June 25, 2020 / 9:36 AM / 13 days ago

Ford signs deal with Vodafone for private 5G network in UK

FILE PHOTO: Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co has signed a deal with Vodafone Group Plc to install a private 5G network at the car maker’s electric-vehicle (EV) battery facility in UK’s Essex, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The project is part of a 65-million-pound ($80.87 million) investment in 5G backed by the UK government, according to Ford and Vodafone, and would be among the first of its kind in Britain.

The private 5G network at Ford’s facility will replace older Wi-Fi networks and help speed up the production of EV components, according to the companies.

“For a single EV product, this could generate more than a half a million pieces of data every minute”, the statement said, adding that the upgrade will provide faster and more accurate manufacturing control and analysis.

Earlier this week, Toyota Production Engineering Corporation selected Finland’s Nokia Oyj to install an industrial-grade 5G private wireless network at its manufacturing design center in Fukuoka, Japan.

Reporting by Vishal Vivek and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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