MulteFire on a Mission: Connecting Factories of the Future Today

By Outi Niemi

The MulteFire Alliance is on a mission to enable Enterprise and Industrial IoT to leverage MulteFire technology as a private cellular network for their business-critical applications that require robust and secure connectivity. As such, we recently held a MulteFire Open Day in Krakow in conjunction with our Members Meeting hosted by Comarch, and we took to Hannover Messe – the world’s largest industrial tradeshow. I was happy to be able to travel to both events to engage with our membership and with companies that are evaluating MulteFire for deployment in their factories, ports, campuses, and more.

Comarch was our gracious host in Krakow. Here we are in the House of Beers united over advancing our technology and mission.

Our first Open Day in Krakow attracted audiences from both industry and academia. Presentations focused on the Release 1.1 specification which is optimized for IoT, as well as market traction for Release 1.0 and 1.1 solutions. MulteFire Alliance President Mazen Chmaytelli presented on traction we’re seeing in Japan for MulteFire 1.9 GHz. We also shared details from our Industry Working Group, led by Yi Shi, MulteFire Alliance Industry Working Group Chair and Senior Engineer with Huawei, on how MulteFire technology applies to applications such as Smart Grid to address the increasing interest in the unlicensed spectrum private cellular option. You can watch Yi’s presentation here.

From Krakow to Hannover

After a short weekend home to Helsinki, I was back on a flight to Hannover for Hannover Messe. This event is huge! More than 215,000 attendees visited over the course of five days for a comprehensive look at industrial applications and how they will be impacted by Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, 5G and more. During our Open Day at Hannover Messe, MulteFire Alliance Board Chair and GM of Digital Automation at Nokia, Stephan Litjens, presented on how MulteFire enables private networks for industrial IoT. He also shared details on our roadmap to supporting 5G NR-U. You can download his presentation here.

I had the pleasure of presenting on MulteFire to a number of visitors who stopped by the booth as part of the show’s “Path to 5G” tour.

Asimakis Kokkos, MulteFire Alliance Technical Specification Group Chair and Head of Industry Environment Strategy for Nokia, was on hand at Messe’s 5G Forum to highlight MulteFire’s standalone operation in unlicensed spectrum and help drive the panel discussion.

My key takeaway from both of these events is that the “factories of the future” can benefit from MulteFire connectivity today. Throughout the event’s massive 27 Halls, companies were showcasing a myriad of technology demonstrations from factory automation to smart cities. While the promise of 5G is huge, private LTE networks such as those enabled by MulteFire can overcome many of the challenges and deliver on the opportunities that these private networks represent already NOW.

The Alliance will next travel to Orlando, Florida for Connectivity Expo in May and then to Tokyo, Japan for our MulteFire Open Day – Tokyo (register here), our June Members Meeting and Interop Tokyo. I hope to see you at a future event as we continue to advance MulteFire around the world.