Research Platform for 5G in an Industrial Environment in Hamburg
The testing of 5G is beginning at the Port of Hamburg. After six months of preparations, the project partners Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Deutsche Telekom and Nokia have commissioned a test area spanning around 8000 hectares of the port area.
5G will be tested with use cases like traffic lights management, data processing from mobile sensors and virtual reality. To provide the connectivity, an antenna has already been installed on the Hamburg television tower at a height of more than 150 meters.
The primary focus is on testing 5G applications in an industrial setting. Such settings require a telecommunications network which is highly reliable and secure. At the same time, it needs to support a broad range of diverse services (applications). The Port of Hamburg, which is both, a logistical hub and a touristic attraction, offers multiple use cases that place very different demands onto the network.
Also, they plan to collect and process environmental measurement data in real-time. Finally, Virtual Reality applications can be used to better monitor potentially critical infrastructures like watergates and construction areas, thus enhancing safety in the port.
The project partners are now testing if these services, each of which have specific network demands, are reliably working on just one mobile network infrastructure. This is made possible using Dedicated virtual networks, known as “network slices”, in the 5G testbed. Each of these is supporting a specific service. For example, separate virtual networks will be used to control traffic lights and to transmit environmental measurement data.
The two-year research project with the name of “5G MoNArch” (5G Mobile Network Architecture for diverse services, use cases, and applications in 5G and beyond) aims at turning 5G mobile network architecture concepts into practice. A main goal is to gain knowledge and experience from using 5G network slicing in a real-world environment, and to thereby prove and improve the underlying technical concepts and methods.
Whereas the testbed in Hamburg integrates 5G into control and monitoring systems for traffic and infrastructure in a sea port environment, a second testbed in Turin is focusing on multimedia applications. 5G MoNArch is supported and financed as part of Phase II of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP), under the auspices of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.