Home5GVerizon signposts ‘massive forward steps’ in industrial 5G with Corning factory trial

Verizon signposts ‘massive forward steps’ in industrial 5G with Corning factory trial

Verizon has installed millimeter wave 5G at Corning’s fibre optic cable factory in Hickory, North Carolina. The pair will build a “factory of the future” to take “massive steps forward in robotics and automation”.

At the same time, Verizon has announced it has added Dallas, Texas, and Omaha, Nebraska, to its roster of cities with millimeter wave 5G coverage. It now has 15 US cities covered, with seven 5G-enabled devices. 

The carrier’s so-called ‘5G Ultra Wideband’ service, on trial with Corning, will be used to test how 5G can enhance factory automation and quality assurance. Corning’s Hickory plant facility is in one of the largest fibre optic cable manufacturing facilities in the world.

The pair will collaborate on 5G to develop solutions to “revolutionise the way goods and services are produced,” they said. The lower latency, faster speeds, and higher bandwidth afforded by industrial-grade 5G is well suited for industrial processes that make use of such tools as machine learning and augmented and virtual reality.

Verizon said engineers from both companies will explore how manufacturers can use 5G to speed data collection, allow machines to communicate in near real time, wirelessly track and inspect inventory, and improve the function of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs).

Tami Erwin, executive vice president and chief executive of Verizon’s business group, commented: “5G will enable massive steps forward in robotics and automation that will transform supply chain management and create smarter and more efficient factories. We’re thrilled to collaborate with Corning to explore how 5G will ultimately reshape the way the manufacturing industry operates.”

Claudio Mazzali, senior vice president of technology for Corning’s optical communications business segment, said: “Verizon and Corning engineers expect to break new ground by identifying which 5G-enabled capabilities offer the most promise in a manufacturing environment.”

Verizon uses Corning’s fibre, cable, and optical connectivity for its 5G network. Verizon is supplying 5G back into the factory that produces these wired connectivity solutions.

Verizon has just added Dallas, Texas, and Omaha, Nebraska, to its roster of cities with millimeter wave 5G coverage. It now has 15 US cities covered, including 13 others, with seven 5G-enabled devices. 

It has also activated millimeter wave 5G in three sports venues: Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, which hosts the NBA’s Phoenix Suns; the Chase Center in San Francisco where the Golden State Warriors play; and Denver’s Pepsi Center, which serves as home base for the NBA’s Nuggets and the NHL’s Avalanche. 

It has said it will launch in seven more by the end of the 2019-2020 NBA and NHL seasons. 

Corning has just announced a deal with Intel to accelerate the availability of 5G in buildings. The two companies will work together to deliver a virtual platform for Corning’s 5G network solutions powered by Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors and FlexRAN reference software architecture.

The company said in a statement: “This co-innovation effort will create a streamlined path for mobile network operators and enterprise building owners to deploy 5G solutions that meet the performance demands of their customers and enable faster adoption of 5G applications, with the ability to scale from small to large venues and enterprises.”

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