Telecoms giant BT and Ericsson have struck a multi-million pound partnership to deliver private 5G networks to businesses across Britain, enabling them to quickly and securely deploy the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies.
Private 5G networks mirror public 5G networks, but wireless connectivity is limited to a group of devices in a dedicated space, such as a factory, outlet, or university campus, where 5G security and ultra-low latency can be fully utilized in additional services.
The two companies said the contract will enable BT to sell next-generation mobile network technology products to companies and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, defence, education, retail, healthcare, transportation and logistics.
Mark Overton, managing director of BT’s Division X, Enterprise, said the British company is working with Sweden’s Ericsson, a leader in 5G technology, in deploying and operating networks, as well as in bringing applications to the fore.
“Unlike a public network, a private 5G network can be configured for specific business needs, as well as by location or individual location,” Overton said. he said in a statement.
He added that the network could provide the basis for the overlay of other new technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), “which opens many possibilities.”
BT announced earlier this month that it will invest nearly £100m (€117.4m) over the next three years in its ‘Division X’ unit to accelerate the development of customer solutions that integrate technologies such as 5G, IoT, edge computing, cloud and artificial intelligence. .
5G in Belfast Harbour
BT and Ericsson have already worked together on several major projects involving private 5G networks, including Belfast Harbor in Northern Ireland.
They have installed a private 5G network across 35 acres of operational ports, which they say helps drive operational efficiencies and improve operations across transportation, logistics, supply chain and shipping.
“We are now in the second phase of the project and this includes various use cases such as remote operation of heavy plant machinery, artificial reality (AR) for remote maintenance, as well as AI-enhanced video analytics and the use of drones for surveillance and inspection,” Overton said.
Under the new agreement, the partners will look to deploy 5G technology in select locations such as large shopping malls, stadiums and ports.
according to the forecast of MarketResearch.comPrivate 5G networks are expected to grow at a rate of 40 percent annually between 2021 and 2028, by which time the market will be worth $14 billion (€13 billion).