The first steps towards 5G in Norway

Robotic surgery and self-driving cars are among the things that will become a reality thanks to fifth generation mobile networks (5G). For the first time ever, Telenor has tested 5G on Norwegian soil

Written: 22 March 2017

On 20 March, the technology was demonstrated at Fornebu, making its first outing in Norway, in collaboration with Huawei. The mobile manufacturer has joined forces with Telenor to test and develop 5G prior to it being launched for public use in Norway in 2020.

The press, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (Nkom) and the Minister of Transport Ketil Solvik-Olsen were present to see with their own eyes what the future will offer in terms of digital mobile infrastructure and digital services.

‘5G will form the foundations of all digital communication and is a flexible toolbox for the digitalisation of society. Norway is an important testing laboratory for the success of new technology, and today’s test means we have taken an important step towards building the digital future of the countries in which Telenor operates,’ says Group CEO Sigve Brekke.

Multiple networks in one solution

During testing, Telenor’s surgeon Naeem Zahid explained how a robot with 5G support can save lives by performing highly accurate surgery and providing diagnoses of patients in the blink of an eye. In the fishing industry, 5G will provide the long-awaited solution to boosting profitability in the sector. This will be thanks to advanced sensors and image analysis that will monitor each individual fish and separate any fish that are infected with lice at any early stage.

Socially beneficial services that have previously not been possible will become a key part of both organisations and individuals’ digital lives.

‘Telenor sees many new applications that require significantly faster speeds, reduced latency, and more robustness in the mobile network than 4G will ever be in a position to offer,’ says Berit Svendsen, EVP of Telenor’s Scandinavia Cluster.

5G sees the introduction of a ‘slab allocated’ network. This means it is possible to offer multiple logical networks suited to the bandwidth, reliability and system latency requirements of different user groups all across the same physical network. The 5G technology offers tremendous flexibility in terms of the services that can be offered, and can be adapted to very different customer needs using the same, common infrastructure.

Something to look forward to

5G will open up new and hitherto unknown customer experiences that will be possible thanks to extremely high bandwidth and speeds, in addition to low latency and excellent reliability.

It is precisely these characteristics that enable ‘everything’ to be connected to 5G, meaning your home and car can benefit from smart solutions. You fridge can let you know that you have run out of milk, while a driverless smart car can continuously keep you updated on traffic and whether there are parking spaces available.

‘We will continue to analyse and examine 5G technology in detail throughout 2017, both in the lab and in the field. Although there’s still a while to go until 2020, we promise that Norwegians have something to look forward to,’ says Svendsen. Smart cars must communicate with each other in traffic to avoid collisions and traffic chaos. 5G is required because of the requirements for latency in communication between smart cars and other things.

5G demo and pilot testing

Today’s 5G test saw Telenor, in partnership with Huawei, demonstrate a very high rate of data transfer via radio, which says a lot about the mobile broadband of the future. This was the first 5G demo on the path towards 5G standardisation and the commercial launch of the technology.

‘So far, 5G is nowhere near standardised – we are only in the early stages. The fact that we are already able to demonstrate 5G is therefore absolutely fantastic. The entire mobile world is pushing ahead to get standards in place under the auspices of the 3GPP organisation and Telenor’ says Berit Svendsen.