O2 UK moves on private 5G for defence and security - Mobile World Live

O2 UK moves on private 5G for defence and security

08 FEB 2021

Telefonica’s O2 UK partnered with aerospace company Leonardo to test and investigate applications of private 5G networks in the defence and security industries, as part of a push to broaden the use of the technology across sectors.

In a statement, the companies said they would use Leonardo’s innovation and technology incubator centre in Edinburgh to look into several applications of private 5G, including uses of secure high-bandwidth mobile data to facilitate next-generation manufacturing capabilities, as well as providing high speed and secure information services.

It said the latter would be needed to deliver programmes such as Tempest, an initiative involving the UK, Italy and Sweden to develop future combat air capabilities.

Other potential use cases include remote training, health and safety solutions, asset tracking, remote camera solutions via drones for increased security and high level security of data.

5G’s next phase
O2 UK will provide the private 5G network for the initiative, in addition to a range of industry 4.0 applications to evaluate how they could be used in the digital transformation of business and end-to-end manufacturing processes.

Both companies added they believed there was huge potential of 5G to meet high security standards demanded by the defence sector and provide security assurances within companies’ digital infrastructure.

O2’s move comes as attention in the industry turns to the next stage of 5G, after initial launches were centred around enhanced mobile broadband for consumers.

Jo Bertram, MD of business at O2, said the tie-up would “leverage the technical capabilities of both businesses that’ll have real positive impacts of network solutions, mobility and security”.

Rival Vodafone UK struck a similar agreement last year, but in the automotive space, teaming with Ford to provide a private 5G network at the car maker’s electric vehicle facility.



Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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