Bundled competences for Industry 4.0 applications

FMBE GmbH is a specialist in the planning and implementation of sophisticated telecommunications networks. Together with its partner siticom, FMBE is implementing a self-sufficient 5G stand-alone campus solution for a 5G testbed in Bavaria for a leading German research institute. In this realistic mobile communications environment, companies will be able to simulate and evaluate their industrial applications for the new 5G mobile communications standard.

For this purpose, the FMBE and siticom bundle their competences to provide an open 5G stand-alone campus solution with native cloud technologies. FMBE planned and implemented the RF network in the licensed 3.7 GHz range for private 5G applications indoors and outdoors, including the installation and integration of the radio units. In order to ensure the necessary network quality for future Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, the RF network design was software-based, including level planning, calculation of the RF coverage quality and simulation of the propagation simulation in 2D and 3D.

"Industry 4.0 applications, especially in the area of mobile machine-to-machine communication, result in much more demanding requirements for the RF network design than is the case with conventional voice and data communication via LTE mobile radio or WLAN networks. When mobile network participants, such as autonomous drones or mobile robots, move in a smart factory, they are confronted with signal effects such as reflections, diffractions, refractions or scattering from machines, shadowing and higher attenuation behaviour in this frequency range. In order to ensure sufficient coverage quality at every location, i.e. in the case of a drone even outdoors at a height of several metres, a highly available RF network design is critical. This can only be ensured through software-supported planning and complex propagation simulations in 2D and 3D," explains Olaf Kämmer, RF planner and expert for 5G campus networks at FMBE.

Together with siticom, which provides a cloud native 5G core system architecture and multi-access edge computing infrastructure to deliver an edge computing platform with maximum flexibility, the partner companies created an open system and network architecture that meets the requirements for testing a wide range of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications in practice.

"FMBE's experience in planning and building radio network components perfectly complements our expertise in software-based and virtualised infrastructure solutions, which form the basis of the modern 5G architecture," explains Christian Freund, Director 5G Solution & Services at siticom.

"Through the partnership with siticom, we are ideally positioned to provide a wide range of customers, for example from research, industry, transport and administration, with the necessary flexible network and system infrastructure for their specific 5G use cases," also confirms Rolf Ernst, Managing Director of FMBE.