Verizon announced that its millimeter wave-based 5G service is now live at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Virginia.
The carrier said that HII is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and its Newport News Shipbuilding division was seeking to find out how 5G can enhance the shipbuilding process as part of their digital transformation.
“We are excited to partner with Verizon on our digital journey and be one of the first complex manufacturing businesses in the US to have 5G on-site,” said Bharat Amin, executive vice president and CIO of Huntington Ingalls.“Adding this capability to our infrastructure will allow our workforce to have the right information, at the right time, and at the right location to perform their jobs.”
With the implementation of 5G’s increased bandwidth and ultra-low latency, NNS will be better equipped to meet network connectivity demands and will test new ways its engineers can use augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) to support architectural design and employee training, among other processes.
“The first and most meaningful use cases for 5G will be in the enterprise space and we’ve built our 5G network to support those truly differentiated experiences that will reshape entire industries,” said Tami Erwin, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Business Group. “We’re thrilled to bring 5G to Newport News Shipbuilding and explore how it can ultimately reshape the way shipbuilding is done.”
With 5G on site, NNS plans to test how 5G can drive manufacturing efficiencies that will transform business operations with increased automation, advanced robotics, 3D holographic design and real-time analytics. 5G could enable the company to connect hundreds of IoT sensors to provide real-time status of processing, machines, alarms, etc. to helping them make better decisions in near real-time.
“5G will be a game changer when our engineers can put on a pair of AR goggles connected to 5G and map out 3D drawings or video chat directly with the those employees working inside a ship in real-time,” said Brian Fields, vice president of Business Transformation and CIO at Newport News Shipbuilding. “Using 5G to connect our shipyard ecosystem and improving the productivity of our employees who are designing and building the nations warships will truly be transformational.”
Last month, Verizon launched commercial 5G services in Boston, Houston and Sioux Falls, bringing the total number of cities with 5G technology to 18. Verizon said that it aims to launch its millimeter wave-based 5G service in 30 cities by the end of 2020.
Verizon’s last 5G rollout was in September and occurred in parts of New York City, Boise, Idaho and Panama City, Florida.