Ericsson unveiled plans to build a smart manufacturing facility in the US to produce 5G antenna systems, a move it said would aid rapid deployment of the network technology in North America.
The plant will be the company’s first smart factory with “highly automated operations” in the region and is expected to open early next year. The location of the facility is still subject to discussions with authorities in the country.
It will produce 5G radios for urban areas and “advanced antenna systems” designed to boost mobile coverage across rural regions.
In a statement, the vendor said the move was part of efforts to develop a “flexible supply chain” enabling it to work closely with customers across the world. It already has multiple manufacturing and R&D facilities in North America.
Ericsson’s announcement comes days after reports that US authorities were considering imposing regulations requiring all components used in the country’s 5G networks to be produced outside of China, where Ericsson and rival vendors have facilities.
Fredrik Jejdling, Ericsson EVP and head of networks, said the company was “digitalising our entire global production landscape, including establishing this factory in the US. With 5G connectivity we’re accelerating Industry 4.0, enabling automated factories for the future”.
Ericsson already has factories with smart facilities in Estonia, China and Brazil.