Nokia introduced a Digital Automation Cloud for industrial IoT applications, combining a private LTE network with cloud solutions to fulfil the “very specific needs” of many industry verticals.

In a presentation, Stephan Litjens, general manager of Digital Automation at Nokia, said private LTE can be tailored around a variety of needs. For example some companies need HD video, while others need to add sensors and switches to make factories function better.

Nokia began trialling private LTE networks along with GE and Qualcomm in February 2017.

Mehmet Yavuz, VP engineering at Qualcomm, explained the networks are localised, operate independently from public cellular networks, and are secure and reliable.

“We use industrial IoT gateways and LTE modems with Qualcomm chipsets to capture data in real time…over the 3.5GHz CBRS band,” he said, adding: “the key point is reliable coverage with high data rate and low latency”.

Litjens said the network is combined with the cloud, which enables easy integration with current systems including analytics and management solutions companies are already using. The combination also delivers the speed needed to make changes.

The solutions works on a “pay as you grow” model, meaning company subscriptions will be based their needs so small companies can start with minimal investment.

Use cases for the solution include automated goods handling and improved security monitoring of facilities.

Giving the example of energy company Sempra Renewables, which has a pilot project using the solution, David Letterman, head of business development at the Digital Automation unit, said: “In the past they couldn’t connect things that weren’t hardwired to the fibre, but now they can connect anything on the campus, demonstrating the power of pervasive connectivity.”