While government and industry in another major economy, India, are still debating how and when to enable private 5G networks, in Brazil steel producer Gerdau and Embratel, a major player in both voice and data communication, have already announced an agreement to roll out a dedicated 5G and LTE private network.
The rollout will take place at the Gerdau industrial plant in Ouro Branco, a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais in south-eastern Brazil.
The project, developed by Embratel, will include the installation of several towers on site to expand the potential for connectivity and automation, covering more than 8.3 million square metres.
According to the two companies, this is the first project to use 5G in the steel sector in Latin America, making it possible to expand the use of Industry 4.0 concepts to leverage automation, productivity, flexibility, visibility, traceability, use of data and security in processes, including planning, production and logistics.
Gerdau points out that it has increasingly embraced digitisation and is now aiming to further expand its digital capabilities to enable a fully connected production chain.
Though precise dates do not yet appear to have been offered, the project is to be divided into three phases. It will begin with the installation of a private LTE network with a total capacity of 256 Mbps. In the second phase, 5G will be added in the 3.5 GHz frequency, increasing capacity to 3.8 Gbps.
The third phase will involve the densification of the private LTE and 5G network to provide even more combined capacity, reaching 4.8 Gbps and expanding coverage to the entire operational extent of the Gerdau unit.