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    Digitalization

    5G – Prerequisite for future traffic

    5G technology will dramatically change things in the future. It is crucial if autonomous cars are to become reality in the future.

    5G technology will dramatically change things in the future. It is crucial if autonomous cars are to become reality in the future.

    For traffic and industrial manufacturing…

    By 2025, there should be a nationwide dynamic mobile communications network available, and all major traffic routes and urban areas should be covered with 5G. This is the only way to fully exploit the potential of connected and automated driving. 

    5G: This means a data transmission rate ten times faster than the current mobile communications standard, 4G. This new technology is not only anticipated by smartphone users – 5G also represents an important prerequisite for the traffic of the future. Many vehicles already feature assistance systems that include networked and automated functions.

    A traffic jam assistant, for instance, brakes and accelerates in slow-moving traffic, depending on how the vehicle ahead behaves. But how quickly connected and automated driving will become established in Germany in the coming years – beyond these individual assistance functions – depends largely on the digital infrastructure. A high-performance digital infrastructure is needed not only on the road, but in the industrial manufacture of vehicles.

    … and a better mobile communications network

    Efficient and agile production requires flexible, wire-free communication technologies, as offered by 5G technology. In the age of the Internet of Things, automotive manufacturers and suppliers are relying on automated production processes – for real-time monitoring and control in manufacturing, for example.

    Moreover, 5G can be used to realize entirely new industrial applications that place the highest demands on the reliability and real-time capability of transmission: For example, driverless transport systems can be linked with mobile robots, while wirelessly networked, highly flexible production modules can be combined with one another.

    In 2019, the Federal Network Agency paved the way for the development of 5G technology in Germany. The auction of mobile frequencies from the 2 gigahertz and 3.6 gigahertz ranges was concluded in June 2019. Mobile operators can use the frequencies not only for 5G network expansion, but also to improve mobile coverage in Germany.

    Private 5G networks provide the necessary leeway

    In November 2019, the Federal Network Agency launched the application process for local networks in the frequency range from 3,700 to 3,800 megahertz. These frequencies can be used in particular for Industry 4.0, but also for agriculture and forestry. Local frequencies form the basis for private 5G networks on factory premises and for spatially limited industrial applications. They allow the member companies of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) the necessary leeway to expand 5G securely, quickly, and powerfully, independently of network operators.

    Local networks complement the nationwide rollout by the mobile network operators and guarantee the necessary coverage density for 5G to be used in industrial applications. 5G is also key to Germany's digital future – the country's automotive industry can be a pioneer as an innovative user of the technology. The rapid introduction of 5G strengthens the country as a business location and helps establish Germany as a leading market and provider for this technology.

    Matthias Krähling
    Contact person

    Matthias Krähling

    Head of Vehicle Technologies & Eco Systems

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