Telenor Norway to launch 5G testing in Kongsberg next year

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Telenor Norway has chosen the city of Kongsberg as its first testbed for 5G with plans to trial the likes of autonomous buses and drones, emergency communication and eHealth services.

An agreement was signed at last week's Kongsberg Technology Summit. In addition to Telenor Norway, the trials will involve Kongsberg local government, automated transport company Applied Autonomy, and the Kongsberg Innovasjon incubator.

Work is underway to identify optimal base station locations around Kongsberg industrial park. The project's partners will also determine the specific areas that will be focused upon before carrying out trials in the second half of next year.

Telenor Norway said it would use network slicing to deliver bespoke connectivity for specific requirements.

Ove Fredheim, Head of Telenor's Corporate Market Division, said: "5G technology could transform many critical social applications such as traffic management, health services and key communication services, including emergency communication. We are therefore thrilled to announce this partnership with Kongsberg's exciting environment of innovation."

He added: "We will test specific applications and technologies which will be controlled via the 5G network. The initial trials will involve an autonomous bus, which will have a dedicated 5G network from the railway station to the industrial park in Kongsberg."

[Read more: Telenor Research marks golden anniversary with AI, 5G, IoT focus]

Olav Madland of Applied Autonomy said: "As an industrial actor, early access to 5G gives us unique opportunities on a global scale to showcase exciting services. In a way, autonomous vehicles are large mobile phones on wheels; a more powerful mobile network allows these to be utilised and managed more effectively, safely and efficiently."

Last month, Telenor announced it was opening an Internet of Things focused lab in Norway for start-ups, students and developers.