The ambulance service in the city, extra fun for the supporters of the Philips stadium, autonomous flying drones, rehabilitation projects on the Herdgang, entertainment in the Effenaar and all kinds of experiments for startups and SMEs on the High Tech Campus: all this needs to get off the ground better with a 5G 3.5 GigaHertz connection. And if you’re in Eindhoven, you might be lucky enough to be one of the first to enjoy it: residents, students, startups and companies can use 5G in full at a number of test locations to make the city better. To this end, the Radiocommunications Agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs has allocated temporary frequency space.
The focus will be on new applications made possible by 5G. Also, the newest devices on 3.5 GHz can then be tested. The municipality of Eindhoven, telecom company VodafoneZiggo and network partner Ericsson have joined forces to achieve this with a letter of intent. A number of local partners, including Philips, PSV, the GGD, High Tech Campus and LUMO Labs, will work on the new possibilities. Alderman Stijn Steenbakkers says the initiative will help business as well as society in Eindhoven.
“You could say that in Eindhoven, we will immediately come up with the solutions they will soon be working with in America.”
5G – the long-awaited successor to 4G – enables data to be generated faster, in higher volumes, via more users at the same time and more reliably than is the case with 4G. For Eindhoven, participation in this agreement is mainly related to the societal interest, says alderman Stijn Steenbakkers: “As a high-tech city, we are convinced that 5G technology can make a valuable contribution to our society. For us as a municipality, the welfare of our inhabitants is always paramount. We, therefore, ask parties to use independent research, make transparent measurements and share information for local residents to pay attention to questions and concerns about possible health or spatial effects.”
Initially, the experiment focuses on four projects:
- Philips, the GGD, the Safety region, the Catharina hospital and the TU/e are partnering in a trial on acute care in ambulances. Thanks to the more stable connections, ‘remote assistance’ for diagnosis and preparation for treatment would be provided more quickly than at present during the journey of an ambulance.
- On the High Tech Campus, there will be both a production facility and offices. SMEs, but also start-ups connected to the accelerator of LumoLabs can make a test environment of this,
- In the PSV stadium, 5G should provide more experience among the supporters, for example by using 360-degree cameras to show the achievements of the footballers from a self-chosen field of view. A supporter is then virtually in the front row or even next to the players in the dug-out, from any place on earth. PSV will also use 5G on the Herdgang to promote the rehabilitation trajectories of the players,
- Finally, in ‘Smart Venue’ de Effenaar the community – also remotely – can benefit from the new network during concerts, for example by adding a digital layer with extra information. This also includes educational opportunities during the hours when there are no events.
At the High Tech Campus, LUMO Labs, the ‘early phase’ investor and accelerator based in Eindhoven and Los Angeles, will play a stimulating role in guiding startups and student initiatives. “We select ‘sustainable city’ propositions from startups and student initiatives and have them tested on the 5G network,” says owner Andy Lurling. “We coach the teams and founders on the entrepreneurial aspects of their plans to help them grow into successful global impact organizations.” Startups from California have already come to the initiative. Lurling: “You can say that in Eindhoven, we will immediately come up with the solutions that they will soon be working with in America.”
The China-based telecom and hardware company Huawei is also making efforts all over the world to sell their advanced 5G expertise. This is causing resistance in various places, partly because of an alleged risk of Chinese espionage. Alderman Steenbakkers does not say if Huawei has been at the negotiating table in Eindhoven, but he does state that he is happy with Vodafone and Ericsson as reliable partners. “The Dutch public interest and that of the individual citizen are essential. Now we have been able to fully apply the well-known guiding principles of Eindhoven when it comes to data management. This means, among other things, that privacy is guaranteed and that we pay all necessary attention to health issues.
Ajax-PSV in hologram
The signing of the 5G declaration of intent took place today at the High Tech Campus through a virtual meeting of general directors Edwin van der Sar of Ajax and Toon Gerbrands of PSV. From Amsterdam, Van der Sar was present as a hologram in Eindhoven to wish his opponent success for the top game Ajax-PSV this weekend.