When it comes to the “race to 5G” that U.S. lobbyists talk about, Europe typically is not cited as the big geography to beat, yet efforts are underway to ensure a unique 5G end-to-end ecosystem exists there.
Nearly 30 partners gathered at Ericsson Spain’s facilities in Madrid this week for the first plenary meeting of the 5G-EVE program, which is driving the end-to-end 5G ecosystem in Europe.
5G-EVE, short for 5G European Validation platform for Extensive trials, will develop and interconnect four existing European sites—in Greece, Spain, France and Italy—to create a unique 5G end-to-end facility. The sites are complemented by advanced labs, such as the Ericsson lab in Kista, Sweden.
The program currently has 28 partners from seven countries, including four of the main European operators and six vertical companies, according to Ericsson.
One of the big objectives of the Madrid meeting was to plan and coordinate the deployment of 5G technologies in the four laboratories so that use cases spanning six industrial sectors can start validation tests in May. The six sectors include Industry 4.0, tourism, transport, smart cities, utilities and media.
"Ericsson's alliance with Telefónica, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and IMDEA Networks through 5TONIC, with the stimulus of the European 5G-EVE project, will help consolidate the Madrid-based 5G lab as a European landmark and increase the number of vertical collaborators within the 5G innovation ecosystem," Luisa Muñoz, head of Ericsson R&D Center Spain, said in a press release.
The 5G-EVE platform in Spain is developed within the framework of 5TONIC, an innovation lab for 5G technologies co-founded by Telefónica and IMDEA Networks Institute.
Attendees at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month will get a chance to hear from 5TONIC VP Arturo Azcorra, who will be part of a discussion on how mobile operators can capitalize on their assets and take advantage of opportunities in the field of Industry 4.0.
The conference organizers reportedly picked 5TONIC to join the discussion after learning about the laboratory’s trial using robotics and autonomously guided factory vehicles that was completed last year in collaboration with 5TONIC member company ASTIMobile.