Nokia has launched Nokia DAC Wi-Fi to offer more flexibility for industries connecting assets as part of their digital transformation. The Wi-Fi connectivity solution will be available in the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) end-to-end industrial-grade digitalisation platform in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Wireless networks are vitally important to connect industrial assets for organisations implementing Industry 4.0 use cases. The secure, low-latency and reliable connectivity provided by 4.9G/LTE and 5G allows enterprises to access, analyse and act upon operational data in real time, for new capabilities and efficiencies.

Traditionally, however, organisations use a variety of technologies to connect assets, including Wi-Fi, and as a result, many are upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 to improve capabilities for connected legacy assets and services.

Licence-free spectrum

With the introduction of the Nokia DAC Wi-Fi solution, organisations can tap into licence-free spectrum to augment their private networks and support non-business-critical Operational Technology (OT) workflows, such as deskless workforce instructions and non-critical connections used to access machine maintenance data.

These organisations can now take advantage of the Nokia DAC single cloud-based operations and management interface for all connectivity technologies, add plug and play private wireless 4.9G/LTE and 5G for real-time reliable connectivity, or boost capacity with Wifi6 for other connectivity needs. This not only provides unparalleled flexibility, but also significant cost efficiencies that come with single platform operations.

Michele Mackenzie, Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason, said: “Private wireless is likely to dominate OT critical connectivity needs over time, but Wi-Fi is likely to remain part of the connectivity mix used in industrial plants for a long time to come. The recent evolution to Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, that helps makes Wi-Fi more deterministic, also makes it more suitable for less critical high bandwidth OT applications. The addition of Wi-Fi to Nokia’s private wireless and MX industrial edge solutions is a natural evolution that allows Nokia to offer enterprises a single platform that unifies Wi-Fi and 5G connectivity for the enterprises’ future Industry 4.0 needs.”

Broadening support

Stephan Litjens, Vice President of Enterprise solutions for Nokia, said: “By introducing the Nokia DAC Wi-Fi connectivity solution to our portfolio, we broaden our support for connecting machines, sensors and people to accelerate our clients’ Industry 4.0 journey.

“Moreover, with all data flowing into our MX Industrial Edge, we also make it easier for application developers and system integrators to create intelligent solutions as they can process that data in real-time on our open compute platform. With Nokia DAC Wi-Fi, we place connectivity choice firmly in the hands of our customers and offer a solution that best meets their digital transformation needs today and tomorrow.”

Versatile connectivity deployment

Nokia DAC Wi-Fi offers versatile connectivity deployment scenarios based on the unique needs of each customer:

Wireless connectivity for customers that would like to start with Wi-Fi 6/6E to cover their IT and non-business critical OT operations, with a seamless evolution option to private wireless at any point as the need evolves.

Wi-Fi 6/6E connectivity in addition to cellular private wireless networks to provide complementary capacity at hotspot locations for non-business critical operations. The customer always gets the best connectivity as Nokia DAC Wi-Fi solution interwork with cellular private wireless networks and provide a seamless user experience by being always connected to the best layer.

Nokia MX Boost for private wireless running over Nokia MXIE can further improve connectivity depending on the use case requirements. Nokia MX Boost is a revolutionary innovation that allows companies to aggregate different radio technologies – such as private wireless and Wi-Fi - in order get maximum performance benefits from all radio layers.

Supporting Wi-Fi 6 and 6E

The Nokia DAC Wi-Fi connectivity solution will be offered with indoor and ruggedised outdoor access point variants supporting Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, as well as Wi-Fi management and Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting (AAA) functionality. Nokia DAC Wi-Fi comes with a disruptive as-a-service subscription model in which the Access Points will be offered free of charge.

Nokia will be exhibiting at Hannover Messe from May 30 to June 2, 2022, in Hall 5, Booth E48. Company executives will be on-hand to discuss Industry 4.0 transformation with industrial grade wireless connectivity solutions, built for factory operations. Nokia will also have industry solution experts available to demonstrate the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud Wi-Fi connectivity solution.

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