently only be used for local applications. 

‘ 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,’ explains Klaus Werner, Managing Director Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland GmbH. ‘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 Marco Contento, VP of Product Management, Mobile Broadband at Telit Cinterion. "Collaboratively, we're helping to pave the way for industries to streamline operations, anticipate maintenance needs, and a multitude of future possibilities."

Autonomously working robots in the Werner-von-Siemens Centre

The 5G standalone campus network of the Werner-von-Siemens Centre operates separately from Telekom's public mobile network. The entire infrastructure, from the antennas and active system technology to the core network, comes from Ericsson. Based on this network, a fleet of autonomously driving and operating robots works on various use cases at the centre. The 5G standalone network is often sufficient to control the robots. 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.

About Ger4Tech Mechatronik Center
About Telit Cinterion

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