Ericsson commenced production at a new 5G network equipment manufacturing plant in the US, as the vendor moved to meet growing demand for next-generation kit in the country.

The factory is producing Ericsson’s Street Macro unit, a mmWave system designed for urban 5G deployments. Over time, Ericsson plans to expand production to other equipment: a representative told Mobile World Live it plans to “continuously shift products in the factory as our portfolio evolves”.

Ericsson said the site would hit full stride in terms of capacity later this year, but is presently only producing gear for US customers because demand for mmWave is higher there today.

Around 100 people are currently employed, with Ericsson explaining the use of smart factory technology had enabled automated assembly, packing and handling; autonomous carts; and connected logistics.

Erik Simonsson, head of US 5G Smart Factory, said in a statement it is “exciting to use our own 5G products in the factory for wireless connectivity to increase production efficiency”.

“We are on target this year to have the most fully automated, sustainable 5G smart factory in the US.”

Ericsson announced plans to open the facility in June 2019 as part of an effort to develop a “flexible supply chain”.