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TNO launches fully fledged 5G test network

29 Jun 2020

One of Europe’s first fully fledged 5G test networks is up and running at TNO. It is more advanced than today’s commercially available 5G networks. The facility allows TNO to support the innovation ambitions of the telco industry and vertical sectors using 5G and future wireless technology generations.

TNO’s 5G test network is full fledged 5G, meaning that all its components are 5G-capable.

TNO’s new 5G network enables testing of the most advanced applications such as AR/VR, high speed video connections, self-driving cars, and drones for industrial applications. Operating in the 3.5 GHz band using an official Dutch test license, the network has demonstrated speeds of up to 10 times the speed of 4G networks and latencies as low as 10 ms. “The high performance and advanced capabilities of this network allow TNO to support the innovation ambitions of the telco industry and vertical sectors by enabling them to get a step ahead,” says Jose Almodovar, TNO senior R&D consultant and 3GPP SA1 group chair. TNO’s 5G test network is full fledged 5G, meaning that all its components are 5G-capable. It is more advanced than today’s commercially available 5G networks all of which still contain a mixture of 4G and 5G components.

Multi-vendor interoperability and adaptability

TNO’s 5G test network combines 5G radio with a cloud-native open 5G core network. The 5G core network is based on Fraunhofer’s Open5GCore, running on TNO’s cloud platform in containers orchestrated by Kubernetes. Together with Ericsson’s 5G base stations, the platform provides connectivity to any mobile device that supports 5G Standalone mode. “A unique aspect of our 5G test network is its multi-vendor interoperability and its adaptability. The network provides us with a lot of experience on how to configure and work with a cloud-based 5G architecture. It is also an excellent basis for experiments that make use of advanced 5G features such as slicing, network exposure and edge computing. We believe that this TNO facility is one of a kind in the Netherlands and among very few in Europe that have this setup and testing capabilities,” says Iko Keesmaat, head of TNO’s 5G test network.

Ready for use case trials

In the coming months TNO plans to deploy the 5G test network for use case trials with its telco and sector partners in the Netherlands. “One of the advantages of our test network is that it can be deployed very quickly, anywhere. Also, our access to source code enables rapid development and innovation of applications. We are constantly adding new features in respond to the demand from our partners in various sectors. Use case trials are already planned in sectors such as healthcare, industry, mobility and media. These use cases would simply not be possible without an open, flexible and advanced 5G test network such as ours,” says Adrian Pais, head of TNO’s 5Groningen programme.

TNO’s ultimate goal is to support partners to innovate using 5G and future wireless technology generations. “We do this by offering our knowledge, experience, technical resources and strong network with both the telco industry and vertical sectors,” says Adrian Pais. Entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations interested in partnering are invited to reach out to TNO.

Inquiries about the 5G test network?

Please contact Iko Keesmaat ›

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