Indian operator Vodafone Idea (aka Vi) has announced a collaboration with A5G Networks, an innovator in autonomous mobile network infrastructure, to enable Industry 4.0 and smart mobile edge computing in India.
Vi and A5G Networks say they have together set up a pilot private network in Mumbai utilising existing 4G spectrum.
Vi says that its association with A5G Networks is in line with its commitment to realize the aims of the government’s Digital India programme with the help of A5G’s differentiated and unique 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi autonomous software for distributed networks. Digital India is a flagship programme of the government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
A5G Networks software is fully cloud-native containerized software built for hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure.
Deloitte defines Industry 4.0 as "a term that encompasses a promise of a new industrial revolution – one that marries advanced manufacturing techniques with the Internet of Things to create manufacturing systems that are not only interconnected, but communicate, analyze, and use information to drive further intelligent action back in the physical world".
Partly reflecting that definiton, through this engagement Vi has already set up an end-to-end private network using A5G Networks' autonomous core software and white box RAN elements in Mumbai, showcasing industrial automation use cases, enterprise applications, and low latency scenarios – all while seamlessly interconnecting with the operator network.
This sort of activity has also been a feature of Vodafone Idea’s recent trials using 5G spectrum. The company has been working with a number of local and international partners demonstrating a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials with segments such as (again) Industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture and gaming.