Located at the Company’s headquarters in Lisbon, Vodafone’s 5G Hub will be an open center for knowledge and innovation that will bring together partners from telecommunications, industry, universities, researchers and startups. The goal is to create an ecosystem for the development of new technology to tap the full potential of 5G.
“The creation of this nerve centre is an urgent imperative. On one hand, it reflects one of our main obsessions – innovation – the determination of moving forward, making the world closer and conquering the future. From the other hand, is a consequence of an ambitious investment plan that Vodafone set in motion, for benefit of the country, and that reached more than one billion euros over the past five years”, says Mário Vaz, CEO of Vodafone Portugal.
The project was presented this morning at Vodafone Portugal headquarters, in an event attended by Guilherme W. d’ Oliveira Martins, Secretary of State for Infrastructures; Mário Vaz, CEO of Vodafone Portugal; and Luís Miguel Silva, President of Ericsson Portugal, with whom Vodafone signed a strategic partnership for the construction and development of 5G in Portugal. It was with Ericsson, in fact, that the company signed the first memorandum of collaboration for the promotion and acceleration of the fifth generation network in our country and, consequently, of this innovation laboratory.
Along with Ericsson, this innovation center will be open to the participation of the main universities in the country, such as the Technical Institute in Lisbon and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Also part of this Hub is UPTEC – a technology park that provides support and mentoring to startups, as well as Vodafone Power Lab, an incubator for entrepreneurship projects.
With this lab, Vodafone is committed to create the necessary conditions to test and deliver practical use cases, providing 5G standardized radio and core network as soon as it’s available, as well as access to service platforms. In addition, 5G antennas will be installed at the university poles that integrate this Hub, so that students can access this technology and deliver ideas that would otherwise only be possible when the mobile network would be commercially available.
By contributing to the acceleration and development of 5G in Portugal, Vodafone, Ericsson and all the partners of this innovation center are actively contributing to the progress of the digital economy in Portugal, showing that, acting in an articulated way, we all win: companies, universities, startups and, consequently, Portuguese innovation.
This Hub is the reflection of the work that Vodafone has developed in recent years, gradually preparing the arrival of the fifth mobile generation. The Company has been gearing up its infrastructure and network architecture with agnostic equipment, which through a software upgrade will be ready for the 5G.
“We have been upgrading our fast and resilient network so that it is ready for 5G. A very significant part of the investment that we doing in our network seeks to prepare the infrastructures to the next generation of mobile”, says João Nascimento, CTO of Vodafone Portugal.
5G – Enhancing the transformation of industry and society
In order to materialize some of the innovations that will be developed in the 5G Hub, and to show how the mobile network of the future will shape the companies in the most diverse fields, we have demonstrated five use cases developed by Ericsson, under Vodafone’s 5G test network.
- Remote driving – From a cockpit installed at Vodafone headquarters, it was possible to remotely drive a car, which took a route through Parque das Nações
- Internet of Skills – 5G will empower the sharing of knowledge and skills from one physical point to another, reliably and ultra-fast. In this demonstration we witnessed the simulation of a surgery, in a Virtual Reality environment, in which the physician uses for tactile gloves, composed by thousands of sensors
- Internet of eyes – Intelligent infrastructures enabled by 5G and the cloud will give rise to various use cases of, among others, public safety and crowd management (disturbance detection, facial recognition); Industrial automation (robotics, security, autonomous vehicles); Intelligent transport systems (road safety, smart parking). The demonstration showed multiple cameras streaming video of a situation from different angles while an intelligent machine detected objects and determines their location in real time
- Immersive Gaming – Playing in Virtual Reality will become an increasingly common experience. In this demonstration the new possibilities boosted by the 5G for consumers, suchas low latency and dynamic motion tracking were evidenced.