O2 aerospace projects to demo private networks for defence and security

O2 aerospace projects to demo private networks for defence and security

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O2 has been recruited by British aerospace firm Leonardo UK to develop use cases in private 5G networks and technology for the defence and security industry.

Together the two will assess applications of private 5G tech at Leonardo's Edinburgh-based Innovation and Technology Incubator Centre. It's the first project to be based at the incubator and, in addition to exploring the possibilities of 5G in the delivery of Leonardo’s manufacturing and service provision, the project will consider the potential benefits Leonardo could offer to its own customers by delivering 5G private networks as a capability.

Jo Bertram, MD of business at O2, said: “The partnership will explore how we can use 5G private networks in the wider defence sector, demonstrating their capability to help digitally transform a business and leveraging our ability to draw from a deep and rich application ecosystem.

"It’s great to be working on such an exciting programme, to leverage the technical capabilities of both businesses that’ll have real positive impacts on network solutions, mobility and security,” Bertram continued.

Leonardo said its Edinburgh incubator is a place where those with "alternative business ideas and disruptive technology" can partner with "one of Britain’s biggest technology and engineering firms and one of the principal suppliers of equipment to the UK Ministry of Defence".

One initiative will trial the potential for wirelessly delivering mission, support and maintenance data updates to aircraft, such as the Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter. This could speed up turnaround times between missions and improve platform reliability whilst meeting the stringent security requirements necessary for front line military systems.

O2 will also demonstrate abilities in ‘remote expert’ training and health and safety solutions; asset tracking to ensure complete control of distribution and logistics; remote camera solutions via drones for increased security purposes; and high-level security of data.

This latest project builds on O2's growing 5G and connected device activities, which last year saw the operator launch the first laboratory for 5G satellite communications in the UK.

Norman Bone, chair and managing director of Leonardo UK, said: “5G will be an important tool for the UK’s aerospace, defence and security industry as we look to stay competitive in the global market and continue to export products and services from the UK. This partnership with O2 will inform the roll-out of this technology within Leonardo and study its wider potential across our industry and customer base.”

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