Qualcomm announced today at Mobile World Congress that it is collaborating with Bosch on 5G NR for Industrial Internet of Things. This is a research collaboration, so the two don't have much to show right now, but that is expected to change in the future.
Qualcomm believes that 5G NR will provide a wide range of connectivity services, which will be an essential element in the smart, connected factories of Industry 4.0.
5G NR networks that are part of the first 5G NR standard release, and with the 3GPP roadmap, there will be functionality for enhanced Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication or eURLLC, in the next release, which will be 3GPP Release 16.
Bosch, along with Qualcomm, have already studied "radio channels for industrial environments to characterize the unique radio characteristics of industrial locations." Qualcomm says that it is pairing its world-class expertise in 5G NR and Bosch's expertise in industrial automation and technology, to accomplish this.
This is just the first step towards an over-the-air trial for 5G NR industrial Internet of Things applications, in one of Bosch's many manufacturing plants. Qualcomm says that this trial will be about "the applicability of Release 15 5G-NR to existing industrial use cases."
Both Qualcomm and Bosch are part of the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation or 5G-ACIA. This alliance is going to help develop 5G technologies that will address industrial requirements.
Currently, the world of IoT and 5G is mostly related to things in your home, or even on the streets around your home. Like smart lights, smart street lights, etc. But bringing this into an industrial factory can really help companies save on manufacturing costs and make things safer for their employees. This is one of the many things that 5G is going to bring, when it does finally make its way into more markets over the next year or two.
5G is going to be a big part of the show in Barcelona this year, and Qualcomm is one of the companies that is really pushing 5G. There's good reason for Qualcomm to be pushing it too. Seeing as it was a big player in 3G and 4G, thanks to its many CDMA patents, it wants to position itself for 5G, which is the next big thing in the world of communications. Partnering with Bosch shows that Qualcomm isn't sticking to just mobile applications for 5G either, it shows that it is looking outside of smartphones.
It's important to remember that this partnership with Bosch is simply a research collaboration. Nothing concrete has been done just yet, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen in the future. It is very possible that Bosch and Qualcomm could announce some new 5G products in the coming months, that would be tied towards the Industrial Internet of Things area.
It's a pretty exciting time for 5G right now, many companies are laying the groundwork for 5G at Mobile World Congress this year. From networking giants like Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, to smartphone makers like Samsung, OPPO, Sony and many more, we will see on be able to buy a 5G smartphone that will work on a 5G network.