Category Archives: 5G

Huawei is building the world’s first 5G smart hotel

5G Hotel

The InterContinental Shenzhen hotel is in the process of getting a 5G makeover, set to make it the world’s first 5G smart hotel.

With the help of Huawei and Shenzhen Telecom, this Chinese hotel will soon have continuous 5G coverage both indoors and outdoors, but that means a whole lot more than just faster internet for guests.

Having 5G on-site will allow the InterContinental Shenzhen to offer whole new services (see video below), such as 5G-powered ‘welcome robots’, 5G cloud games, 5G cloud computing terminals, and 5G cloud virtual reality rowing machines, as well as more ‘ordinary’ improvements, such as the ability to seamlessly stream 4K movies.

The goal of all this is to provide business travellers with a more efficient work environment, leisure travellers with immersive entertainment experiences, and overall to offer the “ultimate innovative luxury experience.”

Dr. Peter Zhou, chief marketing officer of Huawei Wireless Solution, said: “5G is here – from the 4K ultra high-definition live broadcast of CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala early this year to today’s 5G entertainment and business transformation of the InterContinental Shenzhen’s presidential suites, 5G technology has penetrated into different industries. In this cooperation, together with Shenzhen Telecom, we provided a 5G Digital Indoor System and a 5G Cloud X application that adapts to the hotel scenario. It is a demonstration of both parties’ leadership in end-to-end commercial application of 5G equipment.”

The first of many

This upgrade, which is the hotel industry’s first end-to-end 5G network with integrated terminals and cloud applications, could according to Huawei “open the door for digital transformation of entire hotel industry through 5G technology” so before long you might not have to go to China to experience to transformative power of 5G in a hotel setting.

The work is just one of many 5G projects Huawei is involved in. It has also recently created one of the world’s first 5G phones in the form of the foldable Huawei Mate X, and rolled out a range of indoors 5G network solutions, among other things.

There’s no news on when the UK might get its first 5G smart hotel, but with 5G networks set to launch here later in 2019 – with EE’s possibly being switched on as soon as this summer – there might not be a massive wait.

Source: James Rogerson. 5g.co.uk

 

O2’s 5G network to power autonomous vehicle testing

  • O2 set to support the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) with its 5G network.
  • Testing to take place as part of the DCMS funded AutoAir project at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.
  • O2 and consulting engineering firm Atkins join the project to accelerate the development of 5G-enabled intelligent transport systems.

O2 today announces that it will be the public and private network provider of 5G connectivity for the testing and development of CAV technology at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.

O2 will enable 5G connectivity to Millbrook testing facilities from June 2019, using its 2.3 GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum in advance of the first phase of its 5G rollout in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London later this year.

The on-site network consists of 59 sites and 89 small cells and is operated by British wireless solution provider Dense Air. Under a 12 month agreement with the AutoAir project, O2 will integrate the sites and small cells into its public infrastructure.

Expanding expertise within the AutoAir 5G project 

The AutoAir 5G project is made up of a number of different partners from across the digital communications and automotive sectors, and has received a further £1.8m in funding from DCMS taking the total project investment from the government to nearly £6m. Matched industry funding totals more than £4.5m.

The group looks to accelerate the adoption of connected and self-driving technology in the UK, via trials supported by members including Dense Air, Airspan Networks, Millbrook, Blu Wireless, Real Wireless, the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre and the R&D arm of motorsport racing team McLaren.

This week the consortium’s ranks were further boosted by engineering firm Atkins, who have signed an agreement to lend their design and engineering expertise to the project, alongside O2.

 5G’s role in supporting CAV and intelligent transport systems

The low-latency and high capacity of 5G allows for vehicles to transmit large amounts of data, including 4K video, to intelligent cloud-based transport systems, which are expected to improve road safety and help traffic authorities to monitor and manage traffic flow.

Earlier this year, the AutoAir 5G Testbed and Trials consortium was able to prove this capability, during tests at Millbrook that saw a McLaren sports car receive and send data at 1 Gbit/s whilst driving round the site at 160 Mph, and real-time UltraHD 4K video sharing between a network of moving vehicles.

Commenting on the launch of O2’s 5G network at Millbrook, Brendan O’Reilly, O2’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “5G will play a key role in how our country develops over the next few years. If implemented properly, 5G has the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs and enable a new host of technologies – including self-driving vehicles. That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting the trial activity at Millbrook, alongside ambitious partners who share our vision of building a truly Mobile Britain.”

The announcement follows recent claims by UK ministers that driverless cars could be in full use on Britain’s roads by 2021, as the government presses forward with advanced trials for automated and connected vehicles.

“This project will transform the way we design, maintain and operate on our future networks,” said Lizi Stewart, Managing Director, Transportation UK, Atkins. “Developing the first 5G neutral network in the UK will allow us to continue our drive for innovation and industry-changing initiatives for the transportation sector.”

“The AutoAir consortium is pleased to welcome O2 and Atkins to the 2nd phase of the project”, said Paul Senior, CEO of Dense Air and Chief Strategy Officer of Airspan Networks. “O2’s integration and commercialisation of the 5G network at Millbrook to support both public and private mobile use cases is a world first and will be a reference deployment for the UK mobile industry as it moves to support for 5G applications for Industry 4.0, large enterprise and Government.

“Atkins participation in the project ensures that the lessons learned from building a hyper dense 5G network are translated into the design and engineering rules for next generation communication networks for transportation corridors.”

Source: 02

Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care given more funding

  Liverpool 5G testbed

A number of 5G first are happening in the UK, including Europe’s first dedicated 5G health and social care pilot, which has been running through Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care, and has just received an extra £1.48 million in funding to see it through another 12 months.

The funding is in recognition of the “great work” being done there, and £0.94 million of the funding comes from the government, while the other £0.54 million comes from consortium partners.

So what is all that funding getting us? A number of things. With that money and 5G tech, Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care has trialled the likes of:

  • A Loneliness Gaming and Quizzing app, developed with the help of people with learning difficulties.
  • A device called ‘WarnHydrate’, which is used to detect dehydration in older people.
  • A ‘push to talk’ loneliness app for isolated carers which lets them talk to other isolated carers.
  • Sensors and cameras which are installed in homes to detect falls, changes in temperature and unusual behaviour patterns.
  • ‘PAMAN’ – a video link to a local pharmacy, to help ensure people can take medicines at home safely.
  • ‘Telehealth in a Box’, which allows communication between The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Trust and patients in the community.
  • 5G-supported VR devices that are being used as a palliative pain distraction in wards.

That’s in addition to trials of wireless 5G mesh networks that use existing fibre combined with infrastructure erected on lamp posts and the like, and which can be delivered cost effectively across urban areas.

Freeing up resources

Many of these technologies are focused on helping people manage long-term health conditions themselves from home, which means that health and care resources can be redirected to areas where they’re urgently needed. In other words, these initiatives could improve health and social care without requiring more manpower.

And they weren’t possible previously, as they require the reliability, consistency and speed of 5G to work effectively.

The fact that Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care has received this additional funding shows that these technologies are making a real difference, so it might not be long before they’re rolled out more widely.

And health is just one area that 5G looks set to transform. We’re also seeing 5G trials and testbeds focused on tourism, rural and agricultural use, automated vehicles, manufacturing and more.

Source: James Rogerson. 5g.co.uk

New Project Develops Video Streaming over 5G for Emergency Services

5G

A new UK research project aims to harness the speed of 5G and advanced 4G networks along with the latest video compression technology to provide real-time video for emergency services applications.

The project involves UK IoT connectivity and solutions provider Pangea and Kingston University which are working together to develop video compression and data transfer techniques over 4G+ and 5G networks.

Pangea claims the technological development will be the first of its kind and could transform the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency services – namely, ambulance and police.

For example, real-time video streams from ambulances can improve the triage process for A&E departments, allowing doctors and nurses to prioritize urgent cases and get a head start on assessing injuries or diagnosing illnesses before patients arrive at hospital. The 5G video application could even improve the chances of survival in life-threatening cases.

The new technology could also help ambulance services reduce costs. By lowering emergency response times by five minutes, ambulance services in the UK could save up to £90 million, according to Pangea.

Police too!

In addition to emergency healthcare apps, the 5G-enabled video technology will also be applied to police services. Body cameras that transmit always-on, high-quality video can help police forces assess crime scenes faster, for example. The technology can also improve CCTV systems for better surveillance.

The challenge with transmitting video over cellular networks is inconsistent network quality when devices are in motion and moving between coverage areas, especially at high speed. The project’s goal is to overcome unreliable network conditions through the combination of new video compression and data transfer techniques and the high capacity of 5G.

Pangea’s team will be working closely with two Kingston University professors: Christos Politis, professor of wireless communication, and Nada Philip, associate professor specialising in video compression. Pangea will also hire a Kingston graduate to lead the project.

“When you stream multimedia content, it will be affected by different network conditions. We will be looking at how to ensure the moving images arrive in high-definition, allowing for accurate medical diagnosis and enabling police forces to identify people from their body-camera footage,” said Dr. Philip.

The project is partly funded by the UK government through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. It’s not the first time Kingston University has participated in 5G research. The university is also involved in the UK’s 5G Rural Integrated Testbed, with its Robot Vision team working on how 5G technology can power drones to monitor crops and livestock.

Source: Michelle Donegan. 5g.co.uk

 

How 5G could be monetised for telecom companies

Monetise 5G

A new short report from Matrixx has highlighted the new services telecommunications companies will be able to offer once 5G arrives.

With 5G set to commence its commercial rollout in limited form this year, there have been plenty of predictions concerning the benefits it will bring. Digital commerce platform company Matrixx has provided its own unique perspective on the matter in a report entitled ‘5 Key Opportunities in 5G’.

The report runs through five areas where 5G will present new or enhanced opportunities to the telecommunications companies that Matrixx counts as clients. Those are network slicingsmall cell as a service, smart family, Internet of Things (IoT), and enhanced broadband.

Slicing and small cells

Matrixx’s report then runs through some of the ways telcos will be able to monetise these 5G markets. For example, it mentions how network slicing – the ability to segment parts of a network – will be able to be offered as a service by telecoms companies, offering businesses the ability to run their own virtual networks.

In terms of small cells as a service, the report suggests allowing users to take advantage of small cell networks in, for example, shopping centres or sports venues, for high-bandwidth needs, such as virtual reality. Networks could make money by managing this infrastructure and related services for venues.

Smart family, IoT and enhanced broadband

Under the smart family banner, the Matrixx report points out that telecoms companies will be able to provide a one stop shop service that brings multiple connected home services under one umbrella: VR gaming, home security, remote meter monitoring and more. Having them all handled by one company could appeal to users, and also allow networks to expand their reach (and income potential) beyond just mobile.

For the IoT, the report talks about networks using it as a platform or service, which can be monetised through managed service delivery. With the IoT likely to provide services to millions of users in the near future, that could lead to extensive income potential for networks.

Finally, the report also refers to fresh 5G broadband services, described as ‘broadband+’. These could include ‘bandwidth and service’ or ‘bandwidth and applications’ combinations, such as offering music or video services along with a customer’s broadband. On the business side, 5G broadband could offer pooled bandwidth as part of a network slice, which the user can then define and utilize however they want.

“The days of ‘leading with the network’ are over as 5G, combined with capabilities such as VR, AI and ML, will have a profound impact on the digital user experience,” concludes the Matrixx report. “The complexities, variabilities and scale of that ‘Digital Service Provider’ offering require a fundamental shift and will be the defining approach of this era.”

So in other words 5G will open up many new usage cases and with them many new ways to monetise mobile data. That’s good news not just for networks but also for users, as it incentivises mobile networks to build a strong 5G service. It just requires the networks to seize the opportunities presented to them.

Source: Jon Mundy and James Rogerson- 5g.co.uk

Vodafone using manhole covers to ‘build 5G cities’

Vodafone  manhole

Vodafone is using “yesterday’s infrastructure” to build tomorrow’s smart cities. The operator is installing small antennae within manhole covers, as well as on lamp-posts and phone boxes.

The aim is to boost speed and extend coverage of today’s 4G networks in high-traffic areas such as busy roads, town centres and shopping malls. Vodafone says the tech can then be easily upgraded to make way for 5G.

Another benefit, the company says, is that installing equipment on manhole covers causes minimal disruption for businesses and citizens – no construction work or street closures are required. Further, the landscape is not altered, making the antennae instalments ideal for busy public spaces.

In time for New Year

Vodafone has installed two types of connected manhole covers at its headquarters in Newbury. One is purpose-built and the other uses existing manhole covers. The antennae-equipped manhole covers can carry calls and internet access over 200 metres using only a small amount of power.

Further, Vodafone plans to roll 4G out beneath its own manhole covers, which it inherited through the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2012 as well as those of utility providers across the UK.

Vodafone is also fitting 4G antennae to traditional phone boxes along Edinburgh’s Princes Street – it says these will be in place ahead of the New Year’s Even Hogmanay celebrations.

The company says phone boxes are ideal homes for antennae in places where mobile masts would be hard to install due to the need for a power supply and fibre optic cable connections.

Looking ahead to 5G

The antennae are connected using Vodafone’s high-speed fibre converged network.

A statement on the initiative from Vodafone said: “These fibre-connected 5G-enabled small antennae are the foundation on which connected smart cities will be built.”

There are high hopes for 5G to advance smart cities – for example, enabling connected traffic lights which automatically re-route traffic away from congested areas and allowing city councils to monitor their infrastructure intelligently and deploy predictive or on-demand maintenance.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “We are committed to providing customers with the best network possible by drawing on our strengths in innovation and strong UK heritage. It is great to be able to use yesterday’s infrastructure – from phone boxes to manhole covers – to deliver the services of tomorrow.  This is one of the ways we are extending our 4G services to areas other networks cannot reach, and getting ready for 5G.”

Source: Sarah Wray-5g.co.uk

 

02 launches Massive MIMO 5G pilot in London

O2 massive mimo

02 and Nokia are rolling out two Massive MIMO (multiple input-multiple output) trials in the King’s Cross and Marble Arch areas of London. They say this work will pave the way for 5G deployment across the capital.

Massive MIMO makes mobile networks more efficient by allowing multiple beams of data to be transmitted from the antennas to the device. This boosts speed and capacity.

The locations have been specifically chosen as they have high levels of data traffic. 02 plans to boost coverage in these areas and assess the technology for roll-out elsewhere.

Over 95 million people pass through the King’s Cross/St Pancras each year and more than 14 million people travelled through Marble Arch in 2017.

The pilot will deploy Nokia’s Massive MIMO technology as well as the 2.3GHz spectrum that O2 won in Ofcom’s auction earlier this year. O2 was the only UK network to secure extra 2.3GHz capacity.

Laying 5G’s foundations

02 says that as well as boosting capacity in these areas today, the trial will also lay important foundations for 5G.

Massive MIMO technology is expected to play a crucial role in meeting the increased data demand that 5G will drive. Ofcom’s 2018 Communications Market report finds that the average user consumes 1.9 GB  of data per month. Earlier this year, GiffGaff predicted that the average user will consume 98.34GB per month by 2025.

Brendan O’Reilly, CTO, Telefonica UK, said: “We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is why we are working with Nokia to trial Massive MIMO and to explore the opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage for our customers, in the areas they need it most.”

Source: Sarah Wray-www.5g.co.uk

 

EE Delivers First Live 5G Broadcast With BT Sport

 
  • BT Sport showcases first live trial of remote production broadcast live over EE’s 5G network
  • EE Wembley Cup Final will be first sporting event broadcast live over 5G using remote production

BT Group’s EE and BT Sport today demonstrated the first live broadcast with remote production over 5G – an approach BT Sport will use to increase the coverage available to viewers with more matches and faster highlights.

The final of the FA-recognised EE Wembley Cup 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G using remote production. The event, featuring YouTube’s biggest footballers alongside international football legends, will be broadcast over EE’s 5G network live from Wembley Stadium on the channel of YouTube star Spencer Owen (Hashtag United) at 2pm on Sunday 25th November 2018.

Building to the hotly anticipated live final, EE and BT Sport have today partnered to showcase the capability by delivering a live, two-way broadcast over 5G from Wembley Stadium to London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The live broadcast trial was hosted by BT Sport presenters Matt Smith and Abi Stephens.

The broadcast was carried over 5G in Wembley Stadium, and then produced remotely by the BT Sport production crew at BT Sport’s base in Stratford, East London.

Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “BT Sport has a rich history of the latest broadcast innovations, whether it’s ultra-high-definition with Dolby Atmos or 360Virtual Reality. 5G will next season enable BT Sport to deploy the most advanced remote production of any broadcaster. It will allow us to cover more live matches from more leagues and competitions, and to bring fans highlights action closer to the final whistle than has ever been done before in the UK.”

The 5G broadcast from Wembley Stadium, using EE’s 5G test network in the stadium, showcases the capabilities of 5G. The test network uses EE’s 3.4GHz spectrum from its first 5G antenna in the stadium, connected to a 10Gbps backhaul link.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “This trial is another showcase of what our 5G network can do, and is a big part of our continued investment in using 5G across the whole of BT Group. The EE Wembley Cup Final 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G, and that’s part of our ongoing commitment to innovation for our customers.”

For broadcasters, EE will deploy 5G network slicing technology to create a broadcast grade network providing the guaranteed latency, bandwidth and quality required for live broadcast. 5G will enable broadcasters to send match footage back to base within minutes, opening up more coverage possibilities and reducing costs by reducing the number of technicians required at each game. By adding 5G to EE’s award-winning 4G network, EE is creating a more reliable data connection even in the biggest crowds.Adding 5G to EE’s 4G network will increase reliability and speeds, and keep customers all connected where they need it most.

Designed for the devoted YouTube generation, The EE Wembley Cup 2018 Final featuring Spencer Owen (Hashtag United), F2 Freestylers (F2 FC), Calfreezy (Rebel FC) and WillNE and Stephen Tries (XO), is set to be the most electrifying yet, with some innovative twists and a brand new tournament format including a Draft stage and Man Down Time. Bringing 5G to the EE Wembley Cup marks another major milestone in EE’s ambitious programme to make Wembley the world’s most connected stadium.

EE is the lead partner of Wembley Stadium. Since the partnership kicked off in 2014, EE has introduced several technological advancements to the stadium, including delivering significant network upgrades preceding the latest 5G implementation, ensuring fans can stay connected during events. EE also worked with the Wembley team to deliver the first official Wembley app.

EE will be continuing the rollout of 5G in Wembley Stadium throughout 2019. EE recently launched 5G trials in London and announced plans to rollout 5G to 16 cities across the UK in 2019.

Source: EE

EE brings first live 5G trial to the UK with Canary Wharf trial

  EE 5G trial canary wharf

EE has seemingly just hit a major milestone with its 5G trials and testing, as it has launched its first live 5G trial, which it also claims is the UK’s first live 5G trial.

Hosted in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, the trial is designed to test 5G spectrum and devices for coverage, speeds and performance, and Canary Wharf was an obvious choice of location, as it’s a very busy area, with 150,000 people coming to the Canary Wharf estate every day.

5G will have to cope with huge data demands from vast numbers of connected devices, so it’s important to trial it in an area such as this that really will put it to the test.

Indeed, EE notes that high capacity zone testing is a critical part of its 5G launch programme, and as such it’s not stopping with Canary Wharf, as the network also plans to put ten more 5G sites live across east London later this month, with the trials aimed at both consumer and business technology.

Using 3.4GHz spectrum and Huawei equipment

This trial will use 5G New Radio over the 3.4GHz spectrum that EE acquired 40MHz of at Ofcom’s recent spectrum auction. This spectrum is likely to be the cornerstone of early 5G networks and EE wants to test how it behaves in a real-life setting. The trial will be carried out using Huawei equipment.

Fotis Karonis, 5G Technology Lead at BT Group, said: “This is the latest milestone in our 5G rollout – a live test of our 5G network, in a hugely busy ‘hotspot’, where we know there’s going to be demand from customers for increased mobile capacity. With constant upgrades to 4G, and laying the foundations for 5G, we’re working to always be able to deliver what our customers need – both consumers and the vertical industries that will make the greatest use of 5G. We were UK pioneers with 4G and today we saw the UK’s first live connections on 5G – this is a huge step forward for our digital infrastructure.”

This of course isn’t EE’s only 5G test. The network previously tested 5G in lab conditions, hitting download speeds of 2.8Gbps in the process. This was done using 3.5GHz spectrum. Last year it also became the first UK network to demonstrate pre-5G backhaul technology.

Source: James Rogerson-5G.co.uk

 

Vodafone to launch MediaCityUK hub to foster 5G innovation

 

Media City

Vodafone is launching a new Innovation Hub at The Landing (shown above) in MediaCityUK, Salford.

The Landing already offers workspace for companies and has developed a reputation for fostering high-tech and digital businesses. Vodafone’s new hub will give entrepreneurs and start-ups access to the latest tech resources, such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), high-speed fibre and more.

Gigabit cities

Vodafone says it is opening the Innovation Hub as part of its commitment to Greater Manchester as one of the UK’s seven ‘gigabit cities’.

Last year, Vodafone struck a deal along with wholesale fibre network infrastructure provider City Fibre to deliver superfast Gigabit broadband to 12 cities in the UK by 2025, benefiting up to five million UK homes and businesses. Under the agreement, Vodafone has a period of exclusive rights to market ultra-fast broadband services on City Fibre’s fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

The seven cities announced so far are:  Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Vodafone says it plans to roll out Innovation Hubs in other cities too.

Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford, called MediaCityUK “an emerging smart city”. He said Vodafone’s input would set Salford up as an example of what new networks and interconnectivity can deliver for a city and its citizens. He highlighted potential in areas including transport, energy and health.

Related: What is Gigabit LTE?

A living lab

The Innovation Hub will offer the opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop, test and commercialise their products.

Jon Corner, Chief Digital Officer for City of Salford and CEO at The Landing, said the Innovation Hub will turn the venue into a ‘living lab’. He said it will help to demonstrate that 5G is about more than just new handsets and faster speeds, noting that it will also have an impact on how networks are organised, and the way we share data and consume content.

Further, Corner said, 5G will enable businesses – such as the ones based at The Landing – to use immersive technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to create completely new applications that change the way we interact on a day-to-day basis.

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, commented: “I am delighted that Vodafone, in collaboration with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and MediaCityUK, will open the Digital Innovation Hub located in the heart of this connected city. The hub at The Landing will give UK businesses, start-ups and tech innovators access to 5G, IoT, high-speed fibre and our best technical resources and we plan to roll out these innovation hubs throughout UK cities.”

Source: Sarah Wray-5g.co.uk