First private commercial 5G network in UK for BT & Ericsson

The multi-million-pound deal is the first of its kind in the UK, paving the way for Industry 4.0 and digital transformation of industrial sectors

BT and Ericsson will be offering 5G Private Networks solutions to business customers across the UK.

The multi-million-pound deal will combine BT’s expertise in building converged fixed and mobile networks with Ericsson’s leading 5G network technology and enterprise solutions

Next-generation connectivity set to drive Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation of industrial sectors

The combination of BT’s next generation mobile network technology products and Ericsson’s private 5G networks will enable innovative applications and IoT capabilities to increase productivity, help to optimise operational efficiency, improve predictive maintenance and help with security and ultra-low latency in industrial environments.

Katherine Ainley, CEO Ericsson UK & Ireland (who is soon to appear in July’s Mobile Magazine as our featured CEO interview), said: “This ground-breaking agreement with BT means we are together taking a leading role in ensuring 5G has a transformative impact for the UK. The high quality, fast and secure connectivity provided by Ericsson Private 5G can help organisations make all-important efficiency gains that can create safer, more productive, and sustainable business operations and help the country build global leaders in the industries and technologies of the future.”

Division X and a 5G market set to boom

BT is due to invest £100 million over the next three years in its ‘Division X’ unit to accelerate the development of customer solutions which integrate emerging technologies like 5G, IoT, Edge Compute, Cloud and AI.

MarketResearch.com forecast that 5G private networks are predicted to grow at an average rate of 40 per cent a year between 2021 and 2028, by which time the market will be worth $US14bn (£10.7bn).  

“This UK-first we have signed with Ericsson is a huge milestone and will play a major role in enabling businesses’ transformation, ushering in a new era of hyper-connected spaces,” said Marc Overton, BT’s Managing Director for Division X, Enterprise.

“We have combined our skill and expertise at building converged fixed and mobile networks with Ericsson’s leading, sustainable and secure 5G network equipment, to offer a pioneering new proposition that will be attractive to many industries. 5G private networks will also support smart factory processes and the advancement of Industry 4.0 which can realise significant cost savings and efficiencies for manufacturers” said Overton.

Overton finished by adding: “Unlike a public network, a private 5G network can be configured to a specific business’s needs, as well as by individual site or location. They also provide the foundation to overlay other innovative technologies such as IoT, AI, VR and AR, opening up a multitude of possibilities.”

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