Telefónica plumbs private 5G into new IoT platform to spur Industry 4.0 in Spain

Telefónica Tech, the digital services arm of Telefónica, has signed a deal with Spanish engineering services company Grupo Álava, to launch a predictive analytics solution for the Industry 4.0 market that also leverages private 5G, cloud and edge computing, and big-data ‘AI’ analytics from the Spanish operator. Grupo Álava, which claims the “best IoT platform” for predictive analytics and industrial automation, is providing the industrial software and know-how.

Their new predictive analytics offer, developed in “strategic partnership”, will allow industrial companies to digitize critical assets and maintenance processes with large-scale sensing and connectivity. It is aimed at manufacturing sites and industrial plants. The solution will cover “all their assets in the production chain”, the pair said – “not only those of high value, [such as] rotary engines, reciprocating machinery, electrical transformers [and so on]”.

Telefónica said LTE (4G) and 5G componentry will be available to enterprises via as part of the predictive analytics offer on both private and public network infrastructure, with edge-based private LTE/5G networks built using “several tier-one and tier-two vendors”, in accordance with its multi-vendor strategy. A spokesperson said: “There is not only one vendor to support our portfolio. Telefónica uses a multi-vendor strategy and [offers] interoperability [between] of all of them.”

A statement said of the new Industry 4.0 solution: “Data will be collected by sensors, connected through Telefónica Tech’s LTE and 5G mobile networks, stored and processed in industrial edge computing technology, and [made] accessible through a [Grupo Álava IoT] platform – from which operators will [receive insights] based on AI [analytics] capabilities to better manage the health of process machinery. [This will extend] its useful life and [optimize] maintenance costs.”

Grupo Álava, with an emerging line in sensor technology, claims an international scope for industrial markets, serving also universities, public bodies and research centres. Its IoT platform for predictive analytics integrates machine machine (“intelligent vision”) and industrial digital twin (“digitisation of civil engineering constructions”) capabilities. The solution… will contribute not only to boosting the safety, efficiency and competitiveness of the sector, but also to guaranteeing sustainability by avoiding many of the trips required in unscheduled maintenance,” said Telefónica.

Andrés Escribano, director of new business and Industry 4.0 at Telefónica Tech, said: “The agreement will allow us to extend and massify our predictive maintenance capabilities and help all companies in the industrial sector to avoid long downtime and reduce costs thanks to 5G, IoT, edge computing and big data technologies. Digital transformation plays a key role in the development of a more sustainable and resilient industrial activity.”

Yago Sanchez, director of alliances at Grupo Álava, said: “The combination of 5G and predictive [analytics]… allows… a giant step forward in the digitisation of industrial processes. [With] this agreement, the market has a unique solution that improves the productivity and profitability of business. This union offers guarantees… our current and future customers [will be able to] improve their competitiveness in the international market, thanks to the adoption of process digitalisation, predictive maintenance, [and] digital twins.”