Case studies

British Sugar

Fast, secure connectivity across every site with a dedicated 4G private network

Fast, secure connectivity across every site with a dedicated 4G private network

2 minutes

06th December 2023

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As part of its ‘Factories of the Future’ vision, British Sugar wanted to connect four huge factories across three English counties to help increase productivity and efficiency, as well as highlighting health and safety.

The challenge

  • British Sugar needed a flexible private network across multiple sites
  • The network had to be secure and multi-functional
  • We had to allow for a future transition from 4G to 5G

The solution

The first multi-site network of its kind in the UK is part of the ‘Factories of the Future’ initiative for British Sugar


The sites used to be monitored and managed via a central control room, but our private network means staff and managers can now take the control room with them and access it via mobile devices to get real-time updates on what’s happening across all four sites.


British Sugar has already seen productivity gains and received positive feedback from the workforce using the devices.


There are also plans to introduce future innovations that demand increased speed and capacity, as well as machine learning to help automate knowledge capture and make sure processes are as efficient as possible.


This is part of the evolution roadmap that will see an upgrade to 5G where it benefits site operations.

“Previously we needed someone in the control room and someone who could walk around the site. Now we have one person who can walk around the site with the control room in their hands.”


Paul Hitchcock Head of Engineering & Technology, British Sugar


“We looked at what British Sugar wanted, where they aspired to be and at what pace they were going on that journey. We’re now delivering full connectivity across every square foot that they asked for, with a network that will grow with their requirements.”


Grant Shenton Account Director for ABF, Virgin Media O2 Business


The outcome

Our network is already delivering efficiencies and cost benefits across the business.


  • Full control of a secure private network, with data management dashboards and the ability to add or remove apps
  • Technical flexibility
  • Improved health and safety and security
  • Increased productivity and efficiency
  • Future transition from 4G to 5G
  • Cost savings over time
  • The capacity to expand to smart tech, including internet of things, robotics, automation and even health and safety drones

“For me, the best part of the solution is that you hardly notice it, because it’s just working. And the managed service means we can concentrate on doing what we do, and Virgin Media O2 Business can manage the network on our behalf.”


Steve Pritchard Senior IT Business Partner, British Sugar