Vodafone has won the ‘operator with the best industry deployment’ category at the 5G Week Awards for two projects, one with motor manufacturer Ford, and the other with European airline Lufthansa.
The 5G Week event is backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and UK5G, the national network promoting research and collaboration around 5G and its industrial applications.
Vodafone’s winning entry featured its collaboration with Ford to build a 5G-powered ‘Factory of the Future’, but the judges also wanted to acknowledge Vodafone’s work with European airline, Lufthansa.
Vodafone is building the UK’s first private 5G network at Ford’s E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility at Dunton Campus in Essex.
This 5G private network will help Ford streamline its UK operations.
5G’s high speeds and low latency will enable real-time co-ordination of machine operations involved in the welding processes of batteries and electric motors, improving precision, efficiency and safety. On average, the batteries and electric motors within a single electric vehicle require 1,000 welds and generate more than a half a million pieces of data every minute.
By improving these processes, Ford should be able to speed up the production – and hopefully, adoption – of electric vehicles, which is key to reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming.
The data generated by the factory will not leave the Dunton Campus but be securely managed through Vodafone’s 5G private network on site.
Together with other partners in the 5G Enhanced Manufacturing project (part of the UK’s 5G Testbeds and Trials program), Ford and Vodafone will use the 5G mobile private network to help develop standards, explore innovative use cases, and share insights with the wider industry.
Ford’s 5G mobile private network is scheduled to go live towards the end of 2020.