A 5G testbed in the Dutch province of North Groningen was officially launched today, when an international agreement was signed between the ten partner organisations who initiated the project.

The ground-breaking initiative signed today at the Ministry of Economic Affairs brings together partners from the fields of telecommunications, innovation, science and sustainable economic development to jointly research the practical applications of 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. The 5Groningen project is an initiative of Economic Board Groningen, KPN, the Dutch Telecommunications Agency (Agentschap Telecom), Vodafone, Huawei, Ericsson, TNO, the University of Groningen, SURF and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

Innovation research will focus on the sectors of logistics, healthcare, the environment, energy and agriculture. Self-driving cars and the monitoring of crop diseases are two flagship examples of specific applications to be targeted.

Groningen is the only rural area in Europe where 5G tests are being carried out, making the 5Groningen project a unique initiative at an EU level. The first series of tests will be launched before the end of the year at Zernike Campus, Groningen’s large research complex.

“Today, the Netherlands enjoy fast mobile connectivity. We need to ensure that our country continues to benefit from the latest developments of mobile technologies such as 5G,” said Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs. “This will bring added value for citizens, as well as businesses – not only from an economic perspective, but also by enabling key innovations in fields such as healthcare and agriculture.”

Original source: Huawei