LIVE FROM 5G WEEK, LONDON: Alexandra Foster, director at BT Division X, hailed private 5G networks as an enabler of emerging technologies in the industrial sector, while touting the potential of a partnership with vendor Ericsson to scale up businesses in the UK.

On the opening day of the event, Foster and key account director for BT at Ericsson, Mark Seguna, discussed the acceleration of 5G applications across industrial verticals, specifically in manufacturing, transport and logistics.

“The world is a hybrid environment, there are business use cases in which Wi-Fi-6 or 4G can absolutely work”, said Foster.

However, Foster was keen to highlight 5G networks had proven to significantly increase productivity in the industrial sector, citing BT and Ericsson’s collaboration at Belfast Harbour as an example.

Under the partnership, the pair aims to provide commercial private 5G networks for UK businesses in the healthcare, industrial and defence sectors.

Seguna highlighted the nature of private 5G could enable specific business needs, citing “real-time insights” provided by monitoring equipment and sensors in industrial settings.

Alongside robotics, Foster said it is “similarly important to use 5G-enabled technologies to allow remote operations for the employees”, highlighting remote inspections or training with the use of VR.

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