BT and Ericsson join forces to build 5G private networks

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FILE PHOTO: Logo of British Telecom (BT) is displayed outside a store in London

LONDON – Telecoms company BT and Ericsson have struck a multi-million pound partnership to offer private 5G networks to businesses across Britain, enabling them to deploy Internet of Things and other technologies quickly and securely.

Private 5G networks mirror public 5G, but connectivity is limited to a group of devices in a dedicated space, such as a factory, a port or a campus, where 5G’s security and ultra-low latency can be fully utilised in additional services.

Marc Overton, managing director for BT’s Division X, Enterprise, said the British company was working with Sweden’s Ericsson, a leader in 5G technology, both in deploying and operating the networks, and also in putting applications on top.

The partners have already worked together on several major projects incorporating private 5G networks, including Belfast Harbour in Northern Ireland.

They have installed a 5G private network across 35 acres of operational port, driving operational efficiencies and optimising processes across transport, logistics, supply chain and shipping, he said.

“We’re now into phase two of the project and this includes various use cases such as teleoperation of heavy plant machinery, artificial reality (AR) for remote maintenance, as well as enhanced video AI analytics and the use of drones for surveillance and inspections,” Overton said.

Under the new deal, the partners will focus on deploying 5G technology in sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, transport and logistics, sites such as large shopping centres or stadiums, and ports.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle)

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