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September 13, 2019

Catalonia becomes the first European 5G open laboratory

• It is a result of the collaboration agreement between Orange and 5G Barcelona whereby the operator will make the 5G electromagnetic spectrum available to the initiative for the validation of pilot projects
• The laboratory will be an open environment for experimentation that is available to any local or international institution that needs to validate its services and solutions in real environments
• The Minister for Digital Policy, Jordi Puigneró, chaired the presentation of the agreement between Orange, i2CAT, the UPC and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, as part of 5G Barcelona

Catalonia will become a unique open environment for 5G experimentation in Europe in which any local or international institution that so requires may validate its services and solutions in real environments. The Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration of the Regional Government of Catalonia and President of the i2CAT Foundation, Jordi Puigneró, announced the collaboration agreement signed by Orange, the i2CAT Foundation, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (BarcelonaTech – UPC) and Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital), as part of the 5G Barcelona alliance.

The purpose of the agreement is to implement a laboratory in which to experiment with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and with 5G NR equipment for validating services in a 5G research and pre-commercial stage, in real environments and with a view to reducing project development times. The laboratory will also make it possible to design, test and explore applications based on massive internet of things and on network slicing[1], which will be pilot projects within 5G Barcelona initiative activities. These will be connected to Orange’s 5G network in order to facilitate experimentation and the implementation of 5G end-to-end use cases.

Through this agreement, and with a contribution by Orange worth over 2.5 million euros, the operating company is making 5G Barcelona electromagnetic spectrum on the 5G 3.5 GHz band, points of access to 5G pilot network, LTE-M access points and connection to an EPC (core network) available for the validation of different use cases. 5G Barcelona is therefore extending its Open Lab offering in order to develop use cases that may become services in the near future.

The scope of the award of the spectrum is for all Catalonia so it will therefore be possible to implement 5G experimental initiatives at any point in the territory. This will also be helped by the deployment of the optical fibre network of the Regional Government throughout Catalonia, which will allow for connectivity to 5G equipment and pilot trials currently without coverage. Catalonia is thus becoming a unique and differential, available open environment for experimentation.

In addition to accesses with LTE-M and 5G coverage on the UPC’s Barcelona North and Castelldefels Baix Llobregat campuses, the agreement includes two new areas with LTE-M coverage in Barcelona: the Fòrum and the 22@ zones.

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