​Kongsberg set to become Norway's first 5G pilot

Kongsberg is to become the first town in Norway which Telenor will pilot 5G technology. Autonomous buses, drones, emergency communication and eHealth are just some of the applications which may be trialled.
Svein-Olav Torø Kongsberg innovasjon, The letter of intent was signed today by (from left): Svein-Olav Torø, Kongsberg innovasjon, Ove Fredheim Telenor Norway, Wenche Grinderud, Kongsberg municipality, Olav Maadland, Applied Autonomy.

(Kongsberg, 9 November 2017) Kongsberg is to become the first town in Norway which Telenor will pilot 5G technology. Autonomous buses, drones, emergency communication and eHealth are just some of the applications which may be trialled.

– 5G technology could transform many critical social applications such as traffic management, health services and key communication services, including emergency communication. We are therefore thrilled to announce this partnership with Kongsberg's exciting environment of innovation, says Ove Fredheim, Head of Telenor's Corporate Market Division.

The letter of intent was signed today at the Kongsberg Technology Summit in the presence of all the collaboration partners. The initial participants in the pilot are Telenor, Kongsberg municipality, Applied Autonomy and Kongsberg Innovasjon. Other parties will be able to sign up in due course.

– We will test specific applications and technologies which will be controlled via the 5G network. The initial trials will involve an autonomous bus, which will have a dedicated 5G network from the railway station to the industrial park in Kongsberg, says Fredheim.

According to independent tests, Telenor has one of the world's best 4G networks, and Telenor also intends also be a leader within the 5G sector. Telenor's 4G network is being developed further, while at the same time the company is set to launch 5G from 2020. The 4G network will have an important role to play alongside 5G for many years to come.

– 5G is a key element for our ability to use new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, commercial drones, virtual reality and intelligent transport systems effectively, says Svein-Olav Torø, CEO of Kongsberg Innovasjon.

– The fact that we are now able to test 5G at the same time as we test our new technologies is key to the success of our projects, says Torø regarding the new partnership with Telenor.

Telenor is now considering possible locations for 5G base stations in the area around the industrial park in Kongsberg and the applications that will be tested in Kongsberg together with its collaboration partners.

– Kongsberg has come a long way with its technologically innovative work; it is therefore logical that this trial is happening here. We are of course thrilled that Telenor has chosen Kongsberg, says Kari Anne Sand, mayor of the Kongsberg municipality.

The new 5G network will see the introduction of what is known as "network slicing". This technology makes it possible to offer more logical networks adapted to meet the needs of different user groups in terms of bandwidth, reliability and system lag over the same physical network. 5G technology offers considerable flexibility in terms of services and can be configured to meet widely varying customer needs over a single common infrastructure.

– 5G presents us with entirely new opportunities for developing and operating services and control functions for autonomous vehicles, says Olav Madland of Applied Autonomy.

– As an industrial actor, early access to 5G gives us unique opportunities on a global scale to showcase exciting services. In a way, autonomous vehicles are large mobile phones on wheels; a more powerful mobile network allows these to be utilised and managed more effectively, safely and efficiently, adds Madland.

– 5G represents a paradigm shift. For us it is vital to work closely with public and private sector actors, so that together we can contribute to the best possible use of the 5G network in order to realise critical social tasks. The network will be expanded step by step in close collaboration with the actors that will use it. We hope that our experiences in Kongsberg will show us how this can best be done, says Fredheim.

The parties have determined the following schedule for this collaboration:

Stage 1 — H2 2017: Describe and reach agreement concerning relevant pilot projects/applications

Stage 2 — H1 2018: Plan agreed pilot projects

Stage 3 — H2 2018–2019: Carry out pilot projects

Stage 4 — H2 2019: Summarise the lessons learned from the pilot projects

Some relevant applications for 5G are:

1) Autonomous vehicles

2) Drones

3) AR/VR

4) Emergency communication

5) eHealth

6) Broadband services for private individuals and businesses