Category Archives: 5G

O2 plans rollout of 5G connectivity for world’s most advanced urban testbed for self-driving vehicles

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  • London’s Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) aims to put the UK in the lead to test and validate self-driving car technologies.
  • Experts from TRL, DG Cities, Cisco, Loughborough University and O2 provide critical services enabling trials of driverless vehicles and smart transport systems at Royal Borough of Greenwich and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
  • O2’s involvement supports operator’s commitment to support businesses looking to explore the potential of 5G in the mobility sector.

O2 has signed an agreement to provide 5G connectivity for the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the world’s most advanced urban testbed, the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in London.

O2’s 3.4GHz 5G-ready spectrum will enable car manufacturers, self-driving technology companies, start-ups as well as other private and public organisations involved in the transport ecosystem to test both vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to road communications (V2X) in a real-world environment.

SMLL is a government backed CAV testbed based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, created with the aim of building safer, more intelligent and better joined-up transport systems. It comprises world leading expertise from across the transport and technology sectors including TRL, Cisco, DG Cities, London Legacy Development Corporation, Cubic Transportation Systems and Loughborough University. O2 has now agreed to collaborate with SMLL to provide 5G connectivity to the testbed.

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

Many transport experts believe 5G is the key to unlocking the potential of self-driving vehicles’ potential. There are three stand-out reasons for this – the extra speed of 5G, its ability to connect with many more devices at once, and a far lower latency, meaning data sent between two 5G devices is almost instantaneous.

The high capacity of 5G also 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.

Brendan O’Reilly, O2’s Chief Technology Officer, said, “At O2 we’re determined to help businesses of all sizes realise the potential of fifth-generation mobile technology. We know that the transport sector is going to be one of the key beneficiaries of 5G – and that the technology has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, as well as making journeys safer and more enjoyable. That’s why we’re excited to be working with the teams at the Smart Mobility Living Lab, who are driving forward our understanding how this next generation technology will fundamentally change the fabric of the cities in which we live and work as well as creating entirely new methods of travel.”

Paul Campion, CEO of TRL, said“5G is a technology that supports a successful rollout of self-driving cars in the UK. Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) research shows that over a third of industry leaders from the transport, technology and automotive industries think investment in strengthening the UK’s digital infrastructure is a key step for making self-driving cars commercially available in the UK. By working with industry leader O2, we are ensuring that SMLL is not just a real-world testing environment for self-driving cars today; we are future-proofing the testbed so that we can accelerate our customers’ research and development programmes.”

Trevor Dorling, Managing Director of DG Cities, said: “Connected and autonomous vehicles are an emerging technology with the potential to address some of the key challenges cities face. The ‘connected’, in connected and autonomous vehicles is critically important as it enables advanced safety features such as vulnerable road user alerts or dangerous intersection warnings to work, making city streets safer. 5G underpins these use cases and offers further benefits to people and businesses. This latest collaboration with O2 and SMLL will enable us to better understand the potential applications of this new technology.

O2 continues to power UK’s self-driving trials

O2’s Smart Cities report highlighted a number of compelling ways in which 5G can help the UK economy. This included how a 5G-enabled road management system, able to respond to traffic pressures at unprecedented speeds, will reduce the time motorists spend stuck in traffic by 10%, save the economy £880 million a year, and reduce CO2 emissions by 370,000 metric tonnes per year.

In July, O2 announced its ‘Smart Ambulance’ trial to revolutionise patient treatment and reduce hospital numbers. The trial, which began this month, involves equipping a standard ambulance with state-of-the-art devices and connectivity, transforming the vehicle into a unique remote consultation room. In June, O2 also announced that it is preparing to test satellite safety systems for 5G driverless cars in Oxfordshire in partnership with the European and British space agencies. This follows the news earlier this year that O2 will use its 5G network to power autonomous vehicle testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.

SMLL uses public and private roads in London. In doing so it has created the most advanced urban testing environment for autonomous transport systems and the opportunities presented by the latest 5G technologies from O2.

Source: 02

Three 5G home broadband has landed in London and that’s just the start

5G home broadband on Three

Three’s 5G network has finally launched, but for now it’s only in London and only useable for home broadband. But for those who are interested in that, this is still a big deal – and it’s just the start.

Three’s 5G home broadband service comes with unlimited data, it works without a landline, and it offers convenient plug and play setup, as well as free next working day delivery. So you can get up and running almost instantly without an engineer visit.

The service comes in at £35 per month with no upfront cost on a 12-month contract, and on the postcodes we checked (in Camden) supposedly offers average speeds of 100Mbps, which is competitive with fibre broadband.

Banging router

Three’s router can get up to 64 devices online at once too, so you should have no problem getting all of your computers, phones, consoles and other smart devices connected at the same time.

If you can’t wait until the next working day to get it, you even have the option to pay £20 for same day delivery, and when you move house you can simply take your 5G router with you and plug it in at the new place – assuming Three has 5G coverage there.

Limited availability but it’s set to improve fast

Indeed, availability is the main issue with Three 5G home broadband right now. Even within London, Three’s 5G home broadband service isn’t yet available everywhere, but you can enter your postcode here to see if you can get it where you are. Coverage areas include parts of Clapham, Ealing, Hoxton, Acton, Putney and more.

And if you can’t get coverage in your area, or you don’t live in London, that might only briefly be a problem, as Three is bringing 5G to 25 cities and towns by the end of the year, as well as launching a 5G mobile service, so you won’t be limited to home broadband for long.

No extra cost

Not only that, but Three will offer its 5G mobile service at not extra cost, and is promising speeds up to twice as fast as rivals. That could theoretically mean peak speeds of over 2Gbps, and even average speeds should be some way faster than the 100Mbps currently offered on its home broadband.

That might mean that Three’s 5G home broadband will soon get a lot faster too, but that’s just speculation for now.

At the time of writing Three’s only real competition in this space is Vodafone, which also offers a 5G home broadband service. It offers unlimited data too, though it’s priced steeper at £50 per month for that (though plans with limited data start at £30 per month). The space will soon get crowded though, with EE also launching a 5G home broadband service before long.

Source; James Rogerson/5g.co.uk

 

 

NEC announces successful transmission of live 8K video using 5G

In conjunction with France’s largest television station, France Televisions, NEC successfully transmitted footage of the recent French Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland-Garros.

The demonstration used NEC’s VC-8900 8K material transmission encoder to transmit high-definition live 8K video of the tournament to 8K video monitors and 5G smartphones and tablets at a location within the tournament’s venue.

The NEC’s VC-8900 8K material transmission encoder utilises real-time video compression technologies to make it possible, along with the use of high-bandwidth 5G technology.

Significant step forward

It’s a significant step for the future of how we’ll consume live television with 8K the natural step following 4K footage. It also builds upon NEC’s efforts last January which had them working together with Japanese telecommunications firm NTT DOCOMO and Tobu Railway, where they conducted video transmission tests through 5G base stations that support 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands.

In this case, the test used an 8K live video sample of a steam locomotive transmitted from a 5G base station installed along the railroad tracks to a 5G mobile station connected to an 8K display inside the moving train. It also used pre-recorded VK video content to confirm the effectiveness of 5G in the transmission of data-dense video content.

Moving from one display to multiple smartphones and tablets at Roland-Garros is a big step forward in NEC’s plan for revolutionising how we consume media in future.

“Building on the success of this initiative, NEC will further promote the realization and expansion of next-generation broadcasting services using high-definition video in 2020 and beyond,” explained Takeshi Inoue, General Manager, Broadcast and Media Division of NEC.

While no other plans have yet been announced for what NEC is set to do next, it’s clear that such tests are paving the way towards a future where 8K video footage is more readily accessible and potentially enhancing what we’re able to see when attending major events.

Source: 5g.co.uk

Microlease increases 5G testing inventory

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Leading 5G test and measurement equipment supplier, Microlease, has increased its existing 5G testing inventory, opening up more opportunities for adequate testing by mobile network operators and 5G equipment manufacturers.

The supplier has invested $30 million (with $10 million of that being in the past 12 months) in a bid to serve the growing demand for 5G testing from both manufacturers and network operators alike.

With growing interest in 5G also leading to more interest in seeing what companies provide the greatest amount of bandwidth, lowest latency, and all round general superior service, it’s vital for these companies to be able to test their products thoroughly. Microlease is providing that service.

At the moment, handset and base station manufacturers are focusing on producing equipment necessary to serve the rollout of commercial 5G networks, but it’s important to also have greater visibility on how operators will build and bill for such services.

“With the launch of 5G handsets and increasing shipments of 5G base stations, it’s become clear that 5G will carry a significant price premium,” cites market analysts Gartner.

With that premium, quality of service and experience is paramount and Microlease is going some way to providing effective testing. Such testing can help to optimise signal quality, network throughput and capacity. It also means better interoperability between user equipment and network infrastructure, thereby enriching the experience for customers and businesses alike.

Currently, Microlease stocks equipment including Keysight Technologies’ N9040B UXA Signal Analyzer (above), with a frequency range of 2Hz to 50GHz, made available in various configurations to suit different parts of 5G validation work. It also stocks the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyser, which characterises wideband components and communications systems.

Companies looking to rent test equipment from Microlease gain fast flexible access to the technology, along with ongoing technical support, free servicing and calibration. Alternatively, customers opting to buy have a range of new and certified pre-owned equipment to choose from.

Microlease’s test equipment can help users mitigate the potential risks that stiff market competition within the 5G network can bring, ultimately leading to a better product for all.

This further investment by the firm will likely encourage companies to pursue testing via Microlease’s equipment in the continuing bid to establish a strong 5G network across the country.

Source:  Jennifer Allen

Huddersfield Uni wins £1M grant for 5G training and research

The University of Huddersfield received £1 million in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program to launch a new 5G research and training project. The UK university will have a central role in the Europe-wide project that involves ten academic and industrial partners to further the development and understanding of 5G technology.

5G Research

The program is called MOTOR5G, which is short for “Mobility and Training for beyond 5G Ecosystems,” and it received a total of £3.6 million from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funds, of which Huddersfield Uni received £1 million. The aim is to advance the state of the art in many dimensions of 5G.

Led by Dr. Pavlos Lazaridis, Reader in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, four doctoral researchers will be based at the university to conduct lab work, theoretical studies and work closely with the project’s academic and industrial partners, which include Rohde & Schwarz, the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, Denmark’s Aarhus University and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The project will focus on several aspects of 5G technology: embedding artificial intelligence into 5G systems; using drones to improve communications; and developing beam-forming antennae. The researchers will work on the antennae at Rohde & Schwarz’s headquarters in Munich and will have an opportunity to train in metrology at the National Physical Laboratory.

In addition, the researchers will also have opportunities to work with a 5G-based video production and distribution network that is being installed at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

Funding 5G Research

As it is still early days for 5G technology, many governments are making funds available for research and development. In the UK, the government has appropriated £25 million for the national 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme. The UK government also recently announced a competition for a share of £1 million for 5G research projects.

Source Michelle Donegan

Vodafone goes live with Ericsson 5G technology in London

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  • Partnership includes Ericsson Radio System installed base
  • Ericsson Spectrum Sharing enables extended 5G coverage on existing LTE spectrum

Ericsson’s  technology leadership was at the heart of Vodafone UK’s launch of 5G for consumer and business customers in London today – July 3. The spectacular cityscape views of London’s Sky Garden hosted a dedicated launch event powered by Ericsson 5G technology, including a virtual demonstration with highlights from the latest Ericsson ConsumerLab Report: 5G Consumer Potential.

In London, Ericsson will provide comprehensive 5G coverage based on the latest Ericsson Radio System portfolio. This includes the latest Baseband 6630 and Massive MIMO 6488 products to enable 5G on the 3.5GHz frequency. Combined with LTE, this will achieve speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G for 5G users with much lower latency.

Ericsson Radio System’s unique dynamic spectrum sharing functionality will also enable Vodafone to extend 5G coverage over a wide area, leveraging 4G spectrum on existing Ericsson Radio System infrastructure.

In accordance with the 5G Consumer Potential report findings, access to 5G connectivity is hotly anticipated by UK consumers, who expect to use 10-12 times more mobile data on average on new 5G devices. Vodafone UK’s 5G launch will be welcomed by the four out of every ten subscribers identified by the research who face issues caused by network congestion in crowded and dense urban areas.

Scott Petty, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone UK, says: “Today, we are switching on 5G in seven UK cities, including London. Backed by our largest ever investment in the capital and new unlimited data plans, in partnership with Ericsson we are enabling Londoners to access an ultra-fast 5G and 4G network without any limits.”

Arun Bansal, President and Head of Europe & Latin America, Ericsson, says: “As the recognized leader in driving 5G in Europe, we are delighted to launch Vodafone UK’s 5G network in London. We have a history of working in close partnership with Vodafone and we have done so again in 5G with fast, efficient and customer-focused delivery of Ericsson Radio System 5G technology. Our unique spectrum sharing abilities will also enable Vodafone to extend the scope of 5G in its network.”

Source: Ericsson

Ericsson and China Mobile showcase Automated Guided Vehicles for industry digitalization

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At Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019 (MWC19 Shanghai), Ericsson and China Mobile demonstrated an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) prototype on an end-to-end, stand-alone 5G network.

With the growing adoption of industry digitalization and improvements in industrial automation and intelligence, AGV is becoming increasingly prevalent in manufacturing, ports, and other industries. 5G networks’ powerful mobility management, seamless coverage and quality of service assurance enable them to provide the reliable communication needed for of various AGV applications, such as AGV tractors, AGV pallet movers or AGV forklifts.

The AGV prototype that China Mobile and Ericsson demonstrated at MWC Shanghai 2019 shows how AGV helps to automate product testing using a 5G network. This validates that a stand-alone 5G architecture can adequately be used for industry digitalization:

─     The network slicing-based Dedicated Industrial Network—This technology enhances vertical industries with networking technologies. It can help to create dedicated industrial networks based on the requirements of industrial scenarios and leverage network slicing to ensure the security and reliability of production data.

─     Edge Computing—Deploy the AGV application systems on edge clouds and use the forwarding plane for edge computing to divert traffic locally; meet the requirement for low latency; and ensure the effective management of industrial applications by factory. This also helps to reduce the complexity of AGV equipment and improve the operating stability of the entire system.

─     Data Intelligence—Moreover, AGV application can leverage the powerful computing capability of edge clouds to make in-depth analyses of test data to improve efficiency and integrate data from other manufacturing systems. This enables closed-loop management from product manufacturing to testing and improves the factory’s smart manufacturing.

Lu Lu, Deputy Director of the Networks and IT, China Mobile Research (CMRI), said: “Edge computing and network slicing are the most important enabling technologies for 5G. They also provide important capabilities that operators need to serve vertical industries. Teaming up with Ericsson, we demonstrate the strong potential of edge computing and network slicing for the Industrial Internet, and this is a valuable experiment for industrial applications of 5G.”

Zhang Guangzhuo, Deputy General Manager of Core Network Products at Ericsson North East Asia, said: “As a strategic partner, Ericsson has been working closely with China Mobile to drive the development of the Industrial Internet through 5G, aiming to help in making digital transformation a reality.”

BBC make the first live broadcast over a public 5G network

5G BBC newscast

You’re probably already aware that EE has just launched its 5G network in the UK, but it’s set to do more than just power up phones, and the BBC has already shown off one other thing it can do – live broadcasts.

In a UK first, the BBC and BT broadcast a live TV contribution over EE’s public 5G network. The clip was beamed from Covent Garden where it was recorded, back to BBC New Broadcasting House, and was delivered in high quality.

It was made possible through specialised 5G modems connected to BBC News cameras, and it sounds like a far preferable option to broadcasting using 4G, as 4G network links require multiple connections to deliver the capacity needed to carry the live video feed, whereas they only needed one connection in this 5G trial.

That therefore reduces the cost and complexity of the broadcast, which in turn makes it more viable to broadcast smaller live events than it would have been in the past.

The trial apparently also allowed the company to explore different encoding options to compress the video, but it wasn’t totally seamless, as apparently the broadcast team ran out of data on the first attempt, highlighting how data-hungry 5G can potentially be.

Alex Tempest, Managing Director, Wholesale at BT said: “We are delighted to demonstrate the power and innovation that 5G can bring to the media and broadcasting industry through our trial with the BBC. Whether on the street, in a stadium or on location, 5G provides a new dimension that can deliver the speed, efficiency and reliability that outside broadcasting requires. And gives broadcasters the ability to deploy equipment quickly and with ease, without having to worry about the connection.”

Serious speed

The broadcast in question was used to talk about EE’s 5G network itself, and during it the reporter (Rory Cellan-Jones) reported getting speeds of 260Mbps on his phone, which is far higher than you can expect on 4G. But EE has already said that peak 5G speeds on its network could exceed 1Gbps.

While this broadcast is a great example of the potential of 5G, it’s not the only 5G thing the BBC has been working on. It has also for example trialled live radio broadcasts over 5G.

5G could be big for broadcast and it’s not just the BBC that’s looking into it. EERohde & Schwarz and more are already exploring its potential too.

Source: James Rogerson. 5g.co.uk

 

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