Ericsson initiates 5G motorway project with cross-industry consortium in Germany

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  • Ericsson, BMW Group, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland, Vodafone, the TU Dresden 5G Lab Germany, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and the Federal Regulatory Agency (BNetzA) are founding members of the consortium
  • Project supported by The Federal Ministry of Transport & Digital Infrastructure and The Bavarian Road Construction Administration
  • Federal Minister Dobrindt: 5G is a key-technology for automated and connected driving
  • Dedicated 5G test network in the 700-MHz band along the A9 motorway and the high speed rail track between Nuremberg and Greding

Ericsson has today announced the formation of a cross-industry consortium to strengthen 5G research and development in Germany. Members of the “5G-ConnectedMobility” consortium are Ericsson, BMW Group, Deutsche Bahn, all three German mobile network operators -Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone, the TU Dresden 5G Lab Germany, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and the Federal Regulatory Agency (BNetzA). The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Bavarian Road Construction Administration support the project.

“5G-ConnectedMobility” creates an infrastructure and a real application environment on a “Digital Test Field Motorway”, above all to carry out tests in the area of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, digitalization of the railway infrastructure and other applications using 5G technology.

For this purpose, “5G-ConnectedMobility” operates within an independent infrastructure, and is not dependent on any commercial network. This means that 5G prototype applications can be installed and tested regularly, in various network configurations, at any time, without restrictions. The dedicated Ericsson 5G mobile network allows live tests of real time applications, even under extreme network loads, and with very high travel speeds at the same time. Test conditions, which are hardly ever found in commercially operated live networks, can be created. In this context, Ericsson has received permission from the the Federal Regulatory Agency to use frequencies from the 700-MHz band, for the area of Nuremberg-Feucht to Greding, and will act as a network operator.

5G connected mobility

Foto: mc-quadrat OHG Berlin | Paula G. Vidal

Stefan Koetz, Chairman of the management board of Ericsson GmbH: “I am pleased that it has been possible to form such a wide cross industry consortium with “5G-ConnectedMobility”. With the members of the telecommunications industry, and the application industry, it will be possible to accelerate 5G research and development beyond Germany, and bring the specific requirements of the various industries in Germany into international 5G standardization activities. This will make Germany stronger in this area.”

Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transport: “With the next mobile network standard 5G, we are firing the starting shot for the digital real time era. 5G is a key technology for automated and connected driving, enabling direct data communication between vehicles and infrastructure. “5G-ConnectedMobility” will drive forward technology on the digital test field of motorway. Alongside the high precision radar sensors, which we have installed on the test field, the 5G project is a further milestone on the way to the first fully digitalized and fully networked road.”

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO of Deutsche Telekom AG: “More than with any other previous technology, with 5G, the requirements and concrete use cases of the industry influence the development. The cross-sector collaboration within “5G-ConnectedMobility” will help us to translate the potential regarding extremely short latencies of under a millisecond, high data throughput of more than a Gigabit per second, or the network availability for billions of devices into tailor made offers for our customers.”

Cayetano Carbajo, CTO of Telefónica Deutschland: “This project represents a common effort of distinguished members of the industry to harmonize the requirements of future communications networks with the needs of the automotive industry. Telefónica is supporting this effort, which represents a remarkable opportunity for identifying and developing future applications of both technologies.”

Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Vodafone Deutschland: “With our high performance networks, we are the leading force for the Internet of Things. Together with the experts from Ericsson and the partners involved, we drive forward the development of new 5G technologies in the newly founded consortium, and bring networked and fully automated cars from the laboratory onto the road.”

Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Frank H. P. Fitzek, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks, 5G Lab Germany, TU Dresden: “The TU Dresden sees a great opportunity in this project, to test the previously developed technologies of the 5G Lab Germany, with important partners in the field. Connected cars will significantly increase safety in traffic but also require new technologies for the dynamic networks of the future. Due to the existing excellent cooperation with Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, we are confident of being able to provide the first practical results soon.”

The test track consists of several construction sections on the “Digital Test Field Motorway” in an area of around 30 km between the junctions of Nuremberg-Feucht and Greding, in which the A9 federal motorway and the high speed train route Nuremberg-Ingolstadt-Munich run in parallel, and are covered by the built up test network at the same time. The infrastructure is already completed in the first partial sections, meaning that live tests can begin immediately.

For the mobile network infrastructure, sites of the Motorway Directorate North Bavaria (ABDN) being the local roads authority, Deutsche Bahn and the mobile network operators – Telefónica Deutschland and Deutsche Telekom are being used. The connection occurs via a glass fibre infrastructure of the local roads authority and Deutsche Bahn. The concentration point of the network is located in an equipment container equipped by Ericsson, which has been installed on the premises of the motorway maintenance agency in Greding. The core network will be operated from Ericsson’s ICT Development Center Eurolab near Aachen, which supervises Ericsson’s “5G for Germany” program amongst other things. The connection to this core network will be carried out via Vodafone’s “Interconnect Access” of the ABDN.

The intention is to discuss the knowledge, perspectives and recommendations gained from this partnership and the technology, services and operating suggestions from the technical work packages of the project in an “Alignment Forum” of the members involved, and further develop them with the focus being on integration into international 5G standardization activities. In this context, the various project participants will draw on their membership in international bodies.

Within the scope of “5G-ConnectedMobility” in particular, use cases of associated vehicle applications, for vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, for new methods of traffic information provision in real time and cross manufacturer traffic control for automated vehicles, are currently planned.

The “Digital Test Field Motorway” was set up by the The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, together with the Free State of Bavaria, the German Association of the Automotive Industry and the Federal Association of Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom) on the A9 motorway in Bavaria where the automotive sector, digital economy and research institutions can test out pioneering systems and technologies under real conditions.

Source: Ericsson

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About Tim Cosgrove

Tim Cosgrove heads two technology companies Co-Star and Cloud-Star who supply 4G LTE connectivuty products to the ICT industry globally and are based at Harrogate in the UK. Working at the forefront of the mobile communications industry gives Tim a unique perspective on the latest emerging technologies that help to improve how businesses and people communicate and operate in the future. Tim is keen to share his insights and passion for the latest technologies through the Co-star blog. Please get in touch if you have any technology related news or press releases that you would like us to share.