Signaling the dawn of a new era for smart industrial machines and systems, GE Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company (GE), is collaborating with Verizon Business to create a cross-industry testbed powered by the Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband network. The initial plan is to try the network on GE’s Research campus.
Vic Abate, GE’s Chief Technology Officer said that together with Verizon, they are leading the way in innovating on 5G. It marks a pivotal moment for the industrial world, as they finally have a wireless network platform that delivers the speed, scale, reliability and flexibility to connect industrial devices in a truly transformative way.
Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business also stated that Verizon’s 5G platform capabilities provide the perfect testbed for GE’s research team to build the next-generation, real-time solutions that will transform every industry. There’s never been a more critical time to build the 21st-century infrastructure built on mobility, broadband and cloud and our 5G sit right at the epicenter.
GE Research’s 5G Mission Leader, Dr SM Hasan, said that 5G networks need to be able to have thousands of people in a room at one time running internet apps on their mobile devices without any delays. “If you’ve ever been in a public area like an airport and experienced a slow Wi-Fi connection, it’s because the network is experiencing heavy traffic that slows everything down.”
Verizon’s 5G will eventually be capable of connecting one million devices per square mile, which is 10x greater than 4G. Hasan further added that for them, it’s about enabling thousands of assets to be managed in real-time at one time. 5G’s speed, scale, and near-instantaneous response time are opening new levels of capabilities in the management of assets and operations that engineers previously could only dream of using. The superior network speed and capacity of 5G networks will allow them to take full advantage of a multitude of digital technologies to transform industrial assets and operations. He also stated that from AI and machine learning to digital twins and autonomous technologies, 5G can accelerate the path to everything from self-driving cars and digital health to more resilient, reliable energy grids powered by more carbon-free energy assets like intelligent wind farms.
Verizon already has begun the process of installing its 5G Ultra-Wideband network on GE’s Research campus. Eric Tucker, Sr Director of Technical Products at GE exclaimed that they are excited to work with the GE businesses and key partners like Verizon and the U.S. Department of Defense to translate Research to Reality and showcase the power of digitally connected and 5G enabled solutions for their customers, and the world.