The Innovation Programme is to enable the trialling of 5G applications under real-life conditions. In this way, potential consumers and providers of innovative 5G mobile communications solutions are to be brought together and the potential of 5G mobile communications is to be made visible locally. In total, the German Bundestag has decided that around 66 million euros will be made available for funding the introduction of 5G. With this initiative, we intend to contribute towards making Germany the lead market for 5G.
Step I – the 5G research regions
In the context of the 5G research initiative, in 2019, six special funding grants were awarded to research establishments and universities.
Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer said:
5G is much more than just high-speed Internet - it is the key to the future. The buzz words are capacity, connectivity and real time. An example: one autonomous vehicle will need approx. one gigabyte of data - per minute. In comparison: to watch one minute of a video with Full HD quality on a smartphone it takes about 30 megabytes. In addition, the vehicles must communicate with intelligent traffic guidance systems. With 5G, up to a million Internet-driven items in an area within a radius of one kilometre can be integrated. All of this is of no use to you, the passenger, unless the car brakes in real time, too. The six funded projects give us an idea of how 5G will change our lives in very different ways. From the way in which we work and get from one place to another to the way in which we see a doctor.
5G 4Healthcare - Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule (OTH – Technical University of Applied Sciences) Amberg-Weiden:
Health care in rural areas is confronted with particular challenges that make domiciliary care of elderly people and the integrated cross-sectoral provision of care to multimorbid and chronically ill patients very resource-intensive. Coordination between the different actors (doctors, carers, pharmacists and relatives), the availability of and provision with medical and auxiliary products as well as the coordination of patient transport are only some of the issues that make the provision highly complex. Questions concerning mobility, the exchange of information and logistics become key challenges. Unlocking the potential of innovative solutions along the entire supply chain will therefore be especially important for effective and efficient health care in rural areas. Against this backdrop, the overarching objective of the 5G 4Healthcare project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is to explore the feasibility, possibilities and limits in the field of improving through 5G technology the effectiveness and efficiency of health care in rural areas and to derive recommendations for action for scalable solutions. Under the leadership of the OTH Amberg-Weiden, 5G application scenarios for two use cases entitled “Integrated care” and “Home care” are designed (phase 1), implemented in model form (phase 2), tested and evaluated (phase 3). During the three-year project duration, “living labs” will be locally established at regional health care partners offering out-patient and in-patient medical care, in which user- and practice-oriented usage and options of 5G technology can be trialled and assessed for the application of digital solutions, e.g. in the fields of remote diagnosis, medication, emergency care or surgeries supported by robots. In total, a 5G-based research and development platform will be developed that can be used as a test bed for a systematic digital health-based care approach in rural areas.
Funding: 8,445,120.82 euros
5G Lab Germany research field Lausitz - Technical University of Dresden
Connected cranes, excavators and many other construction machines will jointly be used at digitalized construction sites. In addition, smart cameras and sensors will capture every object and its movements. This will enable completely new construction processes, reduce construction periods and not least significantly increase occupational safety. Automated and cooperatively acting drones will also support the work at the construction sites. These can be used to monitor the construction site. However, integration into the construction processes will also be possible. For example, drones could attach insulation or spray facades. We are also looking into drone use in many other areas, such as deployment scenarios in which drones are deployed in an automated way and in swarms.
The use of air taxis will change the mobility of the future. In rural areas, the air taxi will fly autonomously, i.e. independently and with its own "autopilot”. In urban areas, the steering responsibility will gradually be transferred to a central coordinating body. In this way, many objects can be coordinated in the airspace much better. The situation is very similar with regard to vehicles. In rural areas with relatively few road users, the vehicle can operate autonomously, i.e. only with local sensors. The heavier the traffic in the cities, the more complex the situation. In order to ensure safe and optimum traffic routing, more and more decisions will be taken by a central infrastructure for the vehicles. Road safety will be increased and traffic flows as well as the environmental performance will be significantly improved.
All studies and trials will be carried out in the “5G Lab Germany Lausitz research field”. The focus is on the cities of Hoyerswerda (Saxony) and Welzow (Brandenburg).
Funding: 6,960,467.61 euros
5G Industry Campus Europe - Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology RWTH Aachen
The “5G Industry Campus Europe” will be the first site in Europe to be equipped with an area-wide 5G network to research 5G applications in the manufacturing industry. The outdoor network will cover an area of 1 km2 of the Melaten campus at the RWTH Aachen and give the research partners from the region the opportunity to implement individual 5G applications on the “5G Industry Campus Europe”.
The new 5G mobile communications standard will give the manufacturing industry the possibility, in multiple ways, to make processes faster and more efficient, because latencies of down to less than 1 millisecond and data transfer rates of up 10 Gbit/s will make it possible to monitor manufacturing processes with wireless sensors and regulate them in real time. What is more, mobile manufacturing units such as robots can autonomously work on and install large components with wireless 5G sensors.
In the “5G Industry Campus Europe”, different questions on production technology in established projects that are relevant for the practice will be examined, from 5G sensors to monitoring manufacturing processes, from mobile robotics and logistics to production chains covering several locations.
The 5G network will be launched on the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz frequency band and there will be an additional 4G network to ensure that the outcome is transferable to industry.
In doing so, the “5G Industry Campus Europe” will make a major contribution to the digital revolution and Industry 4.0 in Germany and the European environment. The research network on the Melaten campus is the optimum site, as it is located in the tri-border area, with numerous businesses from the mechanical engineering sector and production research located close by.
The “5G Industry Campus Europe” is a consortium comprising the RWTH Institutes WZL and FIR as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, which coordinates the initiative.
Funding: 6,237,862.88 euros
The Kaiserslautern 5G model region - 5G for urban, rural and working life - Technical University of Kaiserslautern
What opportunities does 5G offer for urban, rural and working life? The answer to this question is being researched in the Kaiserslautern 5G model region. The actual objective is to show how 5G can be used in our daily lives, agriculture and viniculture, by rescue services and in manufacturing facilities.
The aim is to develop and trial 5G applications in realistic 5G networks, to make 5G competences and trialling opportunities available especially for small and medium-sized enterprises and to further develop 5G network technologies from the user’s perspective. Here, different forms of 5G campus networks will be implemented to let possible user groups experience this new connectivity strategy.
What is special about 5G in Kaiserslautern is the portable 5G campus networks, with which 5G connectivity can also be trialled outside of the 5G campus network that has been established in Kaiserslautern. With this, businesses can trial 5G applications on their company premises and use this experience to decide if they need a 5G campus network.
One use case for this network is agriculture, forestry, and viniculture, where fertilizer can be used efficiently through targeted data collection and evaluation, and drones can be used to detect and report pest infestation. The portable 5G network will be connected with satellite or microwave link connection to make Internet access possible everywhere. Private campus networks are particularly important for the manufacturing industry to satisfy the high requirements to be met by industrial communication in relation to availability, safety and low latency.
Funding: 11,614,446.31 euros
5G real-life laboratory in the Braunschweig-Wolfsburg mobility region
In the Braunschweig-Wolfsburg mobility region, an open 5G real-life laboratory is being established. To this end, the information network is being measured, modelled and evaluated. In addition, concrete applications in the fields of mobility, eHealth and Smart Construction are being implemented, evaluated and clearly presented to the public. A 5G forum will be created as a place where people can come together and ideas and views can be actively exchanged with citizens, local representatives, interested startups and businesses. A 5G service level that connects data, services and devices and makes it possible to quickly add new added value services will be the technical central focal point and hub for all applications.
In the field of Smart Construction, the real-time digital transformation of construction sites is to be examined using the new positioning options of 5G. In the field of eHealth, new possibilities of mobile diagnostics with mobile MRI and mobile ECG vests will be assessed in order to make a contribution to health care outside of conurbations.
The mobility priority area will focus on research and demonstration of three applications. For rail transport, railway operations that are piloted remotely with 5G are being researched. For road transport, optimised rescue mobility through optimised traffic light phasing and the formation of emergency corridors with interlinked and automated vehicles is being implemented. Piloting rescue drones remotely with 5G contributes towards providing information about and safeguarding accident sites through links to road traffic.
The 5G real-life laboratory uses the local strengths of the Braunschweig and Wolfsburg mobility region. The result can be permanently integrated into the existing Application Platform for Intelligent Mobility (AIM) test beds or the Test Field Lower Saxony.
Funding: 11,987,694.76 euros
5G Industry Campus Europe - HafenCity University of Hamburg (HCU)
The Level 5 Indoor Navigation project stands for a new approach of the 5G mobile communications standard as an orientation signal and without additional hardware technology for navigating indoors. With a generic offer for highly-flexible navigation ecology. The main objective of the project is to use the newly available 5G technology to show in a research-oriented model project how navigation systems that were formerly only known in the outdoor sector (through GPS) can now also be integrated into existing smartphone systems in the context of indoor navigation.
In addition to diverse possibilities for application, this also allows a simplified use, as there is no specific integration into singular systems required. In the end, the idea will be to use a specific app with open interfaces to enable the corresponding navigation in all buildings that were modelled based on these standards.
The challenge will be that, in contrast to road maps, it is the individual responsibility of each operator of a building to implement this modelling or outsource it to a corresponding service provider.
Through the new system, the two advantages of 5G, namely higher speed and simultaneously higher accuracy, will be used in combination with the possibility of sending real-time data in larger data packages.
The basic idea of 5G‐based indoor navigation can and will be possible with existing radio cells of the providers (or their standard technology in use). However, it is likely that the lower density of possible points of measurement (despite suitable triangulation) will negatively impact precision and the complete coverage of building complexes. Against this background, a technology partnership is planned within the framework of this project, which is to help improve the radio technology through a new development of additional chips that could lead to a much better quality of navigation (X< 2m). To this end, in theory, a chip producer will become a technology partner and develop additional technologies in close cooperation with a carrier. This technology is to be used here for the first time.
Step II – the 5G innovation competition
The objective of the strategy funding is to develop project ideas that trial and research 5G applications in the region. Particularly outstanding projects will receive implementation funding in a second step.
In total, 67 cities, regions and joint authorities have received around 6.2 million euros for 5G strategies.
Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:
The 138 concrete ideas underline the enormous interest in 5G. And rightly so, because 5G is the key to the future. Be it transport and logistics, medicine, forestry and agriculture or many other areas, this technology will permanently change our lives. Throughout Germany, 67 cities and regions can now seize the opportunity to progress the introduction of 5G with innovative and creative strategies.
Strategies that are not funded can still be established individually and possibly benefit from the opportunity to receive implementation funding. The implementation period will be extended to 30 June 2020, and additional funding from the budget allocated to the “implementation of 5x5G strategies” will be made available. Funding guidelines for the implementation funding are currently being prepared.