Private 5G networks are making headlines again in India after Indian communications solutions provider Bharti Airtel announced a partnership with IT services and consulting firm Tech Mahindra to set up India’s first 5G-enabled automobile manufacturing unit.
As part of the strategic partnership, the companies have implemented a 5G for Enterprise solution at Mahindra’s Chakan manufacturing facility in the Pune district of Maharashtra state.
They claim that this has greatly improved Chakan’s network connectivity, resulting in improved speeds for software flashing, a critical operation for all vehicle dispatches. They explain that high speeds and ultra-low latency now allow managers to run multiple software flashing sessions in parallel, resulting in reduced turnaround time for an operation. In addition, the computer-assisted visual inspection is now fully automated, resulting in improved paint quality.
Airtel has tested use cases and spectrum provisioning with multiple partners and locations as part of its so-called #5GforBusiness offerings.
Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO of Airtel Business, says of the partnership: “Our enterprise 5G solution will transform the way the country operates in production. As the Industry 4.0 paradigm gains momentum, reliable data networks will prove to be a key differentiator in plant and manufacturing performance.”
The partnership underscores the potential of private 5G networks as innovative ways to monetize this emerging technology. In fact, Airtel successfully tested a private 5G network at a Bosch facility in Bengaluru in July, using test 5G spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), according to India’s Economic Times.