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The first commercial 5G networks (will) mainly focus on the provision of enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services. With the introduction of higher bandwidth, 5G is expected to enable new mobile broadband services which were impossible or too costly in the era of 4G/4G+. However, 5G is more than enabling new mobile broadband services, 5G differs also in its capability (by design) of empowering various vertical sectors including smart city, smart mobility, smart energy grids, industrial automation, healthcare, etc.
TNO has co-initiated the new H2020 5G-HEART project, to define and validate the cost-efficient 5G converged network concepts, which enable an intelligent hub supported by multiple vertical industries. Trials will run on sites of 5G-Vinni (Oslo, Norway), 5Genesis (Surrey, UK), 5G-EVE (Athens, Greece), as well as Oulu (Finland) and Groningen (Netherlands).
The test facilities of 5Groningen, where TNO is one of the 'founding fathers', will be used to validate use cases of healthcare and transport, in particular those related to the provision and improvement of critical ambulance services: how 5G may help to enhance situational assessment (healthcare use case) and shorten the patient delivery time in case of emergency.
In case of emergency, it is crucial to make a correct and timely decision, e.g. the level of urgency and where the patient should be brought to. The effectiveness of situational assessment would be significantly enhanced if the medical manager or specialist (who makes the situational assessment) also has a high-quality audio-video link with the ambulance personnel (at the scene). In case it is decided that the patient should be brought to the hospital, the ambulance should transport the patient as quickly as possible, e.g. by choosing the most proper route to the hospital taking into account real-time traffic information. These could be enabled and/or enhanced by using 5G, which is designed for the provision of high-throughput, low-latency and reliable wireless communications.
The 5G-HEART team, coordinated by VTT of Finland, comprises 21 partners from 7 EU member states, including major telecom and vertical players, research/academic institutions and SMEs. Besides TNO, there are two other Dutch partners involved: Philips and Dynniq. The project is further supported by the following Dutch organizations: 5Groningen/Economic Board Groningen, Agentschap Telecom, VodafoneZiggo, Huawei, and University Medical Centre Groningen.