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Factory Project Explores the Potential of 5G and Mobile Edge Computing









A company that manufactures the fiber-optic cable used to support telecommunications networks is the first enterprise to implement a newly available network that provides highly secure, near-real-time connectivity.

Corning Incorporated added this completely dedicated private network and mobile edge computing infrastructure to one of its plants. Provided through a collaboration between Verizon Business and Amazon Web Services (AWS), it’s called the Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Outposts, featuring on-site 5G.

“At Corning, we believe 5G will revolutionize the way people and companies interact with technology, and we’re excited to advance these developments in our own plant, where we manufacture the optical cable needed to support the networks,” Michael A. Bell, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Optical Communications, said in a press release announcing the project.

5G and Edge Compute On-Site

Mobile edge computing provides an IT service environment and cloud computing capabilities at the edge of the mobile network in close proximity to mobile subscribers, in order to reduce latency, ensure highly efficient network operation and service delivery, and offer an improved user experience, according to ETSI, a producer of globally applicable standards.

In the case of Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Outposts, Verizon explains, this enables the massive bandwidth and low latency needed to support real-time enterprise applications like intelligent logistics, factory automation and robotics.

Corning is using it at one of the world’s largest fiber-optic cable plants, experimenting with high-speed, high-volume data collection on the factory floor, quality assurance and on-premises inference using machine learning.

In a video about the project, Bell says this setup is helping with two challenges. It aids in process control, which is the monitoring and correction of defects, by more quickly processing and interpreting data. The system also improves throughput, which is having materials flow through a factory as fast as possible, by contributing to the operation of autonomous mobile robots.

Exploring the Potential of 5G

“Leveraging Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Outposts, we can improve safety, precision and efficiency as we explore the potential of 5G and private mobile edge computing,” Bell said.

The placement at the Corning plant marks the launch of Verizon’s private mobile edge computing solution with AWS Outposts, the mobile carrier said on Monday (Oct. 18). The solution is now generally available for sales to enterprise customers in the U.S.

“Through our partnership with AWS, we are helping customers unlock the true potential of 5G and edge computing, which together will enable innovative applications involving computer vision, augmented and virtual reality, and machine learning,” Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin explained in the press release. “We are just scraping the surface of the new experiences that will be enabled by having 5G and edge computing on-site.”

Breakthroughs in enabling technologies such as 5G are powering new connected economy use cases, as well as seamless and secure movement between devices and channels, PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster wrote in her connected economy piece on Monday (Oct. 18).

In healthcare, for example, operating room pilots using 5G and a video platform are underway, with the aim to match consumers who need a specialized surgical procedure with a surgeon who can perform it hundreds or even a thousand miles away.




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