VMO2 Business launches 5G SA private network

VMO2 Business launches 5G SA private network

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Virgin Media O2 Business has today become the first UK telco to offer a portable commercial 5G Standalone (SA) private network.

Once plugged in, the portable network allows companies to access 5G connectivity, without the time and expense of building an entire network.

The new product is only slightly larger than a carry-on airline bag, VMO2 says, with a network that can be easily used and activated by businesses of all sizes.

Since the first trials of the portable solution, VMO2 Business has developed and deployed two 5G SA private network platforms.

Telefonica’s innovation arm Wayra – home to the first trial of the product has been using the network since last summer, enabling its customers and small businesses to experience 5G SA-enabled applications first-hand.

Start-ups based in Wayra’s London office have already benefited from the solution, including Mobilus Labs – an organisation using advanced voice technology to enable industrial teams to communicate in environments with extreme noise.

These applications and features are leveraged using Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) and Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE), which allows firms like Mobilus to support mission critical applications.

“Moving beyond trials, Virgin Media O2 Business is now the UK’s first telco to offer a portable commercial 5G Standalone Private Network,” said Jo Bertram, managing director at VMO2 business.

“Britain is a hub for innovation, so it’s crucial that companies operating here can access the connectivity needed to create new experiences for customers.

“From start-ups to large enterprises, our latest network solution will enable 5G trials and deployment without the time or cost of building a whole network. Removing barriers, like location and cost, to ensure that businesses get the connection they need.”

The integration makes VMO2 Business the first UK telco to incorporate MXIE into its private wireless offering.

The operator says this removes the complexity and economic hurdles associated with mission-critical networking, meaning the solution can support digital transformation for businesses across sectors including manufacturing, construction and healthcare.

Testing is not limited to businesses operating in large cities and the product’s compact nature means it can support 5G connectivity in rural locations or places where public network access to 5G may be more limited.

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