The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and UK company Mettis Aerospace will conduct the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 Industrial Enterprise and IoT trial as part of alliance’s ongoing Wi-Fi 6 programme.

To be launched in the second half of 2019, the trial is aimed at demonstrating the role Wi-Fi 6 can play in the broader 5G ecosystem during the transformation for Industry 4.0.

Mettis Aerospace designs and manufactures precision-forged, machined and sub-assembled components mainly for the aerospace and defence industries.

The company is a major supplier for companies such as Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce and will work with WBA members to test use cases on a Wi-Fi 6 network at its 27-acre facility in the West Midlands.

“Wi-Fi 6 is expected to support the provision of cost-effective enterprise-level connectivity in this industrial environment while using the latest security capabilities.”

The use cases include real-time energy monitoring; multi-stream live video monitoring; ultra-reliable, low-latency communications with sensors on critical systems; and augmented reality (AR) for troubleshooting.

The first of a series of global trials, the programme at the West Midlands will involve the use of AR, real-time monitoring of equipment, as well as other applications in an enterprise network environment designed to digitise Mettis’ production line.

During the trial, both partners will be required to provide connectivity over a large area, overcome industrial radio interference that can disrupt signals, provide high bandwidth for some applications, resolve low latency problems and prioritise data for mission-critical applications.

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Wi-Fi 6 is expected to support the provision of cost-effective enterprise-level connectivity in this industrial environment while using the latest security capabilities.

WBA and Mettis Aerospace will manage the trial, supported by WBA members such as British Telecom, Broadcom, Boingo, BSG Wireless, Cisco, CableLabs, Intel and HPE Aruba.

Under the leadership of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, the West Midlands region has been selected as the UK’s 5G Testbed for manufacturing and security by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The WBA Board includes AT&T, BT, Boingo Wireless, Cisco, Comcast, Intel, Liberty Global, KT Corporation, NTT DOCOMO and Orange.