Nokia and the government-owned telecom operator BSNL on Tuesday announced to work together to leverage 4G LTE technology for enabling greater operational efficiency at Nokia’s Chennai plant and prepare it for the 5G era with smart manufacturing.
Nokia manufactures a range of telecom equipment across technologies at its factory in Chennai, catering to both domestic and global customers.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has signed a MoU with telecom equipment maker Nokia Solutions and Networks India Pvt Ltd for Industry 4.0.
The factory will now leverage Industry 4.0 solutions such as Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), connected Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance operations and increase productivity.
“Nokia is already one of our key partners in developing the 5G ecosystem, and now we are exploring use cases such as Industry 4.0 that can benefit tremendously with 5G,” said Anupam Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director at BSNL.
“This network deployment for Industry 4.0 at Nokia’s Chennai factory that can be scaled to 5G demonstrates our preparedness to take advantage of new opportunities that will emerge with 5G and IoT in India,” he added.
Industry 4.0 relies on low-latency, high-reliability networks as well as capabilities in robotics and AI to drive new levels of automation and data exchange in manufacturing industries, resulting in improved operational efficiency and reduced costs.
Nokia’s Chennai facility recently crossed the four-million unit production milestone in its 10th year of operation.
“Our collaboration with BSNL will enable us to leverage the latest technology advancements and continue in our efforts to build the increasingly digitized and connected factory of the future. It will pave the path to smart manufacturing in the 5G era,” informed Sanjay Malik, Vice President and Head of the India Market at Nokia.
Nokia has deployed the network in the country using its Micro Core Network and Multi-access Edge Computing platform, delivering Edge Cloud capabilities to process data closer to end-users and lowering latency.
BSNL is already working with Nokia and Chinese player ZTE on a 5G technology roadmap.
Earlier this year, Nokia and BSNL signed a network modernisation agreement to support the launch of 4G and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in western and southern regions of India.
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Meanwhile, Nokia Solutions has already started shipping out 5G ready telecom equipment out of its facility near here to the US, Asia Pacific, Europe and other places.
According to Sanjay Malik, Vice President and Head of the Indian Market at Nokia, the standardisation of 5G technology will be ready by the first quarter of the next year.
Malik said from chipset perspective it will be finalized soon. “The 5G system will be ready by the middle of next year. We are working with the BSNL and others. The demand for 4G systems is also increasing,” Malik said.
Malik said the ratio of 4G products domestic sales to export sales out of the company’s plant near here is 50:50 and 5G products may also be of a similar ratio.