Communications networking giant Ericsson plans to build its first smart factory in the U.S. in order to boost 5G network capacity and coverage.
The factory will focus on building advanced antennas to increase rural coverage of 4G LTE and 5G radios for urban areas for advanced deployments in North America. The factory builds on Ericsson’s strategic plan in the U.S. as well as smart manufacturing through production setups in existing factories in Estonia, China and Brazil.
While a location has not been determined, the company plans to have the factory operational in early 2020. Ericsson said it will achieve secure 5G connectivity through automated warehouses, connected logistics and automated assembly, packing and product handling and the use of autonomous carts. The company expects to create new 5G products at the factory to enable a faster rollout of commercial 5G across North America.
Ericsson expects to initially employ about 100 people at the factory, which will feature highly automated operations and a modular, flexible production setup for quick ramp-up and rollout.