3GPP begins study on 5G to enable automation in verticals

vertical automation
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The 3GPP has kicked off a new study item in SA1 that looks at requirements for automation in verticals, with a focus on critical communications as an enabler for wireless control loops, to identify the normative 3GPP work needed to deliver 5G for automation in a variety of industries.

Wireless communication in diverse areas, such as manufacturing and energy distribution, is enjoying a steady growth. However, this deployment is also characterized with emerging issues, mostly related to coexistence problems of technologies that rely on the ISM radio bands. 3GPP systems, and certainly 5G, are set to offer a better level of service, wrote Joachim W. Walewski of Siemens and rapporteur of the FS_CAV study item in a blog post.

SA1 will formulate service requirements, particularly leveraging on two features of evolving 5G technology – controlled channel access and the use of alternative frequency bands – to address the needs of the critical communication sector and overcome the coexistence issues.

The 3GPP says it is evolving to understand and meet the needs of the new sectors. The SA1 study on critical communication, Technical Report (TR) 22.862 –“Enablers for Critical Communications” – had a first look at a handful of vertical use cases. From there, a set of identified performance requirements were included in Technical Specification (TS) 22.261 – “Service requirements for the 5G system”.

The new study (FS_CAV) will expand the scope of TR 22.862 and TS 22.261 along several dimensions, to:

  • Survey industry standards pertaining to critical communication.
  • Identify potential requirements on 5G networks by new sectors.
  • Address new vertical use cases (e.g., train control in mass transit).
  • Survey industry security standards and their implication for critical communication over 5G networks.

The study item description is in 3GPP SA Plenary document SP-170169.

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