BT to invest almost £100 million in innovative 5G and edge business use cases

A person operating a 5G-powered robotic arm with the help of remote controls and a VR headset
BT's 5G-powered remotely-controlled robotic arm (Image credit: BT)

BT is set to invest close to £100 million over the next three years in its Division X business unit, which develops 5G, edge computing, IoT, cloud, and AI-based solutions for enterprise customers.

These products and services largely cater for the manufacturing, health, port operations, transport, and logistics sectors.

These include a 5G-powered robotic arm, which could lower the risk of injuries in high-risk industries such as mining, as well as a Connected Healthcare Backpack equipped with a digital stethoscope and video technology that will allow first responders to treat patients in remote locations while staying connected to hospital-based experts.

The investment is part of the newly-unveiled Charter that aims to benefit the UK telco’s 1.2 million business and public sector customers.

Apart from investing in innovative technologies, the Charter will also see BT launch new cyber defence and assessment tools, including the Safe Security cyber health check tool, which is available to larger UK corporate and public sector customers starting today.

BT also aims to shorten the time required for installing or repairing ethernet connections, and launch the UK’s first service that will increase broadband speeds for thousands of small businesses currently dependent on copper lines by combining 4G and fixed line speeds.


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Small businesses will also benefit from a new partnership network launched by BT and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) that will provide customers with exclusive offers across areas including broadband, mobile, digital marketing, and connected devices.

Moreover, the Charter will also see BT welcome an additional 350,000 small businesses to its free digital skills programme by the end of March 2023, as well as launch a new suite of smart business tools that build on BT’s Digital Marketing Hub launched in October 2021.

BT Group Enterprise CEO Rob Shuter said that the Charter had been created based on customer feedback and “reflects the priorities that our 1.2m business and public customers expect to see from BT”.

“[We] based our Charter on four key promises – that we’ll lead the way in innovation; we’ll be trusted experts in our fields; we’ll be easier to do business with; and we’ll continue to put purpose at the heart of our business,” he told attendees of the launch event at BT’s One Braham headquarters.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.