Virgin Media O2 has a new 5G private network that can fit in your bag

Virgin Media O2
(Image credit: Virgin Media O2)

Businesses in the UK can now get a private, standalone 5G network, at a flick of a switch thanks to Virgin Media O2 Business.

The comapny's new portable commercial 5G Standalone (SA) Private Network (PN) can even fit  into a single piece of equipment the size of a carry-on airline bag.

Virgin Media O2 Business argues the hardware eliminates the expenses and time needed to build out an entire network, as businesses from tech start-ups to large companies can now tap into secure 5G networking quickly.

Testing the solution

In fact, some companies have already had the opportunity to test the new offering out. Since the first trials, Virgin Media O2 Business deployed two 5G SA PN platforms, with Telefónica’s innovation arm, Wayra, being one of the testers. As of last summer, Wayra has been using the product, and start-ups based in its London office have already benefitted from the solution the company claims.

One of the firms is Mobilus Labs, a company developing communication solutions for workers in environments with extreme noise. Other companies that have tested the tool are offering products such as Virtual Reality (VR) applications, and Internet of Things (IoT) services, and these, too, have benefitted from the 5G SA PN, Virgin says.

These applications and features are leveraged using Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) and Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE), allowing firms to support mission-critical applications. Virgin Media O2 Business thus became the first UK’s telco to integrate MXIE into its private wireless offering, the company concluded. 

Jo Bertram, Managing Director at Virgin Media O2 Business, said: “Britain is a hub for innovation, so it’s crucial that companies operating here can access the connectivity needed to create new experiences for customers. From start-ups to large enterprises, our latest network solution will enable 5G trials and deployment without the time or cost of building a whole network. Removing barriers, like location and cost, to ensure that businesses get the connection they need.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.