One of the latest examples of 5G use in an industry-specific context comes from Uganda, where vendor Huawei has, alongside MTN Uganda and Hima Cement Company, launched what it describes as the country's first 5G industrial use case in a Hima cement plant.
Offering high bandwidth, low latency, and ability to connect with a high concentration of devices, 5G will enable real-time data transmission in the production area. Harnessing edge computing, 5G will, the partners say, significantly improve the production efficiency of the factory.
At the launch event, held on April 3, MTN Uganda and Huawei demonstrated the super-fast data transmission speed and super-low latency expected of 5G, but, together with Hima, they also showcased what they called two unique scenarios, including 5G-enabled EHS (occupational health, safety and environment) training and video monitoring. This, they suggested, is more secure than training in real-world hazardous environments and more effectively ensures that factory operation faults and accident risks are immediately detected.
Hima Cement is part of the Holcim Group, the world leader in building materials, present in 80 countries across the world. With two plants in Uganda – Hima Plant in Kasese and Tororo Grinding Station in Tororo – Hima Cement has a total cement production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes.
Sylvia Mulinge, CEO of MTN Uganda, said that the launch of Hima Cement's 5G commercial project is an important moment in Uganda's 5G deployment and added: “MTN Uganda is ready, and the network is primed to roll out 5G as soon as we get the regulatory tools and approvals to do so."
Hima Cement's country CEO Jean-Michel Pons added: "With this partnership, we can see what's possible with 5G technology which will accelerate our 'Plants of Tomorrow' programme to find automated and data-driven solutions to make our industrial operations more sustainable."
As regular readers will be aware, MTN Uganda and Huawei have cooperated on 5G already this year. In January, MTN Uganda chose Huawei as its supplier for a network upgrade through a cloud-native 5G-capable core, as part of a group-wide move to digitally transform its units and other sectors.