Computer Vision and 5G Boost Energy Industry Efficiency and Safety

Computer vision and 5G boost energy industry efficiency and safety.

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Natacha Baroni, Head of Energy Product Marketing at T-Mobile for Business

The energy industry is facing demands to incorporate renewable technologies, ensure grid resilience, manage extreme climate events, and combat security threats—all while keeping costs in check. More essential than ever are efficiency, reliability, and safety. Two technologies that—together—can help you realize your goals are computer vision supported by 5G connectivity.


How computer vision works with 5G.

Computer vision captures images with camera systems and uses advanced computing to analyze them and provide insight into operations. Computer vision systems can cost-effectively survey large areas, even in remote locations, to handle critical tasks like inspecting transmission lines, detecting intruders or fire, and monitoring power substations. High-quality visuals augmented with sensor data give you a detailed picture of the utility landscape.

Although businesses have used computer vision technology for years, utilities today require rapid, immediate, and secure data transmission and outstanding coverage for critical use cases. More and better data delivered faster supports vital staff decisions, while automated systems can react to changes almost instantly to optimize operations.

Use cases

Computer vision apps powered by 5G.

The following computer vision use cases, especially when combined with 5G, have led to smart, effective, and enhanced operations.

Drone inspections of poles, towers, lines, and substations.
To identify issues proactively, many utilities use drones to inspect power generation, transmission, distribution, and substation networks. Cameras acquire detailed photos and videos, and 5G supports rapid transmission of data-intensive files to the back office. There, staff can evaluate visuals and provide instructions while crews are still at remote sites. Real-time decision-making helps improve outcomes while potentially saving time and money.

Surveillance at substations.
Equipment reliability, safety, and security are more important than ever for electrical utilities. That’s especially true for substations, where attacks are increasing, according to Mobile Communications America. Video surveillance and remote monitoring ensure that even substations located in the most distant and rural areas remain secure. If an intruder does enter your property, you can use computer vision, for example, to detect their presence, conduct facial or license plate recognition, communicate with them, and notify law enforcement.

Early detection of wildfires.
Fires sparked by utility equipment result in injuries and fatalities as well as loss of homes and businesses. Computer vision systems help uncover anomalies in infrastructure that can lead to equipment failure and ignition. In addition, utilities can use computer vision for early wildfire detection with real-time alerts and precise location information. Responders get the data they need to reach the scene quickly, act effectively, and protect communities and the environment.

Transmission and distribution health and planning.
Field technicians cover thousands of miles to perform maintenance and repairs, audit and upgrade poles, and install meters. Real-time video transmission and software syncing with back-office systems enriches communication and fine-tunes guidance. When severe weather or a power outage hits, the low latency and high reliability of 5G ensures everyone has up-to-date information at all times. The upshot—less downtime and expense.

Our role

T-Mobile for Business can help.

Computer vision paired with 5G can help your utility stay ahead of the ever-changing energy world while controlling costs. But for today’s critical applications, you need the speed, reliability, and coverage that makes T-Mobile 5G a better choice than LTE or 5G from any other carrier. For further information, contact T-Mobile for Business.

T-Mobile has America’s largest and fastest 5G network, imagined for tomorrow but ready to give you an edge today. At T-Mobile for Business, we’re focused on providing your business with connectivity solutions and the dedicated, exceptional service you need to help you stay ahead. T-Mobile experts will work with you from beginning to end to help you select a network solution and achieve your modernization goals. To learn more about how T-Mobile is fueling digital transformation for today’s energy companies, visit our energy industry page.

About the author:

Natacha Baroni.

Natacha Baroni is the Head of Energy Product Marketing at T-Mobile for Business, with over a decade of experience enabling customers in the energy industry improve efficiency, digital transformation, and safety. Specializing in marketing and product management, Natacha uses her experience to bring industry and customer perspectives into the development of business initiatives and go to market strategies to best meet industry needs.

Natacha holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and an MBA from Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis.

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