Europe’s largest 5G research network goes live in Germany

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The 5G-Industry Campus Europe, billed as Europe’s largest 5G research network, has gone live in Aachen, Germany.

Spanning a square kilometre of the Melaten campus of RWTH Aachen University, the network connects the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering and the FIR (Institute for Industrial Management).

The institutes will research and test industrial 5G use cases over the next three years with bandwidth of 10Gbps.

Monitor, control

This could include sensor technology for monitoring and controlling complex production processes, mobile robotics and logistics, and cross-location production chains.

The launch comes after the initiative was awarded a first 5G licence in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range in March.

Niels König from Fraunhofer, 5G-Industry Campus Europe Project Leader, Fraunhofer IPT*, said, “This is where we create the future for innovative production. Joining companies and research partners, we are creating a completely new infrastructure with the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, where we can test and try out different 5G applications in production and logistics.

"This will completely redefine the previous requirements for the industries.”

Data processing

Edge-cloud systems for fast data processing for fully networked and adaptive production will also be tested.

“With the intelligent interaction of the 5G network and local edge-cloud systems, we are able to implement end-to-end real-time applications in a scalable way – from the sensor to the cloud. We [have created] a unique ecosystem in Aachen, in which forward-looking concepts and architectures, such as real-time process analyses or closed-loop applications, can be implemented and validated holistically,” said Sven Jung, technical lead for the work.

Ericsson is a technology supplier for the project.

Becoming real

Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, Head of the Ericsson ICT Development Center Eurolab in Herzogenrath near Aachen, said, “We are delighted that the project presented jointly at Hannover Messe 2019 is now becoming reality, and that the 5G-Industry Campus Europe is creating a worldwide unique ecosystem for research, development and adaptation of 5G technologies for Industry 4.0.”

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in Germany.

*(From left to right) Prof. Thomas Bergs and Prof. Robert Schmitt (Directors of WZL and Fraunhofer IPT), Olaf Reus (Member of the Management Board Ericsson GmbH), Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen (Director Ericsson ICT Development Center Eurolab), Sven Jung (Technical Director 5G at Fraunhofer IPT), Niels König (Project Manager 5G-Industry Campus Europe).