Telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson has shipped its first U.S. manufactured commercial 5G base station from its smart factory in Texas to Verizon.
Ericsson started construction of the 300,000 sq ft automated smart factory in Lewisville, Texas, last year with the goal of being operational in early 2020. The first base station from the smart factory was produced in March with the goal of ramping up production of millimeter wave (mmWave) components throughout the year.
The smart factory is part of Ericsson’s plan to strengthen its U.S. capabilities in 5G research, design, manufacturing and service delivery. The 5G base station delivered to Verizon is the mmWave Street Macro solution, a key to Ericsson’s 5G portfolio in North America. The components are housed in an enclosure that allows for rapid growth of 5G coverage in cities.
"As the most advanced platform for innovation, 5G will enable a transformation across enterprises — as we're now experiencing in our own smart factories,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks at Ericsson. “Automation and remote operations have become more important, and we're working with our customers to make them available for the benefit of industries. From producing the first 5G base stations at our 5G USA Smart Factory earlier this year, we've made our first commercial delivery to Verizon. That's just the beginning."
In addition to base stations, the smart factory produces 5G antenna system radios for boosting network capacity and the facility itself is outfitted with secure 5G connectivity.
5G allows for high download and high bandwidth for applications as well as low latency for enhancing capabilities such as machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality. Smart factories will be equipped with 5G effect data collection for real-time monitoring of inventory, maintenance needs, higher flexibility and shorter lead times for factory floor production reconfiguration, layout changes and other alterations.