Dutch province launches first 5G testbed in rural area
The province of North Groningen in the Netherlands has officially launched 5Groningen, a first-of-its-kind 5G testbed in a rural area. Partners include Vodafone, Ericsson and Huawei.
The Dutch province of North Groningen has just announced the launch of a 5G testbed, the first in a rural area in Europe. 5G testbeds have up until now been primarily focused on densely populated urban areas, with uses cases such as self-driving and smart city.
As part of the 5G testbed initiative, North Groningen has partnered with dutch operator KPN, the Dutch Telecommunications Agency (Agentschap Telecom), Vodafone, Ericsson, TNO, Huawei, the University of Groningen, SURF and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. ”Many residents and businesses in North Groningen have no fast internet yet. That must change. We have high ambitions in the field of testing the latest mobile communication (5G),” said Economic Board Groningen.
The first practical tests in the new 5G testbed will be carried out this year on the Zernike Campus in Groningen. Businesses and organizations in the area have been encouraged to contribute with initiatives and ideas to the 5G testbed, in particular in the fields of agriculture, care, energy, transport and logistics, and environment. Relevant use cases could include self-driving cars and monitoring of crop diseases, Economic Board Groningen stated. “The Netherlands has high-speed networks for mobile internet. The government wants North Groningen and the rest of the Netherlands to also benefit in the future from new developments such as 5G mobile internet. That is of value to both consumers and businesses. Not only economically, but also in enabling innovation, for example in healthcare and agriculture,” said Henk Kamp, the Dutch minister for economic affairs.
Peter Rake, 5G program manager at Economic Board Groningen said the agricultural sector was set to act as a pioneer in 5G. “Farmers are really at the forefront of innovation when it comes to business efficiency as well as environmental sustainability and protection,” he said. ”The Netherlands, but also Europe, are paying close attention to agricultural innovations in the field of sensors, drones and other technologies that will benefit from 5G development.”
A combination of factors have made North Groningen the place of choice for 5G testing: there is plenty of space, the region needs an economic boost and there are a number of prominent research institutes in the area, according to Economic Board Groningen.
North Groningen’s 5G testbed is a good example of how local and regional authorities can team up with actors from the industry, the local economy and academia to attract innovation. 5G testbeds are multiplying around the world as the race for 5G supremacy accelerates. However, many use cases for 5G, such as autonomous driving, smart cities, industry 4.0, have until now primarily focused on densely populated areas or areas with large industrial companies. Just as with 4G, there is a risk that rural areas might have to wait longer than cities to harvest the promised benefits of 5G technologies. North Groningen’s 5G testbed might inspire other rural areas as well as industry players to follow in their footsteps.
IIoT News Recap: Dassault and Cybernaut to test 3D for smart cities in China; Hyundai Mobis to test self-driving cars on real roads; CCIA says FCC should support proposal to free up spectrum for 5G; Today’s forecast: The goods tracking market
Smart city: Dassault and Cybernaut to test 3D for smart cities in China
France-based Dassault Systèmes and Chinese private equity fund Cybernaut Investment Group have entered an agreement to collaborate on 3D industry park construction and smart city projects in China using Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform. “With our solid experience on the ‘Virtual Singapore’ project, Dassault Systèmes is confident that we can replicate successful examples in other cities around the world,” said Bernard Charlès, president and CEO at Dassault Systèmes. “By cooperating with Cybernaut, which is a pioneer in smart city-related projects and in supporting SMBs from emerging industry in China, we will be able to use our 3DEXPERIENCE platform to support the fast development of SMBs or startups. What is even more meaningful is to contribute to education. This aligns with the long-term vision of Dassault Systèmes.”
Autonomous driving: Hyundai Mobis to test self-driving cars on real roads
Korean auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis has been granted a five-year license to test self-driving cars on real roads. The company will test a mid-sized Hyundai Sonata sedan, which has been equipped with Hyundai Mobis’ self-driving car technologies, Pulse reports. Hyundai Mobis follows in the footsteps of affiliate company Hyundai Motor, which was granted a similar licenses to test-drive an autonomous Genesis premium sedan back in March.
5G: CCIA says FCC should support proposal to free up spectrum for 5G
The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) supports a petition to update rules to promote two-way mobile broadband service in an underutilized band of spectrum. “The global race to 5G is on. The FCC has a unique opportunity to free up spectrum and allow the sharing of that spectrum in ways that will facilitate the development of 5G technologies and maintain the United States’ position as a leader in mobile,” said CCIA president and CEO Ed Black in a statement. “Internet traffic is expected to grow 22 percent a year between now and 2020 and mobile Internet traffic will nearly double by then. This is a demand that companies want to meet, but they need the FCC to open up new lanes of spectrum and remove the technical and operational obstacles to this growth.”
Today’s forecast: Goods tracking market to reach $5.6 billion in value by 2021
As demand for tracking and monitoring transported goods to cut down on cargo theft increases across industries, ABI Research forecasts that the market for goods tracking technologies will grow to $5.6 billion by 2021, up from $3.6 billion in 2016. “These solutions are covertly placed into product packaging so that they can continue to ping its location in real-time, enabling companies to track and recover stolen shipment and apprehend criminals. This is particularly suitable given the market’s complex ecosystem wherein products are handled and transferred among a handful of different players and the risk of theft is high,” said Raquel Artes, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. The analyst firm warns however that thieves are catching up on anti-theft technologies by using cybercrime, GPS, cellular jamming GNSS spoofing and deceptive pickups as new methods of theft.