New 5G Test Network Launched in the Netherlands

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A 5G testbed in the Dutch province of North Groningen was officially launched today, when an international agreement was signed between the ten partner organisations who initiated the project.

The signed earlier this week at the Ministry of Economic Affairs brings together partners from the fields of telecommunications, innovation, science and sustainable economic development to jointly research the practical applications of 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. The 5Groningen project is an initiative of Economic Board Groningen, KPN, the Dutch Telecommunications Agency (Agentschap Telecom), Vodafone, Huawei, Ericsson, TNO, the University of Groningen, SURF and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

Innovation research will focus on the sectors of logistics, healthcare, the environment, energy and agriculture. Self-driving cars and the monitoring of crop diseases are two flagship examples of specific applications to be targeted.

Groningen is the only rural area in Europe where 5G tests are being carried out, making the 5Groningen project a unique initiative at an EU level. The first series of tests will be launched before the end of the year at Zernike Campus, Groningen’s large research complex.

The unique new testing environment will serve as another stepping stone towards 5G deployment by 2020, meaning that citizens and the economy as a whole, in North Groningen as elsewhere, will be able to reap the benefits of this new technology.

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