Telia Sweden builds 5G network at uni grounds to test industrial IoT and AI
Swedish operator Telia is to build a university-based 5G network for research and testing of industrial uses of high-bandwidth low-latency cellular connectivity.
The 5G network will be located at Mid Sweden University, a Swedish state university in the middle of Sweden, with campuses in the cities of Östersund and Sundsvall. The venue will be used to combine the latest 5G, AI, and IoT technologies in industrial tests.
Telia said the goal is to accelerate research in remote and autonomous vehicles for industrial use and in forestry. The network is a permanent setup. Mid Sweden University is one of six universities with campuses in Sundsvall and Östersund, and will be managed as a cooperative innovation environment, where partners will be able to explore the technology and business opportunities with 5G.
Mats Lundbäck, chief technology officer at Telia Sweden, said: “This is a unique opportunity to explore industrial applications of 5G, AI, and IoT together with Mid Sweden University. By creating new applications in a dynamic test environment, large companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and students can collaborate to contribute to Sweden being at the forefront when 5G is rolled out commercially.”
5G will launch commercially in Sweden in 2020. The new 5G network is Sweden’s third.
Telia’s 5G partner programme, started in the summer of 2018, so far counts Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), Einride, Tieto and Mid Sweden University as members. Telia is also working with the Royal Institute of Technology, the Umeå 5G initiative, Luleå University of Technology and the Swedish Olympic Academy on 5G.
In March, it joined with Ericsson and Volvo CE on Sweden’s first 5G network for industrial use at Volvo CE’s facility in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The setup is for testing remote control of construction machinery and fully-automated solutions. It will also be used to increase understanding of how connected machines can create added value for the customer.
Anders Olsson, chief executive of Telia Sweden, commented: “We can see that the industry’s interest in 5G is considerable. Automation of the entire flow will mean new ways of working and greater gains from efficiency. But to connect business-critical machines and vehicles requires a solution that can handle the massive amounts of data with guaranteed connection. That is what 5G can give us. And we are proud to lead the 5G development in Sweden together with our partners.”
Magnus Frodigh, head of research at Ericsson, said: “With extremely short response times, high capacity, and a high level of accessibility to the mobile network, commercial and standardized 5G technology can be used for applications such as remote control of heavy machinery in real time.
“This opens new opportunities for greater efficiency, cutting costs and reducing risk in hazardous environments. 5G enables us to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable society.”
Melker Jernberg, president at Volvo CE, said: “We are testing locally in Eskilstuna, but we operate globally. Connected machines and autonomous solutions are the future. They can give our customers more efficient production, logistics, greater flexibility and safer work. By minimising the potential safety risks and downtime associated with sectors such as mining, we can get closer to our goal of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero unplanned stops. It will be exciting to see how far 5G can take us on that journey.”