Harnessing the power of 5G to drive business productivity

Derek McManus, COO, O2 UK

When we launched our 5G network in October, one of the areas I was most excited about was exploring what it could do for businesses. And this month marks another piece of that exploration with the start of 5G trials at Northumbrian Water. The trials are testing how the power of 5G connectivity can be harnessed to improve productivity across the business.

Working with our trusted partner, Ericsson, for the initial phase of trials, we will build a Private Network Installation to power the trials. This next-generation network will enable Northumbrian Water to explore the potential of 5G.

The first set of trials will focus on four key areas:

  • (AR) Remote Experts: Connecting experienced engineers not able to travel to remote locations, with colleagues on the ground and relaying live information and data via augmented reality glasses.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Mapping: 5G-powered AR will provide detailed mapping of buried assets, meaning engineers can manage risks and hazards in real time.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Management: Engineers will be able to access and upload critical data from the central database without WiFi or a cable connection.
  • Home Water Maintenance App: Consumers can use the app to monitor their water supply in real time. They will be alerted to unusual patterns and able to pre-emptively flag potential issues.

These are just some of the ways 5G promises to revolutionise operations. With improved capacity and reliability, Northumbrian Water will be empowered to work more dynamically.

In my role, I’m privileged to work closely with some of our biggest customers and partners. I know that one of the most important things for them echoes what is most important to us at O2. Their customers.

That is why it’s so important that not only does 5G benefit Northumbrian Water, but also its customers. 5G technology promises to drive efficiencies that will benefit almost 2.7 million of Northumbrian Water’s customers.

The team at Northumbrian Water truly believes in the possibilities of 5G. It is leading the way with the first trials of their sort by a water company. Not just that, it’s leading the way for the entire utilities sector and we’re excited to see where these trials go.

I strongly believe that 5G will transform businesses. From entirely new business models to bringing in better ways of working, it’s impact will be huge. It will boost productivity. It will improve efficiency. And it will enhance safety.

Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in our commitment at O2 to help businesses harness the power of 5G. We are proud to be playing such a pivotal role in unlocking its potential. Interested in finding out what 5G could do for your business? Get in touch.