Vodafone joins Linux Foundation sub-group to drive forward the industrial internet

Factory robots are less likely to crash into other machines and people, cars can automatically warn cyclists of hazards ahead and drones carrying life-savings supplies are ensured safe passage. These are just some of the applications Vodafone is introducing to the global industry group, LF Edge.

LF Edge is an umbrella organisation within the Linux Foundation dedicated to creating global collaboration on edge computing. Members of LF Edge are some of the biggest names in telecommunications and technology.

Premier Member

Today Vodafone joins its extensive network of partners and developers. As a Premier member of LF Edge, Vodafone will participate actively in its governance, with Sampada Basarker, Product & Platform Engineering Director at Vodafone, gaining a seat on the project’s Governing Board, Technical Advisory Council, and other committees. From this position, Vodafone can help shape the strategic direction of LF Edge projects and the development of industry standards.

This membership enables Vodafone to leverage the collective capabilities of open-source edge computing to develop advanced networks for customers of Vodafone Business. They will be able to make full use of applications that require low latency and high reliability, like 5G, IoT, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles.

Vodafone is also an active member of LF Edge’s parent body the Linux Foundation, which provides a neutral, trusted hub for nearly 780,000 developers and thousands of organisations to code, manage, and scale open technology projects and ecosystems.

Driving forward the Industrial Internet

Vodafone’s participation is backed by its new, major project for LF Edge, called InstantX (Instant EXchange), which offers many potential applications that leverage low latency and highly responsive technologies to drive forward the industrial internet.

Just as 4G unlocked the consumer mobile internet, the industrial internet will be enabled by programmable 5G standalone networks, edge computing and open APIs. Connecting machines and applications with cloud-based AI powered services will become as commonplace as communicating via social media platforms.

InstantX is key to this vision. It is designed to ensure the secure and reliable exchange and distribution of data in real-time between users in a certain geography. It uses ‘far-edge’ or ‘industrial-edge’ computing power which works by locating smaller, industrial servers outside a main data centre but closer to users.

Real life examples

Vodafone has developed several applications under InstantX. For example, Vodafone has already successfully tested improved road safety systems in several European countries. This allows pedestrians, cyclists and motorists plus their vehicles to share vital information with each other such as hazard warnings and difficult road conditions.

Other potential uses include the coordination and control of autonomous robots in smart factories to avoid collisions with other machines, and more importantly, people. It can also help to track, monitor and control beyond-the-line-of-sight drones carrying vital supplies.

Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT at the Linux Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vodafone and its innovative project into our community. Vodafone’s participation will propel our efforts to develop more robust and interoperable edge computing frameworks, particularly enhancing 5G and mobile private network connectivity.”

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