Coverage testing of 5G private networks

Current cost-cutting strategies to improve manufacturing operational efficiency often struggle to achieve the desired results. Industry 4.0 is targeting this challenge and helping reinvent how goods are produced. In the shift to Industry 4.0, manufacturers must leverage existing technologies (such as Industrial IoT or 5G) to remain competitive.

The goal is to move away from cable-based connections to 5G wireless communications. This applies in various use cases, such as when 5G networks are used to control AGVs (automatic guided vehicles) or connecting production robots over 5G. However, as soon as the radio access network is used, innovative testing methods are needed beforehand to proactively identify any potential issues.


The current demand for transforming manufacturing processes we now see mainly comes from the business side. There are limits to the cost reductions possible using standard approaches. Many consultancies base their business models on delivering cost-cutting projects to customers, where they examine the entire production chain to identify potential for cutting operating costs. Their measures are struggling to produce the expected reductions and cost pressures continue to rise, making innovative approaches necessary.

5G technologies address this challenge at its source for faster and safer operations, while creating new capabilities in industrial processes. This approach allows factories to connect various facility components over 5G networks, including manufacturing robots, AGVs or other transport vehicles. They can be managed more easily and production lines can be quickly refitted to shorten lead times. 5G can also replace existing WLAN networks in production facilities to overcome WLAN limitations for seamless mobility, stronger security, greater efficiency in the manufacturing process and decreased operating costs.

Private networks are becoming more important in various industries.

At the moment, Germany is a leader thanks to the government’s quick reaction in assigning part of the frequency spectrum to private networks. We expect other European countries to follow soon, primarily France and the UK. Relying on public 5G networks for manufacturing processes is not an option and many manufacturers are choosing to implement private 5G networks instead. Only they can meet demanding requirements for high reliability, high performance and, most importantly, high security.

If manufacturers want to control the entire automotive production with a 5G network, they will choose a private network and not a public one. The industry still seems to be in the trial phase and different Industries are playing around with private 5G networks and testing various use cases. Our experience with recent measurement campaigns shows that we still have a long way to go to meet the targets for latency and throughput in high traffic networks, but the future looks bright and we are on the right path.