UScellular is providing a private 5G network platform to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Connected Systems Institute (UWM CSI) to support cutting edge research involving IoT sensors and controls.
Private wireless networks use the same technology as public cellular networks but are for the exclusive use of a single entity.
CSI ideates, develops and tests Industry 4.0 manufacturing approaches designed to drive automation, intelligence and control. The private network platform will enable the facility to connect operations via 5G IoT sensors and controls.
The carrier also is providing private cellular network content to the Digital Manufacturing Leadership path course developed by CSI. The curriculum includes in-person training and classroom education on supply chain, industrial IoT (IIoT) and smart manufacturing.
“This is an incredible opportunity to bring our wireless expertise in private cellular networks to advance the vision in smart manufacturing developed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Connected Systems Institute,” Kim Kerr, UScellular’s senior vice president, enterprise sales and operations, said in a press release.
“This is an initial step toward maintaining Wisconsin’s leadership in manufacturing. We’re looking forward to seeing how our private cellular network can support additional growth and learning from the near real-time automation within the CSI lab.”
The networks utilize Ericsson’s 4G and 5G radio and dual mode core technology. Rockwell Automation, which invested $1.7 million in the CSI in 2017, also is collaborating on the project.
The USCellular news comes the same week that researchers at the Dell’Oro Group downgraded estimates for private wireless for the second time.
However, the firm said that it still believes that private wireless will be successful and implied that the downgrades were more a case of a mismatch between the market opportunity and the initial forecast than a shortcoming of the technology.
Dell’Oro estimates that total private wireless radio access network (RAN) revenues – including traditional and new wide-area and small cells – are now projected to grow at a 24% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2027.