The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 Industrial Enterprise and IoT trial, as part of its ongoing Wi-Fi 6 program. Mettis Aerospace will work with WBA members to test several use cases on a Wi-Fi 6 network at its 27-acre West Midlands facility.
The trial, the first of a series of global trials, will enable the use of augmented reality, real-time monitoring of equipment, and a host of other applications in an enterprise network environment designed to digitize Mettis’ production line. Mettis Aerospace is a key supplier for organizations like Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.
The Mettis Aerospace environment is challenging from a connectivity perspective, with a large geography to be covered, and industrial radio interference that can disrupt signals. Some applications will require high bandwidth, others low latency, and mission critical applications need clear prioritization for data.
The West Midlands region, under the leadership of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, was selected to be the UK’s 5G Testbed for manufacturing and security by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. This trial will demonstrate the role that Wi-Fi 6 has to play in the broader 5G ecosystem.
The trial is being managed by the WBA and Mettis Aerospace, and supported by WBA members including British Telecom, Boingo, Broadcom, BSG Wireless, CableLabs, Cisco, HPE Aruba and Intel. It is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2019. For more details, checkout the WBA Wi-Fi 6 program.