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Industrial digitalization

Digitalization and enhanced connectivity are a critical part of the solution to decarbonizing and dematerializing physical industries that significantly contribute to global carbon emissions. This is our handprint – it represents the enablement effect of the technology solutions we provide. We aim to maximize this handprint, as it provides our greatest potential impact on climate change.

In the energy sector, digitalization will support both renewables generation and grid transformation, with the aim to allow the sector to move faster in the transition to sustainable energy sources.

Technologies such as digital twins, low latency connectivity, analytics and AI can help hard-to-abate sectors find ways to accelerate sustainability efforts. Digitalization can play a role in supporting all industries on their decarbonization journey. ​
 

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Nokia Bell Labs and Aramco announced an R&D collaboration that is expected to develop advanced Industry 4.0/4IR digital use cases and validate proof of concept solutions for various industrial sectors.  

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Nokia is the leader in the private wireless market with over 710 customers globally, helping industrials accelerate their digital transformation. 

The digital proposition

We provide solutions for industries and cities that can enable decarbonization but can also improve productivity, resource efficiency and safety. This is the positive impact, or the so-called 'handprint' of connectivity and digital technologies. We focus on maximizing this positive impact while also minimizing our own footprint.

Nokia is a founding member of the European Green Digital Coalition where we collaborate on defining measurement methodologies to show the positive environmental impact of digitalization on industries and communities. In 2023, Nokia worked with city officials from Nicosia in Cyprus to provide a smart city case study to support the coalition’s work. 

Manufacturing

We believe that connected smart factories hold the key to the manufacturing industry, reducing its emissions. To make such Industry 4.0 goals a reality, digitalization is the key. Nokia offers the critical communications and cloud network foundation companies need to fuel their digital transformation journey offering advanced data communication and networking solutions that support critical operations. With a modernized communications foundation, companies can increase productivity, agility, and flexibility, and improve supply chain resilience and visibility throughout their operations. With intelligent automation, data center optimization and physical-digital fusion in their operations, companies can take advantage of new efficiencies to achieve their sustainability targets.

One customer example is Flex, a multinational electronics manufacturing company with operations in 30 countries, that designs and builds products for a broad range of industries including automotive, cloud computing, communications, consumer and healthcare. Nokia will deploy a 5G stand-alone private wireless network in Flex’s Brazil manufacturing facilities. Initial use cases will focus on increasing wireless applications and exploring the potential of 5G for reliable connectivity, massive transfers of operational data and greater layout flexibility on the shop floor.  

In the US, Nokia has worked with system integrator Kyndryl to provide Chevron Phillips Chemical industrial-grade LTE private wireless networks for eight of its US facilities, including their Woodlands, Texas, headquarters. Nokia is providing connectivity to workers across multiple sites to aid real-time collaboration, as well as connection, monitoring and management of machines.

Our own plant in Oulu, Finland is our main radio factory is a fully digitalized factory, recognized as a World Economic Forum “Lighthouse”. It continues to provide an example of the positive impact that digitalization can bring. 

Oulu factory incorporates all 5G+ technologies to drive machining and assembly using robotics; autonomous transportation through mobile robots; advanced quality control methods, including video analytics; and maintenance schedules driven by augmented intelligence/machine learning recommendations based on real-time asset condition data. 

The factory is already operating at its 2025 energy target of 100% renewable electricity from renewable district heating across its operations, and its waste utilization rate also stands at 100%. This makes it the first Nokia-owned facility operating at 100% renewable energy. 

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We believe that connected smart factories hold the key to the manufacturing industry reducing its emissions.

Industry 4.0 technology

We are seeing research that shows how Industry 4.0 technology is progressing.

Nokia and ABI Research have previously announced the results of research that highlights the progress and plans for enterprise infrastructure investments in several key sectors. Electronics and appliance manufacturers are leading the way in Industry 4.0 technology investments and use case deployments. Opportunities lay ahead for manufacturers of heavy equipment to advance their digitalization plans by closely aligning IT and operational (OT) environments. Enterprises can use a self-assessment tool to measure digital maturity and identify opportunities to achieve operational and ESG goals on their path to the industrial metaverse. 

Informed by more than 8 years of research at Nokia Bell Labs, we believe that the industrial metaverse is an extension of Industry 4.0. Consequently, those who have already implemented mission-critical communications networks for Industry 4.0 are now well placed to experience the benefits of the metaverse that clearly some companies are already seeing.

Companies that have already deployed industrial metaverse use cases are seeing more reported benefits than those still in the planning phase expect, most notably in capital expenditure reduction (15%), sustainability (10%) and safety improvement (9%), according to a study published by Nokia and EY. Examining the current state of the enterprise and industrial metaverses, The metaverse at work study which surveyed 860 business leaders across six countries shows that the industrial metaverse, particularly, is expected to deliver on and beyond expectations. 

Warehouse operative in hi-viz vest checks data on a laptop

Opportunities lay ahead for manufacturers of heavy equipment to advance their digitalization plans by closely aligning IT and operational (OT) environments.

Transportation

According to the International Energy Agency, rail transports around 7% of global passenger-kilometers and 6% of ton-kilmeters but accounts for only around 1% of transport emissions. Urban rail networks such as metro and light rail tend to have significantly lower emissions than other motorized urban transport modes.  

Countries around the world are planning rail expansion as an important means to help reduce overall transport emissions. Many rail operators are investing in digitalization and automation to improve efficiency and services to make rail more appealing to travelers. The Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) will be a key enabler of rail digitalization and of new technology such as automatic train operation to help reduce energy consumption. 

Nokia has been at the forefront of FRMCS, working with the industry, government regulators, rail operators and standardization bodies to develop FRMCS standards. Nokia’s mission-critical networking solutions support the latest rail applications with advanced technologies including 5G, IP/MPLS, data center fabric, optical and cybersecurity. In 2023 we announced our involvement in rail projects with companies such as Adif, the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia and Société du Grand Paris. 

In aviation, air navigation service providers are modernizing their communications navigation and surveillance and air traffic control communications networks while maintaining safety, security, reliability and service continuity. Nokia’s IP/MPLS-based ground-to-ground network solution provides the performance needed for demanding mission-critical services and next-generation air traffic management communications. This helps optimize routes and fuel consumption, as well as reduce emissions.  

For example, Nokia has provided solutions to the Irish Aviation Authority and the Airport Authority Hong Kong. Airports are investing in Airport 4.0 to achieve operational excellence and provide the best and safest possible travel experience. Minimizing turnaround times helps save energy and fuel usage. As the journey toward Airport 4.0 continues, the importance of connectivity grows. Nokia’s private wireless solution creates the wireless foundation for Airport 4.0 by making it simpler to embrace more process digitalization, and our optical LAN significantly reduces power consumption. Changi Airport and Brussels Airport have deployed these Nokia solutions on their Airport 4.0 journey. 

Shipping is the backbone of the world’s trade, and 80% of all goods are carried by sea. In recent years, port terminal operators have been under growing pressure to increase productivity as the volume of shipping trade increases. At the same time, they must ensure worker safety in highly congested yards and meet ambitious sustainability goals to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.  

Nokia provides the industrial-grade private 4G LTE/5G connectivity to connect yard assets, workers, vehicles, cranes and containers integral to existing Wi-Fi infrastructure; an edge computing platform to support advanced use cases such as drone inspection; autonomous cranes and video analytics; ruggedized devices that work seamlessly on the same cellular network; and an application catalog to accelerate app deployment in just a click.  

Nokia is the leader in port terminal digitalization, with success at the Husky Terminal of the Port of Tacoma, the Port of Seattle, Kingston Freeport, the Port of Kokkola, the Port of Southampton, the Port of Hamburg and Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía. 

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Energy and natural resources

2023 marked a significant year for Nokia in championing digitalization in energy management. As global energy consumption continues to rise, our focus on empowering renewable energy sources like wind and solar through private LTE/5G communication networks has been more critical than ever.  

Our solutions have been instrumental in mitigating the downsides of fossil fuel–based energy generation, aligning with aggressive zero-emission targets and environmental regulations for a sustainable future. According to the International Energy Agency, current infrastructure practices, if unchanged, could lead to a significant temperature rise, underscoring the need for our interventions. 

The drive for renewable energy has been underscored by the growth in distributed energy resources (DERs), from consumer solar and wind adoption to large utility-scale sources. WindEurope’s estimate that half of Europe’s electricity will be wind-generated by 2050 reflects the trajectory Nokia is supporting through our technology and expertise. 

Our high-performance wireless broadband networks, especially in the context of renewable energy installations like wind farms, have been pivotal for global ESG goals. These networks enhance worker safety, collaboration and productivity, and unlock operational benefits of Industry 4.0 automation and predictive maintenance. The private wireless solutions provided by Nokia for wind farms, for example, ensure mission-critical reliability and low-latency broadband connectivity, essential for connecting workers, sensors, cameras and turbines in challenging environments. 

In 2023 Nokia further advanced in embracing Industry 4.0 for optimizing wind farm operations. The incorporation of IEC 61850 standards in our mission-critical WAN solutions for power utilities highlights our commitment to sustainable and efficient energy management. This standard facilitates effective communication within electrical substations and across distributed energy resources (DERs), enhancing the overall efficiency and reliability of power systems. 

As we look toward the future, Nokia remains committed to leveraging our expertise in private wireless solutions and digitalization to drive the renewable energy sector forward. Our focus on sustainability, combined with technological innovation, positions us to play a crucial role in the global transition to a more sustainable, productive and accessible energy future.

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Nokia remains committed to leveraging our expertise in private wireless solutions and digitalization to drive the renewable energy sector forward.

Mining

Mining sustainability is an evolving concept that reflects the industry’s commitment to balancing economic goals with environmental and social responsibilities. Mining companies must increasingly integrate sustainable practices into their operations.  

Mining operations can exert substantial environmental impacts, including habitat disruption, pollution and deforestation. These consequences pose serious threats to biodiversity and overall ecosystem health. Therefore adopting sustainability practices within the mining industry is crucial. 

Better mining processes that recycle waste and use less water, land and energy, along with investments in automation, electrification and digitization, can lead mining businesses toward a more sustainable business model.  

Industrial automation can not only mitigate productivity bottlenecks, optimize operational processes, but also reduce waste. Remote and autonomous operation can increase asset utilization, maximize operating hours and lower fuel consumption.  

Furthermore, the implementation of electrification is expected to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions. The execution of predictive maintenance strategies provides the potential for minimizing the occurrence of equipment and vehicle downtime, Finally, recycling and reuse are seen as vital components of the energy transition equation. 

The paramount consideration in pursuing sustainability in mining is the proactive management of social and environmental impacts.
 
In 2023 Nokia continued engaging with mining companies -on digitalization implementing private wireless networks based on private LTE and 5G in collaboration with several mining operators and ecosystem partners worldwide. Our networks are being tested, trialed and run at over 70 mine sites across all continents by over 40 mining corporations.  

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Mining companies must increasingly integrate sustainable practices into their operations.

Connected territories and public safety

Connecting territories remains a priority for many governments – be it to bridge the digital divide and provide underserved populations with essential broadband access to connect to the digital world, or to improve the reach, scale and quality of public services delivered by public agencies. 

In a rural part of Austria, our customer RegioHELP, a newly created service provider, deployed an open network to provide ultra high-speed fiber access to more than 20 cities through a public–private partnership. This has helped attract new companies to the region. 

In 2023 we also contracted with Toulouse Métropole, a public institution for inter-municipal cooperation, to bring together 37 municipalities around Toulouse (France’s fourth most populated city) for the joint planning and development of projects to deploy a private 5G network. This network will serve the needs of the city’s public agencies to further digitalize their services, as well as improve the city’s emergency public safety services during big events and the public transport network. The network will also be used to improve connectivity in underserved public buildings for environmental monitoring and to support innovation in industrial and university campuses. 

We remain actively engaged with the public safety community to drive the adoption of modern broadband mission-critical networks and services to drive first responders’ operational efficiency in even the most critical situations. In 2023 we announced the world-first deployment of a drone network for public safety that will cover most of Belgium’s territory. Our customer Citymesh is going to deploy more than 70 Nokia drones, with their docking stations, across Belgium. In case of emergency, they will be able to very quickly take off and go to the site of the emergency  to provide emergency services with a live video stream. This will greatly improve localities’ situational awareness, with better-informed first responders being dispatched to the site. 

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Connecting territories remains a priority for many governments.

Private wireless

Most assets in industrial plants are largely unconnected, which proves a key challenge for the industrial transformation that will yield improved efficiency, flexibility, safety and sustainability. Private wireless, operating with 4.9G/LTE or 5G, brings an easy way to connect all assets (machines, sensors and people) with pervasive yet reliable coverage. The implementation of private wireless enables new use cases that can reduce the impact on industries. 

A port operator in Finland reports that after automating the port with sensors and video cameras for analytics, available parking slots can be estimated well in advance, avoiding the need for vessels to wait off the coast and consume fuel.

In discrete manufacturing, a manufacturing plant in Turkey explains that by replacing Wi-Fi with private wireless, fewer failures occur, and automated guided vehicles can operate at higher speeds, allowing for a 25% improvement in process efficiency, ultimately reducing energy consumption for the same level of production.

In Australia, autonomous trucks now connect to private wireless, saving some 7% in fuel costs per truck due to fewer connectivity issues compared to Wi-Fi. 

Private wireless is also a means to replace existing fixed connectivity, eliminating the need for Ethernet cables, for example. Simple calculations reveal that if all assets were connected via LAN cables, we would require 1.6 tons of cables to be deployed in a medium-sized factory.

3GPP 4G and 5G technologies also bring huge benefits versus other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi. One is that the number of access points needed for coverage is drastically lower compared to Wi-Fi 6 for the same area. In the case of a medium-sized factory (around 1.5 km1), power consumption in private wireless networks is estimated to be 84% less than in equivalent Wi-Fi 6 networks and even more in the case of wireless legacy networks (more than 90%).

Today, Nokia is considered the leader in private wireless based on its more than 710 customers globally. In 2023 we acquired more than 120 new customers, helping industrials accelerate their digital transformation to create more efficient processes and empower workers for high-quality output.

New 2023 wins include Husky Terminal and xCell Energy in the US, Puerto Bahía in Colombia, San Sebastián Airport in Spain, ESB Networks in Ireland, John Deere in Brazil and Valmet in Finland. And most of those deals have a sustainable strategy aspect beyond efficiency and productivity.

Nokia also offers a range of industrial devices to connect legacy machines and equip workers. In 2023 Nokia launched new 5G handheld devices enabling for example manufacturing sites to go paperless. We also worked with our partner Kyndryl to make Dow Chemical Company a paperless site by deploying the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud. 

Since 2021, our private wireless solution has integrated an ecosystem-neutral operational technology (OT)-centric edge called Mission Critical Industrial Edge (MXIE). This allows the on-site real time processing of OT industrial data such as video, sensors to facilitate optimal decision making.

In 2023 we also expanded our set of third-party industrial edge applications to accelerate enterprises’ transition to Industry 4.0. This ecosystem-neutral approach means enterprises can choose best-of-breed applications such as connectivity, video analytics, IIoT, digital twins, communications, connected workers and drones, industrial and cloud connectivity and much more. Such industrial use cases improve efficiency, worker safety and sustainability in our customers’ operations. Private wireless solutions are also used for specific projects such as the Ocean Cleanup project an international NGO working to develop and scale technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Nokia private wireless solution enables applications such as high-end video connectivity over 4G technology, to help navigate The Ocean Cleanup’s operations while harvesting plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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Today Nokia is considered the leader in private wireless based on its more than 710 customers globally by the end of 2023.

Case examples

Alcatel Submarine Networks has inaugurated the deployment of the largest private industrial 5G network in Europe to date 

Alcatel Submarine Networks has inaugurated the deployment of the largest private industrial 5G network in Europe to date 

The network is designed for ASN’s submarine systems production and assembly site and will provide coverage to the 50,000 sqm of the Calais site; eventually, 11 buildings as well as the loading docks will be covered by 59 5G small cell antennas (57 indoor emission points and 2 outdoor emission points).

This network, supplied by Nokia, will be one of the key elements of ASN’s Industrie 4.0 project, an ambitious digitalization plan that aims to modernize ASN’s industrial processes, optimize operational performance and improve working conditions for employees. This private 5G network will also enable the implementation of industrial IOT with many use cases already identified to monitor and improve the performance of the production site in Calais.