Ericsson plans to build its automated smart factory in the US to produce 5G equipment for telecom operators.
Ericsson said it will make advanced antenna system radios to boost network capacity and coverage, including rural coverage, as well as 5G radios for urban areas, both necessary for rapid 5G deployments in North America.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai said: “Building 5G equipment in the United States is good for our economy, good for the supply chain, and good for the rapid rollout of the next generation of wireless connectivity in the United States.”
Earlier, media reports said US President Donald Trump wants telecom network makers to design and make telecom equipments outside China.
The Sweden-based telecom equipment maker said the smart factory complements Ericsson’s global supply chain to ensure that the company is working close to customers through its European, Asian and American operations.
Ericsson said it is also fast-tracking the launch of the smart manufacturing through a modular and flexible production setup in its existing own factories in Estonia, China and Brazil.
Fredrik Jejdling, head of Networks at Ericsson, said: “We continue to focus on working closely with our customers and supporting them in the buildout of 5G globally and in North America.”
Ericsson will reveal the location upon concluding discussions with state and local authorities. The company is committed to the factory being operational in early 2020. The smart factory will be powered by Ericsson 5G solutions tailored for the industrial environment.
There will be achieved through automated warehouses, connected logistics and automated assembly, packing and product handling, and the use of autonomous carts. The latest technology products created in the 5G factory will enable a faster rollout of commercial 5G across the region.
Ericsson plans to initially employ approximately 100 people at the facility, which will have highly automated operations, as well as a modular and flexible production setup to enable quick ramp up and rollout.
Ericsson began operations via a production partner for the first radios for the U.S. market produced at the end of 2018. The company also established a new R&D site – a software development center – in Austin, Texas and focuses on core microelectronics of 5G radio base stations.