Service to eventually benefit 2.7 million people across North East
O2, Ericsson and Northumbrian Water will conduct 5G trials to improve efficiency across a variety of areas.
The operator and vendor will also create a private network installation for the water supplier, giving it uninterrupted network access.
The trials are focused on three key areas. The first is AR mapping, which uses 5G-powered AR to create a 3D representation of buried assets such as water mains, pipes and conduits to enable technicians to identify risks and hazards quicker.
The second is Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Management, which allows engineers to access and upload data without the need for a WiFi connection.
The third is a home water maintenance app for consumers to monitor their homes’ water supply, to foresee potential issues.
O2 COO Derek McManus said: “Northumbrian Water have been a fantastic advocate for the possibilities of 5G for UK business, and are a great example of how 5G can change the way we do things in the utilities sector and beyond. This is a significant milestone as we bring new capabilities to make real changes in people’s everyday lives.”
Northumbrian Water’s head of strategy and enterprise architecture Martin Jackson added: “This is the first time a trial like this has ever been done by a water company and we’re incredibly proud to be leading the way in the utilities sector,” while the head of Ericsson for the UK and Ireland, Marielle Lindgren, commented: “This trial will demonstrate how 5G can transform operations in the utilities sector, such as water supply and sewerage services, which will positively impact millions of people in the local area. Initiatives like this one are critical to unlocking the true potential of 5G.”