ARENA2036

Advancing the future of automation and production

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An active research environment for the next generation of automobiles

As manufacturing evolves and becomes more reliant on networks, Nokia is collaborating with automotive leaders to create a flexible research factory model for producing the next generation of automobiles. 5G paves the way to accelerate digitalization in the most exacting use cases like automotive manufacturing, in which cloud, robotics and autonomous machine operations are mission-critical, requiring reliably low latency and reliably high data rates.

Since it began in 2018, the research collaboration between Nokia Bell Labs and ARENA2036 has achieved multiple milestones related to ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) and localization proofs of concept. Most recently, Nokia Bell Labs installed a complete URLLC-capable 5G trial infrastructure in the ARENA2036 research factory. Nokia Bell Labs also developed an innovative network-based localization proof of concept that integrates positioning into the communications systems, which will be demonstrated and tested in the research environment in Q1 2021. Combining positioning and communication within a single radio system reduces cost complexity while the wide bandwidth of 5G improves accuracy, enabling many new use cases such as tracking automated forklifts or automated guided robots moving over a factory floor.

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URLLC-capable 5G trial infrastructure in the ARENA2036 research factory

Nokia Bell Labs research projects at ARENA2036 will continue to chart new paths that will innovate manufacturing by enhancing URLLC through macro-diversity and by investigating joint communication and sensing functionalities that utilize 5G for environmental perception in future industrial settings.

As the sole telecom vendor for ARENA2036, Nokia also deployed a 5G New Radio private wireless network at the research factory in the summer of 2020. The network includes RAN and Core, it operates in Germany’s private frequency spectrum range of 3.7-3.8 GHz, and it covers a hall area of more than 4000 m², as well as an adjacent outdoor area.

Over the next four years, Nokia Bell Labs will work with partners and customers to use the ARENA2036 5G network to accelerate Industry 4.0 through joint research and use-case development, including modern production technology, distributed systems, communication technology and mobile autonomous systems.