Today, the 5G HUB in Eindhoven has been opened by founding partners Vodafone, Ericsson, Brainport Development and High Tech Campus. On this location, companies, start-ups, authorities and students are joining forces to put the new technology of 5G into practice. At the opening, representatives of the government, science and the corporate sector called the 5G HUB an indispensable link in the introduction of fifth generation mobile internet in the Netherlands. Attention was also given to questions and concerns about 5G by means of, among other things, the website www.5ghub.nl.
Breeding ground 5G technology
The 5G HUB in the region Brainport Eindhoven must be seen as a breeding place for new 5G technology. The hub at the High Tech Campus consists of over 700 square metres floor space and is situated close to techno giants like ASML, Philips, TNO and TomTom. Expectations are that in the coming years numerous new ideas and applications will be created in the field of 5G and other technologies like photonica, blockchain and machine learning. To this end, the hub has been equipped with radio technology, so that 5G can be applied. It is ready for the 3.5 gigahertz test frequency, offering superfast speeds and ultrashort response times. To achieve maximum capacity, this can be combined with existing 4G frequency bands 800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 megahertz which are also available in the hub. In this way, companies can bring their 5G innovations from idea and research to results in practice.
At least six start-ups by the end of 2020
The 5G HUB has a specially developed innovation programme focusing on health, entertainment, business, sports and culture. The area has a flexible design, suitable for inspiration sessions and demonstrations, including a stand with 70 seats. On Tuesdays, there is a walk-in hour for the first intake of ideas. Companies, start-ups, students and schools can register for this on the website. Several parties have already reserved space in the hub. Like the VNG (Association of Netherlands Municipalities) for example. They want to gain experience with ‘machine learning’, traffic lights learning to adapt to traffic situations, based on data flows. The ambition of the 5G HUB is to have at least six organisations working on new applications by the end of 2020.
Live pilot ‘connected ambulance’
With the pilot ‘connected ambulance’ Philips, the GGD Brabant-Zuidoost and the Catharina Hospital demonstrated the opportunities of 5G for the health sector. With 5G it is possible to transmit more data and use network slicing to prioritize certain data traffic. It enables, for example, setting up a reliable connection between a doctor in the hospital and the paramedics in the ambulance. In the ‘connected ambulance’ pilot, a doctor can already look at the ultrasound scans of a patient en route to the hospital. Subsequently, the doctor can advise the paramedics about initiating suitable treatment, based on the ultrasound images he can view real time and in high resolution. In a medical emergency every second counts and a patient’s life may depend on receiving the right treatment right away.
Quotes from the founding partners
- Eben Albertyn, Executive Director Technology VodafoneZiggo, says: 'With GigaNet, the powerful network of Vodafone and Ziggo, we are preparing for the arrival of 5G in the Netherlands. That is why, as a frontrunner, we are involved in the 5G HUB. It enables us – together with entrepreneurs and start-ups – to gain experience with 5G technology, new developments and competencies that are crucial in tomorrow’s society. In addition, it is also an excellent platform to identify, research and apply new applications in the forthcoming 5G reality, together with customers and organizations.’
- John Zijlmans, general manager Ericsson: ‘We are the proud supplier of the newest, most reliable and robust 5G technology, with which we can help innovators at large companies and start-ups in the hub with all kinds of 5G applications. As a global player in network equipment we have gained international experience with the roll-out of 24 live 5G networks in 14 countries, spread across four continents. We help the Dutch market realize 5G applications in the 5G HUB in Eindhoven and are ready for greater things that lie ahead.’
- Jan-Willem Neggers, managing director of the High Tech Campus, indicated that in 2030, the Campus wants to be one of the largest technology hotspots in Europe: ‘The 5G HUB is, therefore, a logical element in order to address the big challenges in society faster. Especially with a view to new connectivity and technological developments of 5G and artificial intelligence, in which a superfast exchange of data is crucial. You need to be able to test that here, in the technical heart of the region.’
- Paul van Nunen, managing director of Brainport Development explained that the 5G HUB forms a typical example of the way of working in Brainport: 'We bring knowledge, businesses and authorities together. Technology contributes to new products and services that society benefits from. Take the emergency services for example, ambulances equipped with 5G enable the paramedics to improve their treatment of a patient on site, in close consultation with the specialist in the hospital. That saves time and thus, lives.'
A flying start
The realization of the 5G HUB hasn’t remained unnoticed and is off to a flying start. Thirty parties have already expressed their interest to participate in the hub. In the meantime, the city of Eindhoven, involved in this initiative from the very beginning, has transferred its role to Brainport Development. This organization stimulates economic developments in 21 municipalities in the region, joining forces with companies, authorities, teaching institutes and knowledge centres. Managing director Paul van Nunen of Brainport Development: ‘Such a development process requires careful coordination with all parties involved and the result counts: a 5G HUB the entire ecosystem can benefit from.’ Partly due to the commitment of Brainport Development it is expected that the number of parties participating will increase sharply.
Attention to health
One of the very first things the city of Eindhoven had all the founding partners agree upon in the run-up to the 5G HUB, is that they look at health and safety. Not only with regard to visitors, but also with regard to people living in the neighbourhood and other interested persons. On the website www.5ghub.nl articles are published about activities and progress. The website also publishes the results of measurements that will be regularly carried out by independent radiation experts of the Eindhoven University of Technology.