Power IT and non-critical OT applications with the latest Wi-Fi technology
Industrial enterprises are seeking to improve operational efficiency and achieve better business outcomes by using digital transformation to integrate and optimize their information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) assets. Most see wireless networks as an essential driver for this transformation.
Wireless is the future for manufacturers
A recent ABI Research survey of manufacturing executives shows that this trend has gained momentum over the last 18 to 24 months. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for enterprises to empower distributed teams to collaborate productively in real time and keep their businesses running. Most manufacturers (71 percent) also continued to ramp up their digital transformation initiatives during the same period, which brought a shift in their investment priorities.
The survey results make it clear that manufacturers are embracing wireless technologies. For example, 82 percent of executives think that wireless technologies are “very important” or “essential” to manufacturing operations.
Wi-Fi 6E opens up new possibilities
There’s little doubt that 4.9G/LTE and 5G private wireless networks will become the predominant connectivity choice for manufacturers and other asset-intensive industries that want to reap the benefits of digitalization and Industry 4.0. But some these enterprises also still see Wi-Fi, especially new Wi-Fi 6/6E technology, as a viable connectivity option for some non-business-critical operations.
Wi-Fi 6E brings advancements by extending beyond Wi-Fi’s traditional and now easily congested 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to open up the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use. This allows enterprises to consider Wi-Fi for use cases that would benefit from relatively clean spectrum. The first Wi-Fi 6E products reached the market in late 2021, and the device ecosystem continues to grow.
Introducing Nokia DAC Wi-Fi
Nokia Digital Automation Cloud Wi-Fi (DAC Wi-Fi) makes it easy for asset-intensive enterprises to deploy Wi-Fi 6/6E to meet the connectivity demands of non-critical OT applications at any industrial campus. This solution is offered as a service and runs on the Nokia MX Industrial Edge, the first OT-centric solution to enable on-premises Industry 4.0 digitalization applications, workloads and analytics.
Figure 1: Nokia DAC Wi-Fi provides reliable connectivity for non-business-critical industrial use cases
Nokia DAC Wi-Fi provides a modern IEEE 802.11 ax standard-based Wi-Fi solution for enterprises that plan to upgrade their existing Wi-Fi network to support non-business-critical use cases that have limited coverage and mobility requirements and are tolerant to latency and packet loss. Typical use cases include augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR) workflow and training applications, operation and work order management applications, and asset tracking applications for warehouses and distribution systems.
By deploying Nokia DAC Wi-Fi, enterprises can combine the benefits of the newest Wi-Fi generation and an on-premises OT centric edge cloud solution that provides high computing power for Industry 4.0 applications while ensuring data sovereignty. They can also make a seamless transition to private wireless as their needs evolve, leveraging the most deployed private wireless solution in the market, also based on Nokia DAC.
Using Wi-Fi to complement private wireless
Enterprises that have deployed the Nokia Industrial-grade Private Wireless solution can use Nokia DAC Wi-Fi to provide a complementary capacity layer at specific locations for non-business-critical applications. The additional Wi-Fi layer uses the connectivity-agnostic capabilities of the MX Industrial Edge to ensure that all connected asset data is processed on the premises.
Enterprises that need higher performance and reliability for OT use cases can use the recently announced Nokia MX Boost solution to aggregate different radio technologies – such as private wireless and Wi-Fi – and get maximum performance benefits from all their radio layers.
Nokia DAC Wi-Fi gives enterprises more flexibility to connect assets as part of their digital transformation. It allows them to tap into license-free spectrum to augment their private wireless networks and use the improved capacity and determinism of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E to support less critical high-bandwidth OT applications.
Enterprises that deploy Nokia DAC Wi-Fi can also take advantage of a single cloud-based interface to unify operations and management for all their connectivity technologies or add plug-and-play 4.9G/LTE and 5G private wireless connectivity.
This combination of capabilities enables enterprises to:
- Remove risk from connectivity technology selection: Nokia DAC Wi-Fi enables enterprises to take advantage of the latest generation of Wi-Fi today and make a smooth transition to private wireless when the time is right.
- Get the best connectivity every time: Nokia DAC Wi-Fi ensures consistent application performance with Wi-Fi–cellular interworking capabilities that always choose the best connectivity layer.
- Control network costs: Nokia DAC Wi-Fi helps enterprises optimize total cost of ownership by providing a scalable and disruptive as-a-service subscription model, free spectrum and legacy asset support.
- Accelerate OT digitalization with the Nokia MX Industrial Edge solution to deploy applications for industry 4.0 use cases
- Simplify network operations: The intuitive, cloud-based Nokia DAC Manager interface enables enterprises to seamlessly manage all their wireless connectivity layers.
Find out more
Visit our website to learn more about you can use Nokia DAC Wi-Fi to provide reliable connectivity for IT and non-critical OT applications, accelerate your Industry 4.0 journey and make an easy transition to a 4.9G/LTE or 5G private wireless network.
To download the ABI Research Report, visit our website.