The new test field aims at creating a comprehensive ecosystem for 5G applications and products. 5G Berlin member companies and participating research institutions can now benefit from attractive terms and conditions for collaborative or individual research and innovation testing. The focus is on topics such as Smart City, looking deeper into how to achieve steered traffic control with intelligent sensor technology. Another important field of research is the support of automated driving through novel assistance systems.
The test field also offers the possibility to try industrial campus networks for reliable radio-based control of industrial processes within factories. Furthermore, it serves as a development site for new network control methods that use artificial intelligence.
"The 5G test field is a great success for Berlin as a business location because it offers a solid 5G stand-alone network that does not require support from the LTE core network," says Professor Slawomir Stanczak, Head of the Department Wireless Networks at Fraunhofer HHI. "Companies and research institutions now have the unique opportunity to experiment extensively in the field of 5G technologies. By providing the test field, we want to generate essential findings to take digitization in Germany an important step forward and to positively impact our technological sovereignty".
"The joint infrastructure that has now been put into operation enables our member companies and research institutions to develop and test 5G key technologies for urban applications under real-life conditions," comments Carsten Rossenhoevel, board member of Innovation Cluster 5G Berlin and co-founder of the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC AG). "The flexible test environment operating independent from commercial networks is available to all members on an ongoing basis. It is a significant advantage for Berlin as a business location."
The test field uses 5G macro radio cells in combination with smaller radio cells for local, broadband and high-speed communication links. The radio cells use the 3.7 GHz band designed for the operation of campus networks in Germany. A transmission bandwidth of 80 MHz, beamforming and adaptive antenna technology with 64 elements, so-called multi-user MIMO, support the testing of applications with high demand concerning bandwidth and signal propagation times.
The Berlin-based company ng4T provided the 5G Core network software (5G Core). It supports application-specific quality settings, so-called network slicing, and the orchestration of network services. This allows for the emulation of multiple network instances, so that roaming between public networks and campus networks can be simulated. The integration of the core network and radio access network (5G RAN) was successfully tested with commercial end devices in view of 3GPP Release 15 SA.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, headquartered in Germany, is the world’s leading applied research organization. With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial exploitation of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. Founded in 1949, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft currently operates 74 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany. The majority of the organization’s 28,000 employees are qualified scientists and engineers, who work with an annual research budget of 2.8 billion euros. Of this sum, 2.3 billion euros is generated through contract research.