ADNOC and e& Collaborate to Launch the Largest Private 5G Network in the Energy Sector

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The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced a collaboration with e&, formerly Etisalat Group, to develop the energy sector’s largest private 5G network. The venture aims to cover a vast 11,000 square kilometers of both onshore and offshore operations. This ambitious project is expected to be operational by 2025 and is projected to generate $1.5 billion in value within its first five years.

Notably, the identity of the network provider remains undisclosed. However, e& previously engaged Nokia for similar private 5G initiatives in the region. The Finnish vendor has an established reputation in Industry 4.0 sectors. They may again compete for this project, though formal tender procedures are anticipated.

ADNOC’s 5G network will utilize a carrier-grade macro infrastructure due to the project’s geographical scope. The technological integration aims to further enhance AI and IoT monitoring solutions. This integration promises reduced costs, improved automation, operational efficiency, better emissions management, and heightened worker safety.

The network will enable real-time data relay from sensors in 12,000 wells and pipelines to autonomous control rooms. This will provide crucial insights into asset longevity and field safety. Additionally, the network is expected to digitalize wellheads, offering end-to-end visibility over operations, subsequently driving productivity across ADNOC’s value chain.

In support of this major technological undertaking, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, ADNOC’s managing director and group CEO, stated, “Global demand is rising for both energy and AI. By investing in [private 5G]… we can continue providing secure, reliable, and responsible energy.” He emphasized that the partnership aims to enable quicker and smarter decision-making at all organizational levels.

Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, chairman of e&, remarked, “With connectivity being the backbone of technological advancements, we leverage our network and AI expertise to drive breakthroughs in the energy sector.” He also noted their continued collaboration with ADNOC and other key players to set new industry standards.

Referencing past collaborations, e& has an established agreement with Nokia for private 5G deployment targeting various industries including ports, oil, and gas. Nokia’s solutions include macro-sized and micro-sized modular private wireless, digital automation cloud solutions, and mobile edge computing.

This partnership represents a significant stride in integrating advanced digital solutions into the energy sector, reaffirming both ADNOC and e&’s positions as leaders in innovation and technology-driven operational improvements. The successful deployment of this expansive 5G network could set a precedent for future digital transformations in the industry.

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