Virgin Media O2, in partnership with Liberty Global, launched a new collaboration with Accenture to create innovative, adaptable connectivity solutions for UK businesses, bolstering the UK’s growing Mobile Private Network (MPN) market.

In the new partnership, Virgin Media O2’s 5G private network capabilities for UK businesses will be augmented by Accenture’s expertise in helping enterprises realise the potential of 5G with a broad set of applications for various industries.

Mobile Private Networks provide companies with private, wholly self-sufficient networks on their own business premises. They’re customizable to businesses’ needs and guarantee bandwidth capacity and secure data flow. They could be compared to providing enterprises with a dedicated lane on a very busy highway for a specific use case.

With this collaboration, the solutions are built on Accenture’s Edge Orchestration Platform and will incorporate edge computing, data and AI, and embedded cybersecurity focusing initially on the construction, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and warehousing and sports venue sectors. The collaboration will scale up in the coming months as joint customer implementations begin to be deployed.

Liberty Global, the joint owner of Virgin Media O2 alongside Telefónica, is also exploring opportunities for these solutions in other geographic markets outside of the UK.

In the Port of Antwerp, for example, we partnered with our Belgian operation, Telenet, to conduct an MPN trial, using drones combined with 5G, cloud, edge computing and AI technology to make huge improvements to safety and efficiency in the global shipping industry. Drones broadcasting live video using dedicated capacity from our 5G network sent footage to edge computing servers, where data was analysed in real-time for security breaches.

We also collaborated with our Swiss entity, Sunrise, in a pilot creating the store of the future – a checkout-free, grab and go shopping experience that leverages our private network, alongside edge computing and AI-based computer vision apps.

The hybrid Mobile Private Network (MPN) delivers the store of the future by leveraging network slicing, local edge computing, and an AI-based computer vision application.

Jo Bertram, Managing Director of Business and Wholesale at Virgin Media O2, said: “Building on Virgin Media O2’s established expertise in deploying mobile private networks, this new partnership with Accenture leverages their industry-specific knowledge and proven digital platform and solutions to help broaden our offering to businesses. From facilitating safe communication on construction sites to powering critical devices in hospitals, businesses across a range of sectors will have access to a one-stop shop of innovative, adaptive and secure mobile private network solutions.”

Andy Tay, Global Lead at Accenture Cloud First, said: “Enterprises need to reinvent their networks to become agile and competitive, and it starts with access to reliable and secure mobile connectivity. This enables companies to build a strong digital core that uses the power of cloud, data, artificial intelligence and other technologies alongside new ways of working – ultimately helping them to optimise operations, drive growth, and reach new levels of performance.”
These proof-of-concept programmes and partnerships are showcasing how we can supercharge what we can offer our customers as we build on our MPN offerings with a focus on technologies that have the potential to transform enterprises across all industry sectors.

Read more about the partnership.

Read more about how we’re leveraging our networks.