Jessica Vermeer
1 July

TNO launched one of Europe’s first fully-fledged 5G test networks. The network operates in the 3.5 GHz band using an official Dutch test license and enables testing of advanced applications like AR/VR, high-speed video connections, self-driving cars and drones for industrial applications. The public-private research center claims the network has demonstrated up to 10 times the speed of 4G networks and latencies as low as 10 milliseconds.

The test network is fully-fledged 5G, meaning all its individual components are 5G capable. It combines 5G radio with a cloud-native open 5G core network, based on Fraunhofer’s Open5GCore and running TNO’s cloud platform in containers orchestrated by Kubernetes. Together with Ericsson’s 5G base stations, the platform provides connectivity to any mobile device that supports 5G stand-alone mode. According to TNO, the network is more advanced than commercially available 5G networks, all of which contain a mixture of 4G and 5G components.

In the upcoming months, TNO plans to deploy the 5G test network for use case trials with its telecom and sector partners in the Netherlands. Adrian Pais, head of TNO’s 5Groningen program, states: “One of the advantages of our test network is that it can be deployed very quickly, anywhere. Also, our access to source code enables the rapid development and innovation of applications. We’re constantly adding new features in response to the demand from our partners in various sectors. Use case trials are being planned in sectors such as healthcare, industry, mobility and media. This would simply not be possible without an open, flexible and advanced 5G test network.”