HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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Industrie 4.0

5G must not outpace SMEs

German industry associations call for rapid nationwide expansion of the 5G mobile network: they see the previous plans of German Federal Network Agency as insufficient and potentially disadvantageous for SMEs.

14 Sep. 2018
HMI-ID09-004kt_HamburgPort
5G must not outpace SMEs (Photo: Hamburg Port Authority)

In a joint press release , the industry associations VCI, VDA , VDMA and ZVEI urge that more attention be paid to the needs of networked Industry 4.0 and automated logistics when awarding 5G licenses. Not only large corporations, but also medium-sized businesses need a powerful 5G network to digitize their production. Although the Federal Network Agency did favor industry with its decision to allocate local frequencies for communication within factories, it apparently plans to focus the rapid expansion above all on households, rail lines, freeways and federal highways.

The associations thus worry that this could disadvantage small businesses, industrial SMEs and the agricultural enterprises in particular, as they are often located far from large urban centers. They are thus calling for the nationwide and cost-effective provision of 5G on the basis of a service provider obligation. The expiry of usage rights for frequencies in the 800 MHz range in 2025 should also be taken into account. Policy should be based on industry interests when it comes to the public sale of the 5G licenses.

The Port of Hamburg is already using the 5G network as part of the "Giganetz 5G-MoNArch" project; the network is expected to help define the options and requirements in a commercial context.