Finnish 5G test networks piloting digital business and service models of the future

Created June 12, 2017
Applications and Research

Finland’s 5G test networks are shifting their focus from technology development more towards large-scale service trials. The work continues in close cooperation with key vertical industry partners that, in the future, are planning to deploy their digital services on top of mobile network platforms.

The new 5G network capabilities will be able to meet the varying requirements of different industrial use cases in addition to the traditional mobile broadband services offered to consumers today.

“In practice, 5G networks significantly improve the adaptability, reliability and security of the whole network infrastructure and provide data transfer speeds that are a hundred times faster than with the current 4G networks,” said 5G Test Network Finland coordinator, Senior Scientist Jarno Pinola from Finnish research agency VTT.

The data transfer latencies in 5G networks will also be significantly lower, which enables near real-time communications e.g. between sensors and robots. Software-based programmable infrastructure will support service specific network tailoring and massive amounts of users, facilitating rapid development and deployment of innovative new digital services.

Large-scale digital trials
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is coordinating the 5G Test Network Finland (5GTNF) ecosystem, which has formed around four national 5G test network projects. The joint 5GTNF technology platform is now ready to be utilised for large-scale digital service trials.

This marks the second stage of the test network projects funded by Tekes’ 5thGear programme. During the coming years, the experimental research and development work in these projects will focus on practical demonstrations, trials and pilots.

The 5GTNF ecosystem is looking for new cooperation possibilities and welcomes new partners from vertical industry sectors, such as digital healthcare, automotive, energy, manufacturing, media & entertainment, and emergency & security services, to join the discussion around 5G.

“Nokia is looking forward to continuing the fruitful cooperation in the 5G testing projects. With the launch of the Nokia 5G FIRST end-to-end network solution, it is time to shift the focus towards trials with industry verticals and other end users,” says Lauri Oksanen, VP Research and Technology of Nokia Bell Labs.

“5G presents a huge opportunity not only for the telecom operators who address industry digitalization, but also for other industry sectors like manufacturing, automotive and energy sectors. Ericsson sees wide collaboration essential when evolving to the next generation of networks which makes 5GTNF an important initiative,” said Olli Sirkka, Head of Ericsson Finland.

“Huawei sees 5GTNF as a wonderful opportunity to work with other players in the local ecosystem, as well as an innovative environment for testing future 5G technologies,” said Mikko Terho, VP Technology Planning and Site Manager of Huawei.

Conference – this week
5GTNF and the Finnish 5G R&D ecosystem are featured also in the European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC), organised in Oulu during 12 – 15 June 2017. More information on the conference is at www.eucnc.eu

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.