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How to Unlock Private 5G Networks for Critical Communications

MosoLabs and Ecrio warehouse use case for critical communications

Critical communications ensure operational efficiency and safety across multiple industries, from manufacturing and logistics to energy and defense. It encompasses human-to-human (H2H) interactions, such as direct voice communications, and human-to-machine (H2M) interactions, including data analysis and guided, feedback-based actions. Private 5G networks, which offer low latency and robust security, are increasingly enabling critical communications for enterprises of all sizes. These deployments typically include radios, cameras, and sensors managed by device clients and edge communication server software.

We recently sat down with Michel Gannage, Founder and CEO of Ecrio, to discuss how innovative products like Ecrio’s Digital Twin Engine (DTE) and MosoLabs’ Canopy Radio and Clear Edge Camera are  maximizing the potential of private 5G networks for critical communications. As this Q&A highlights, MosoLabs and Ecrio are at the forefront of streamlining private 5G network integration and accelerating deployments in warehouses, ports, oil rigs, and border zones.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for enterprises that want to build private 5G networks to support their critical communications infrastructure?

Michel: Efficiently and cost-effectively scaling down the public 5G H2H communication platforms for private 5G networks has been a struggle for the industry. These platforms were initially designed to support hundreds of millions of users across wide geographies, not thousands or hundreds in specific areas. Another big challenge is the seamless integration of H2M interactions on the same communication platform used for H2H interactions, a functionality that is sought-after in many verticals. We are seeing an emergence of use cases around private 5G where the use of voice related technology can increase the operational efficiencies in manufacturing, retail, oil & gas, mining, … As you look at the digital transformation and evolution of industry 4.x, data related applications and use cases will be augmented by interactive applications, and voice is just the cornerstone of interaction. Ecrio’s iota-e provides a single critical communication platform that seamlessly supports both H2H and H2M interactions.

Q: Can you describe some of the H2H interactions that critical communication infrastructure running on private 5G networks must support?

Michel: There are two primary types of H2H interactions: Voice/Video calling and Mission Critical Push to Talk, often called MCX. Voice/Video calling can be done natively using the dialer, which requires a tight integration between the communications platform and the network core. This allows users to make phone calls directly from their iOS or Android native dialers. Voice/Video calling can also be performed via a downloadable app that allows voice and video calls, as well as push-to-talk functions. Notably, the Ecrio Communication Pack seamlessly supports both native dialing and app-based H2H communications.

Q: What about H2M interactions?

Michel: H2M interactions leverage foundational voice and collaboration AI features (Computer vision, Natural language processing, Gen AI) of the platform that are becoming essential for the success of any private 5G network. It includes command and control of devices such as cameras, drones, and sensors in private 5G networks. This can be performed via messaging or voice, with push-to-talk being an ideal platform for command and control of IIOT devices. For example, when cameras or sensors send a text alert about a safety violation, this alert is converted into a voice message for immediate action by a technician who in turn can respond with voice. With voice, computer vision, NLP and Gen AI, you could change the world around a technician on a manufacturing line trying to keep the production line up and running. The Ecrio DTE Pack supports both messaging and Push-to-Talk based H2M interactions

Q: What are some real-world examples that showcase how MosoLabs and Ecrio are unlocking private 5G networks for critical communications?

Michel: For the first example, let’s highlight a warehouse facility with private 5G connectivity provided by MosoLabs and critical communications software enabled by Ecrio. As trucks enter the warehouse, the Ecrio driver app connects to the private 5G network via MosoLabs Canopy radios, guiding users to assigned loading docks. MosoLabs Edge and Mini-Dome cameras installed on the wall and ceiling read license plates, transmitting crucial information, such as shipment contents and destination, to warehouse workers.

Moso and Ecrio warehouse video

Click here to view the warehouse video

Workers receive instructions via group push-to-talk notifications on their smartphones or tablets, while drones equipped with high-resolution cameras continue to inspect and verify truck contents. Mounted on forklifts, MosoLabs cameras ensure secure and efficient operations by collecting crucial telemetry data and monitoring safety regulation compliance.

Michel: A second example is a state-of-the-art port that was showcased in the AWS booth at MWC 2024 in collaboration with other partners of the AWS ecosystem. When a ship approaches the dock, the captain launches Ecrio’s ePort Connect app, which connects to MosoLabs 5G radios and retrieves geofence parameters to assist with safe and secure docking procedures. The app then displays key port contacts and synchronizes with various systems, including container tracking devices and automated cranes.

Ecrio, MosoLabs and other partners create use case for ports Click on the image to view the video.

 Click here to view the port video

The app continuously updates the captain with real-time data, monitoring loading and unloading with MosoLabs camera feeds and a network of sophisticated sensors. If safety guidelines are not followed or if there are serious delays, the captain can use the app to communicate with port worker supervisors.

Q: Looking beyond warehouses and ports, what are some additional deployment scenarios that benefit from private 5G networks?

Michel: The oil and gas industry, for one. Sea and land-based drilling rigs rely on thousands of sensors and cameras connected to private 5G networks to monitor crucial operating parameters such as flow, temperature, and pressure. Remote terminal units (RTUs) collect and transmit this data to control centers, enabling critical communication and efficient operations. Similarly, camera-equipped drones, guided by GPS, continuously survey oil fields and relay crucial data via private 5G networks.

Q: What about defense and smart farming?

Michel: Private 5G networks are also transformative for these deployments, which may be intermittently or permanently disconnected from public 5G. Deploying a “network in a box” allows militaries to communicate securely over a 2–4-kilometer radius. Unlike earlier generations of UHF/VHF based radio communication, private 5G enables new features and functionalities, such as video and file sharing, that are essential for modern military operations. These networks can be interconnected via satellite to maintain communication across extensive areas for border security. In large-scale smart farming deployments, private 5G networks support automated machinery and real-time monitoring of crop and soil conditions. In both scenarios, localized private 5G networks with sensor or camera bubbles—clusters of interconnected endpoints that monitor and relay data—ensure reliable and efficient operations.

Q: How can someone learn more about unlocking private 5G networks for critical communications with MosoLabs and Ecrio?

Michel: More details can be found here and anyone can reach out to info@ecrio.com to set up a demo.

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