5Groningen is transforming North-Groningen into the ultimate testing ground for the latest generation of mobile internet. Entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations are joining forces with experts to test 5G applications. The pilot area is called the 5G Field Lab.
The applications, which are tested, concern developments in the care, energy, traffic & logistics, agriculture and living environment sectors. They include applications to monitor diseases in crops as they grow, using sensors that measure information and send huge volumes of data via the high-speed 5G network for swift analysis. Or applications that allow a doctor in a hospital to make a long-distance diagnosis thanks to a fast connection conveying live images from an ambulance. The first five pilots will be launched in early 2017.
5Groningen is an initiative of Economic Board Groningen (EBG) and has been made possible thanks to 10 partners. 5Groningen tests applications using 5G. It doesn’t test the technology itself, but what you can do with it. They do this with partners from various sectors, including commercial companies, knowledge institutes and social organizations.
Applications are put through their paces in the 5G Living Lab on Zernike Campus in Groningen (close to the EnTranCe energy transition center) and at various other locations in the North-Groningen countryside. 5G applications such as drones, virtual/augmented reality and all kinds of applications with the Internet of Things (IoT) can be tested and further developed in the Living Lab. This lab is the gateway to the real field tests. It’s where the prototypes are tried out before they go live in North-Groningen.
All this pre-testing is carried out before the ‘real tests’ with 5G applications at the chosen test sites in North-Groningen. These include tests with self-driving cars and tractors, and smart ambulances.
5G is still in the development phase. Telecom manufacturers are working hard on new antennae and sensors, but the technology is not quite ready for the market yet. To take it to the next level, the manufacturers need to know how the market and users intend to use 5G in the future. This is why we are testing the new technology in North-Groningen.
North-Groningen is a vast rural expanse of land, with plenty of space offering a wealth of opportunities. But this area also involves challenges; it is sparsely populated with an ageing population. How, for example, do we ensure that public transport continues to provide an adequate service? What is needed to ensure adequate long-term care for an ever-ageing population? 5G is also a great opportunity for entrepreneurs. It allows farmers to view and analyse data sent via 5G by sensors covering hundreds of hectares of crops at speeds that were previously inconceivable.
Furthermore, it will give North-Groningen new economic impetus. Thanks to 5Groningen, the area can be a pioneer in the latest technology. This will not only help Groningen, but eventually the Netherlands and even Europe too.
9747 AN Groningen (NL)
More information about 5Groningen can be found at their website.