BT has partnered with Ericsson to offer commercial deployments of 5G private networks as a managed service for organizations in Britain.
The move effectively sees BT act as a systems integrator for Ericsson’s 5G private network technology, which allows customers to operate their own dedicated 5G networks.
These offer the advantage of a high-speed network that can cover a much wider area than a typical enterprise Wi-Fi deployment, making them suitable for environments such as factories, educational campuses and other large sites where security and ultra-low latency connectivity are important.
BT and Ericsson announced that they have signed a multi-year contract for BT to sell next-generation mobile network technology to businesses and organizations in industries including manufacturing, defence, education, retail, healthcare, transportation and logistics.
According to BT, organizations deploying private 5G infrastructure will be able to improve productivity and operations and reduce costs in a number of areas, including asset tracking, predictive maintenance, connected sensors, real-time data, automation and robotics.
Customers choosing BT will receive an Ericsson kit comprising dual-mode core network controllers, radio units and network monitoring, all served with professional services and support from BT itself.
BT claimed that this private 5G partnership was the first such deal in the country. Other vendors have already launched private 5G products, including HPE and Cisco earlier this year, but these depend on local integrators or service providers to implement them, a role BT will fill in this case.
The new deal follows BT’s establishment of a Division X unit within its Enterprise business to scale up and commercialize the development of various technologies. These include IoT and Edge Computing, as well as private 5G networks.
The Enterprise division within BT could use a shot in the arm: in the 2022 financial year ending March 31, the unit had revenue of £5.157 billion, down 5 % year over year. As a group, BT fell 5% to £20.845 billion.
BT’s Managing Director for Division X, Marc Overton, said the new private 5G service will play a major role in transforming the business for customers, supporting the advancement of Industry 4.0 and business processes. factories that promise cost savings and efficiencies.
“We have combined our skills and expertise in building converged fixed and mobile networks with leading, durable and secure 5G network equipment from Ericsson, to deliver a pioneering new proposition that will be attractive to many industries,” said he declared.
The service is available now and BT said it has already partnered with Ericsson on several private 5G projects, including the Port of Belfast in Northern Ireland, where 35 acres of the port are covered.
The Belfast deployment is used for remote operation of heavy machinery, artificial reality for remote maintenance, as well as AI video analytics and the use of drones for surveillance and inspections.
We asked BT how much such a private 5G network might cost, but that would just depend on the type of deployment, size of installation and specific requirements, such as what services can be carried or included in the package. .
Meanwhile, BT recently made headlines as the UK government carried out a national security assessment of the investment in the company by French telecoms tycoon Patrick Drahi, who is now the group’s largest shareholder. BT through its Altice UK organization.
The British telecommunications company also signed a deal with AWS to help it with its own digital transformation earlier this month and last month announced a trial of a quantum-secure commercial metro network in London, using key distribution. quantum (QKD) to securely encrypt data over standard fiber. optical links. ®