Telenor, a leader in 5G

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It's clear that 5G is going to change society and our lives in ways we can't even imagine. Telenor has been at the forefront of 5G research and development since 2018, starting with our leadership of the 5G Verticals INNovation Infrastructure initiative to accelerate the uptake of 5G across Europe. Telenor is also at the forefront in rolling out 5G commercially.

With exceptional speeds and capabilities, 5G will revolutionise the way we live our lives. It represents an enormous potential for empowering societies, bringing about innovation across industries and transforming how we communicate. Since we pioneered the first test networks in the Nordic countries, our experts have been continuously working on new ways to harness the potential of 5G to improve the quality and reliability of the services you use every day.

In simple terms, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for cellular networks. Communication is faster, more secure, more reliable and with higher capacity.

5G is triggering the drive to digitalisation outside of the telecommunications industry, such as in the health, public safety, automotive and manufacturing industries. However, this does not happen on its own. It requires partnerships and co-creation between industry players, telecommunications operators and governments.

How does Telenor work with 5G?

Telenor has successfully explored and demonstrated the value of a wide range of new 5G opportunities through industry-recognised research and innovation activities for several years, for example in the 5G-VINNI initiative (5G Verticals INNovation Infrastructure) and the Fudge 5G project for research on private 5G networks, both sponsored by the European Union. We have also received several awards based on these activities, demonstrating leading solutions in close collaboration with partners and customers.

We are involved in much more than research activities. Telenor is rolling out 5G in the Nordics and Asia and has achieved the position as a leading 5G operator in Norway and Finland. We commercially launched fixed 5G wireless access in Finland in December 2019. This has been followed by additional services for mobile broadband and fixed wireless access in other countries.

In addition to broadband connectivity, we are collaborating with several key players in various industries on more advanced use cases, such as media management, mission-critical communication, medical monitoring by in-body sensors and support of autonomously piloted vessels. We have delivered several commercial enterprise solutions where 5G plays a central role related to private networks and edge cloud. This enables different types of devices to shape an enormous intelligent network that can perform heavy computing tasks usually processed in large data centres.

What is network slicing?

5G enables network slicing, a virtual partitioning of network resources that can provide a ‘my network’ experience for individual customers. For example, if there's a sudden surge in demand for high-speed internet access, more capacity is dynamically allocated to that slice of the network. How will this affect you? Whether you’re streaming movies, making video calls or accessing critical business applications, network slicing helps ensure that you have a seamless, secure and reliable experience. As an example, we demonstrated network slicing with the Norwegian Defence in the 5G-VINNI initiative.

Why use private 5G networks?

A private 5G network is a wireless network that is set up exclusively for a customer to meet their demands, such as guaranteed capacity, low latency, autonomy and regulations. A network slice, as described above, can be seen as a private network, but it is also possible to set up the full 5G system on a customer’s premise, including the 5G core network and radio nodes. Telenor has demonstrated private 5G networks for various customers, such as hospitals and defence.

Another example of a private network is Telenor’s Fudge 5G Network on Wheels. This is a mobile solution that offers a standalone and autonomous private 5G network that ensures reliable and secure connectivity for first responders in emergency situations. The solution includes 5G radio, 5G core network and other necessary applications, which are deployed in a single box solution (edge cloud) to provide seamless connectivity between emergency responders. Public safety officers, agents and first responders are now able to increase situational awareness using the rapidly deployed private 5G network to set up voice calls or group calls, stream high-definition videos and send data such as maps, locations and messages. Exchanging information quickly in such complex situations can be a decisive factor for first responders and deployed forces.

How can 5G make our national critical infrastructure more resilient?

During times of crisis, 5G plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of the civilian population by protecting and monitoring electrical grids, power plants, communication networks and other critical infrastructure. The 5G technology can provide connectivity to critical infrastructure, not only through automation of industrial processes, but also in the collection of information on infrastructure status. Telenor is working with partners to develop a 5G-enabled system for the protection of critical infrastructure and rapid response to crises.

The 5G-enabled systems can efficiently monitor our most important assets, including the use of smart sensors, automated gunshot detection, unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles and other automated cameras. For example, 5G-enabled sensors and monitoring systems can be placed and connected remotely to a central location such as a datacentre, which would be part of an active monitoring system. This enables a proactive approach for guarding the critical infrastructure and increases situational awareness. The number of people required for actively guarding the assets would be reduced significantly.