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5G Monarch commences industrial network slicing trial in Hamburg

Deutsche Telekom Hamburg

© Deutsche Telekom

  • Collaboration between Nokia, Deutsche Telekom and Hamburg Port Authority
  • A 8,000-hectare site to carry out key tests of 5G applications
  • Use cases include traffic lights management, data processing and VR
  • The Hamburg trial will test several network slices under 'live' conditions

Deutsche Telekom, Nokia and the Hamburg Port Authority have announced that they will commence testing of 5G in an industrial environment in the city’s extensive port, with the trial covering a 8,000-hectare area in which they will conduct key tests of various aspects of 5G functionality, including everyone’s favourite –network slicing. 5G will be tested with use cases such as traffic lights management, data processing from mobile sensors and virtual reality. To provide connectivity, an antenna has been installed on the Hamburg television tower.

Whilst the Port of Hamburg is a major logistics hub, it is also something of a touristic attraction. Such a setting provides an environment for testing a variety of use cases that place very different demands onto a 5G network. For example, the Port Authority wants to use 5G to manage traffic lights within the port area, as well as collecting and processing environmental measurement data in real-time. On the other hand, virtual reality applications can be applied to monitor critical infrastructure such as water gates and construction areas, important in ensuring safety in the port.

To properly cater for the different use cases, all of which have different requirements and network demands, network slices will be tested. Network slicing is a key architectural feature of 5G, enabling networks to dynamically and flexibly adapt to the requirements of different applications. The trial in Hamburg will test several network slices under 'live' conditions in an industrial setting, for the first time in Germany.

“This testbed in Hamburg is an important development step along the road to 5G,” says Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “We need practical experience which we can get in the Port of Hamburg. Our goal is to understand how we can best adapt our network to customer requirements. The production industry and the logistics sector in particular are going to reap the benefits of 5G as a powerful lever for many applications.”

5G MoNArch

“5G offers a level of security, reliability and speed never seen before in mobile networks. HPA is opening up completely new use cases,” says Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “We can start gathering experience of this cutting-edge technology right now and shape the standard. This is going to benefit the whole City of Hamburg, not just the port.”

The trial is part of the 5G MoNArch two-year research project, one of several Phase II 5G-PPP projects part funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Monarch, incidentally, is a somewhat stretched acronym for “Mobile Network Architecture for diverse services, use cases, and applications in 5G and beyond”. Its main goal is to gain knowledge and experience from using 5G network slicing in a real-world environment, and improve the underlying technical concepts and methods.

The Hamburg testbed will integrate 5G into control and monitoring systems for traffic and infrastructure in an industrial sea port environment. A second testbed, in Turin, Italy, will focus on multimedia applications. More on this on TelecomTV here, and some more background here.

“The 5G field trial in the Port of Hamburg is thrusting open the door to a new world of business applications, with the potential to drive change in many areas,” said Peter Merz, Head of End-to-End Mobile Network Solutions from Nokia Bell Labs. “This is about making industrial processes much faster and more flexible. For the first time, all of this is going to be tested under live conditions in Hamburg – the importance of this project cannot be rated highly enough.”

Photo shows a 5G antenna on the Hamburg TV tower at an altitude of 185 meters. From left to right: Jens Meier, CEO Hamburg Port Authority; Wilhelm Dresselhaus, Member of the Management Nokia Deutschland; Antje Williams, Deutsche Telekom 5G Executive Program Manager; Frank Horch, Senator for Hamburg.

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