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Telefónica and Wipro plan to develop 5G industrial automation for key markets

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Units in Brazil and Germany will pioneer the technology before extending it to Spain and UK

Telefónica and Wipro have announced a project to explore how they can adapt 5G to run industrial processes more efficiently. 

The collaboration will take place in the Telefonica Technology & Automation Lab in Madrid. Wipro will support Telefónica with different use cases for Telco Clouds and will build an automated and programmable environment using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Initially the knowledge will be applied in Telefonica’s German and Brazilian divisions, with a view to expansion into Spain and the UK.

Test the tools and we’ll automate the job

According to Wipro they plan to investigate how network operations can be improved by applying the disciplines of Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment and Continuous Testing (CI/CD/CT) to 5G networks. 

The solution, developed by Wipro, will be built with open source and common repository test tools, keeping it open for integration with any future advances in the technology.

Telefonica Germany plans to simplify collaboration among Telefonica’s various operating companies by allowing them to share designs, parameters, configurations, test plans and results.

Network functions everywhere

Wipro will work with Telefonica to automate network operations and extend these changes to the Telco Cloud in order to expedite the adoption of virtualised network functions. According to Wipro, this will create a blueprint for industrial processes, making it easier for them to assimilate any volume and variety of network functions. 

Successful automation depends on network functions and their potency is shaped by the CI/CD/CT tools used to build their foundations, according to Thomas Braun, the manager of test environments and integration for Telefónica Germany.

Tested on the core, then push outward

“Agile working methods and delivery mechanisms will play an important role in fast, reliable and standardised automation of tasks,” said Braun.

Although the initial target for improvements is the 5G Core Network, Telefonica’s strategy is to extend any efficiencies to the transport, access and infrastructure parts of its networks.

“CI/CD/CT is a must in our 5G strategy,” said Cayetano Carbajo, director of core, service platforms and transport for Telefonica CTIO, in Wipro’s press statement.

In February Wipro announced a five-year partnership with Telefónica Germany. The so-called Radical IT Transformation (RAITT) programme is designed to re-work its business support systems and quality assurance in a bid to improve customer experience.