O2 and Ericsson partner with Northumbrian Water in 5G trials
Written by: Charlotte Hathway | Published:

O2, Ericsson and Northumbrian Water are conducting a series of initial 5G trials at the Washington Water Treatment Plant in Tyne and Wear.

The trials will use O2’s 5G network, with Ericsson providing the 5G infrastructure. This will include installing a Private Network, using the Ericsson Radio Dot System, to provide guarantees around uninterrupted network access, capacity, and to deliver indoor 5G coverage.

Northumbrian Water explained that its operations require a range of technical skills and competencies in order to manage the logistical challenge of maintaining water and sewerage services across the North East region. It hopes 5G can be used for various uses, including augmented reality (AR) technologies to allow more experienced technicians to remotely guide on-the-ground teams through complex tasks, or through allowing multiple experts to join one call to give valuable second opinions.

Martin Jackson, head of strategy and enterprise architecture at Northumbrian Water commented, “This is the first time a trial like this has ever been done by a water company and we’re incredibly proud to be leading the way in the utilities sector. We first explored the ways in which we could harness the power of 5G at our Innovation Festival and we’re delighted to be working with O2 and Ericsson to develop this project and deliver an even better experience to our customers.”

These initial trials will also explore: AR Mapping to provide a 3D representation of buried assets for technicians, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) management to allow field technicians and engineers to quickly access and upload crucial data, and a Home Water Maintenance App so customers can monitor their own water supply and flow.

Marielle Lindgren, head of Ericsson UK & Ireland, added, “This trial will demonstrate how 5G can transform operations in the utilities sector, such as water supply and sewerage services, which will positively impact millions of people in the local area. Initiatives like this one are critical to unlocking the true potential of 5G.”


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