Singapore's Singtel has announced a deal with Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) to supply a 5G campus network replete with "mobile edge core solutions." It will be deployed at HMG's Innovation Centre in Singapore (HMGICS), which includes an electric vehicle production facility.
The 5G/MEC campus network is expected to be up and running by the end of the year. As part of the deal, Singtel is committed to providing HMGICS with technical support for five years after that. Deployment is apparently already underway.
Singtel thinks the new setup will be a real boon for the carmaker. According to the official announcement, the upgrade will provide "uninterrupted high-speed connectivity and massive bandwidth to enhance HMGICS's high-precision quality control in manufacturing operations."
The marketing pitch didn't stop there. Copious mentions of "metaverse" were also in the press release.
According to Singtel, by using its capabilities in 5G, AI and IoT in combination with Hyundai's "deep expertise" in smart automotive manufacturing solutions and robotics, "HMGICS will be the leading facility for the development of a metaverse for the manufacturing industry."
Lim Seng Kong, managing director at Singtel Enterprise Business, also referenced the "m" word.
"Singtel's 5G network and MEC solutions will overcome the performance limitations of Wi-Fi to deliver the promise of digital twins and eventually metaverse for advanced manufacturing operations," he said.
Paragon by the dashboard light
Supporting the new-fangled 5G campus network is Paragon, an "all-in-one" orchestration platform for 5G edge computing and cloud services developed in-house by Singtel.
By using Paragon, asserted the operator, Hyundai's customers will be able to personalize their chosen vehicles and watch their cars being manufactured live via their smart devices.
Once ready, said the operator, the vehicles will be transported by specially designed autonomous guided vehicles to HMGICS' 620-meter-long "Sky Track" where customers can test drive them.
Technology still maturing
Singtel's deployment timetable for the 5G campus network seems roughly in line with how Rob Shuter, CEO of BT Enterprise, sees the market shaping up.
Speaking to Light Reading at this year's Mobile World Congress, Shuter said 5G private network tech was still maturing, and that customers were in a "co-creation phase" with operators to determine first what might be beneficial use cases in the manufacturing sector.
"I think we'll be in that phase for most of this year, and it'll probably be industrial scaling in '23, '24 and '25," said Shuter.
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- 5G more than holds its own against Wi-Fi in Singapore – report
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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading