Virgin Media O2 Boosts UK 5G Private Network Plans with Accenture

Broadband and mobile giant Virgin Media O2 has teamed-up with IT services company Accenture to boost their 5G private network capabilities for UK businesses, which may help them to “seize opportunities” in the country’s growing mobile private network market – estimated to reach £528 million by 2030 (STL Partners forecast).

Private 5G networks are typically created to serve specific sites, such as busy ports or factories, while the more familiar public networks are the sort that we all use when making calls or harnessing mobile broadband via our Smartphones etc.

On this front, VMO2 has already done a lot of work, such as last year when they became the first telecoms operator to launch a commercially-available portable 5G private network using Nokia’s latest 5G Standalone (SA) technology (here).

The new deal with Accenture aims to build on that by harnessing a “broad set of applications for multiple industry segments“, such as computer vision artificial intelligence for product quality control monitoring of equipment (i.e. to help meet factory floor compliance requirements) and queue management systems to improve customer experiences.

Jo Bertram, MD of Business and Wholesale at VMO2, said:

“Building on Virgin Media O2’s established expertise in deploying mobile private networks, this new partnership with Accenture leverages their industry-specific knowledge and proven digital platform and solutions to help broaden our offering to businesses. From facilitating safe communication on construction sites to powering critical devices in hospitals, businesses across a range of sectors will have access to a one-stop shop of innovative, adaptive and secure mobile private network solutions.”

The new solutions will be built on Accenture’s Edge Orchestration Platform and incorporate edge computing, data and AI, as well as embedded cybersecurity focusing initially on the construction, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, utilities, warehousing and sports venue sectors.

Related trials and collaborations will “scale up in the coming months” as joint customer implementations begin to be deployed.

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