5G COLLABORATION CITY OF EINDHOVEN, VODAFONEZIGGO AND ERICSSON
In Eindhoven, inhabitants, students, start-ups and businesses can use ‘genuine 5G’ in the second half of 2019 in order to improve the city in a number of test locations. ‘Genuine 5G’ means using the 3.5 Gigahertz frequency which is essential for a full mobile 5G experience in the Netherlands. The focus will be on 5G-enabled new applications. In addition, the latest devices suitable for 3.5 GHz can be tested. The city of Eindhoven, telecom company VodafoneZiggo and network partner Ericsson have signed a letter of intent to this end.
The key question in the collaboration is how to solve social challenges in cities – like the increasing reliance on care or traffic issues – by using new technologies. Other aspects, like questions about possible health consequences and spatial incorporation, are also addressed. The mobile 5G network of the future is the successor of the current 4G network and comprises a combination of innovations that can be used to this end.
Important aspects of 5G for consumers and the business world are: even higher speeds, increased network capacity, low latency and the ability to connect even more, different kinds of devices with the internet (‘internet of things’). The parties involved take on a social commitment and focus on rolling out 5G test facilities in a number of locations in Eindhoven. To this end, the Radio Communications Agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has allocated temporary frequency space.
- The 5G test frequency in Eindhoven can be used for pilots that have a social impact on everyone in the city. A concrete project in preparation is ‘Connected Ambulances’, in which VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson partner with Philips, the GGD ambulance service and the Catharina Hospital in the region. The aim is to use the superfast 5G connection for ‘remote medical assistance’ for diagnosing and preparing for treatment.
- In addition, on High Tech Campus Eindhoven a 5G lab will be set up where businesses (start-ups, SMEs, multinationals), students and scientists can test new 5G applications and prototypes and submit them to a practical test. LUMO Labs, the Eindhoven-based ‘early phase’ investor and accelerator, will boost this as a partner and select and guide start-ups and student initiatives.
- A number of initiatives will focus on the development of ‘smart locations’, to have a wider public experience what’s happening in the city. In the PSV Philips Stadium tests will be carried out with 5G 360-degrees cameras that will show the moves of the soccer players from a self-chosen viewpoint. You are virtually sitting front row or even next to the substitutes in the dugout, whilst watching from your own chair at home. For the Effenaar pop temple in Eindhoven, there are plans for a virtual ‘live’ presence at pop concerts or events. Specific 5G experiments will become possible, for example by adding a digital layer with additional information. This will make the remote experience even more special.
Eindhoven leading in social 5G commitment
‘As high-tech city of Eindhoven we are convinced that 5G technology can make a valuable contribution to our society,’ explains Stijn Steenbakkers, the alderman for Economy, Brainport, Education and Innovation of the city of Eindhoven. ‘Which is why we have expressed an ambition in the Brainport National Action Agenda with the central government for a region-wide 5G pilot. We are pleased with the parties’ enthusiasm from the social innovations. But for us as municipality, the welfare of our inhabitants is always paramount. We therefore request parties to address any questions or concerns of local residents regarding possible health or spatial consequences by providing independent research, transparent measurements and public information. Parties have agreed to include these responsibilities in each project plan.’
VodafoneZiggo makes 5G test licence available
VodafoneZiggo is pleased with Eindhoven as new test location for ‘genuine 5G’. CEO Jeroen Hoencamp: ‘We work hard on the network of the future, fixed as well as mobile. To that end we – together with other parties and entrepreneurs – are already conducting pilots in 5Groningen where we use simulations to test new techniques like network slicing and edge computing. Until now, we didn’t have the opportunity to test that with the 3.5 GHz frequency. That’s why we are delighted that we can utilize the 3.5 GHz test licence “down south” to test genuine 5G in Eindhoven in the near future. The good thing is that in this way we will gain practical experience, while also providing value to people and society with the pilots. It’s an express wish of all parties involved to offer continued guarantees for the safety of employees, customers and their environment.’
Ericsson brings international 5G experience to the table
Network partner Ericsson is also very satisfied with the upcoming roll-out of the 5G test locations in Eindhoven. General manager John Zijlmans at Ericsson states: ‘Not just because of the 5G technology roll-out and optimization services which we are to provide and test with VodafoneZiggo, but especially because of the unique collaboration, the innovative character and application in a Dutch environment. Our international experience as Ericsson with rolling out 5G networks will definitely be very useful when it comes to tailor-made solutions. We are therefore proud to be able to contribute to this forward leap by using our expertise and state-of-the-art technology.’
Signing with Ajax v PSV in hologram
Signing of the 5G letter of intent took place on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven during the working visit of the European Commission, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and 70 representatives of European cities. These representatives witnessed how the 5G agreement between the city of Eindhoven, VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson was symbolized by a virtual meeting of the general managers Edwin van der Sar of Ajax and Toon Gerbrands of PSV. From Amsterdam, Van der Sar was present in Eindhoven as a hologram to wish his opponent all the best for the classic encounter between Ajax and PSV this weekend. In doing so, they underlined the importance of new technology in relation to the soccer fans.