Airtel and Tech Mahindra bring 5G to Indian auto manufacturing

Private 5G networks are again making headlines in India after Indian communications solutions provider Bharti Airtel announced a partnership with IT services and consulting company Tech Mahindra to deploy what it claims will be India’s first 5G-enabled auto manufacturing unit.

Under the strategic partnership the companies have deployed a ‘5G for Enterprise’ solution at Mahindra’s Chakan manufacturing facility, which is in the Pune district of the state of Maharashtra.

This, they claim, has significantly enhanced Chakan’s network connectivity resulting in improved speeds for software flashing, a critical operation for all vehicular dispatches. They explain that high-speeds and ultra-low latency now allow managers to undertake multiple software flashing sessions in parallel, resulting in reduced turnaround time for an operation. In addition, the computerized vision-based inspection is now fully automated, resulting in improved paint quality.

Airtel has been testing use cases and spectrum delivery with multiple partners and at several locations as a part of what it calls its #5GforBusiness offerings.

Speaking about the partnership, Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business, says: « Our 5G solution for enterprise will transform manufacturing operations in the country. As the industry 4.0 paradigm gathers momentum, reliable data networks will prove to be a key differentiator in factory and manufacturing performances.”

The partnership underlines the potential of private 5G networks as innovative ways of monetising this emerging technology. In fact, according to India’s Economic Times, Airtel successfully trialled a private 5G network in July at a Bosch facility in Bengaluru, using trial 5G spectrum allotted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).