Tesla boasts of private 5G deployment and global rollout plans

In a new social media post, Tesla officials tout the company's speedy private wireless 5G network at its Berlin manufacturing facility. But details on the operation are scarce.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

May 8, 2024

2 Min Read
Tesla car at electric vehicle charging station in Brooklyn, NY
(Source: Randy Duchaine/Alamy Stock Photo)

Carmaker Tesla said it has constructed a private 5G network at its factory in Berlin, and that it plans to deploy the technology globally.

The company disclosed the news in a post to social media. In a video, Tesla officials at the company's "gigafactory" in Berlin said the network there supports speedy, low-latency connections and can work indoors and outdoors. That outdoor coverage is critical, according to the company, because it allows Tesla to update hundreds of cars outside without needing to run fiber and power to outdoor locations.

However, details of the deployment – such as the network's vendors, spectrum and operational parameters – are not clear. Tesla does not employ a public relations department and generally does not respond to questions from the media.

Tesla's interest in private 5G does not come as a surprise. As Light Reading previously reported, recent job postings to the company's website hinted at interest in a private wireless network to "understand current and future connectivity requirements of Tesla vehicles and Optimus for on premise use cases like in manufacturing shopfloors, outdoor areas, and R&D labs."

Further, recent reports have hinted at Jio's interest in building a private 5G network in a Tesla plant in India. Tesla has also engaged in recent litigation around 5G patents.

Related:Tesla eyes private 5G networks

For its part though, Tesla is embarking on a major cost-cutting initiative amid a sharp decline in demand for its electric cars. Reports indicate layoffs may affect up to 10% of the automaker's workforce.

To be clear, Tesla isn't the only automaker interested in using a private 5G network to connect elements in its manufacturing facilities. For example, Mercedes-Benz Cars said it worked with Telefónica Deutschland and Ericsson to build a 5G network for automobile production in its "Factory 56" in Sindelfingen, Germany. Separately, Ford said it worked with Vodafone on similar efforts in the UK.

Broadly, though, the private wireless networking opportunity globally hasn't developed as quickly as many companies had hoped.

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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