Phillips 66 Runs Private Cellular Network Proof of Concept for IIoT
Tuesday, July 07, 2020 | Comments

Accenture and AT&T are working with Phillips 66 to develop industrial cellular wireless connectivity with the development of a private cellular network solution for potential future 5G use cases, including support for industrial internet of things (IIoT) and low-latency applications.

Phillips 66 invited Accenture to address performance gaps with its existing public cellular network near one of its refineries in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The private cellular network was selected as a proof of concept to demonstrate the ability to handle increased mobile connectivity needs from the ongoing Phillips 66 digital transformation initiatives. AT&T developed the necessary engineering for a dedicated cellular network solution, using multiaccess edge compute across licensed spectrum.

“Mobile applications are central to our day-to-day business activities — we use them for safety inspection forms for oil distillation units, capacity tracking and more — so connectivity is critical to keeping our operations running,” said Zhanna Golodryga, senior vice president, chief digital and administrative officer at Phillips 66. “The results of the proof of concept are promising. This private cellular network can address existing coverage gaps today and potentially lays the foundation for pervasive connectivity to enable upcoming use cases based on IIoT and 5G.”

During the proof of concept, teams could bring dedicated private cellular infrastructure onsite and record speed improvements at the refinery. In addition, the cellular reference signals showed the potential for improvement in signal strength at selected process units. At Phillips 66, a number of technical hurdles continue to be worked out, and sustainable engineering solutions are being developed before the cellular option can be made available for scale deployments while meeting the operational requirements at the refineries.

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