• The selected projects have an aggregate budget of almost 40 million euros, of which close to 12 million will be co-financed by Red.es through the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER)
  • It is the second public call for aid of these characteristics, whose objective is to explore and identify use cases and applications of 5G technology in various sectors
  • Boosting the deployment of these networks is one of the cornerstones of the Spain Digital 2025 strategy, since this technology will boost the economy and territorial structuring

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has awarded eight new 5G pilot projects, which have an aggregate budget of almost 40 million euros, of which nearly 12 million will be co-financed by Red.es, an agency dependent on the Ministry, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The projects will be carried out during 2020 and 2021 in Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Community of Madrid, Valencian Community, Extremadura, Galicia and the Basque Country. They will allow exploring and identifying use cases and applications of 5G technology in thirteen different sectors, from security, to education and industry, through agriculture, tourism or television production.

Boosting the deployment of 5G networks is one of the cornerstones of the Spain Digital 2025 strategy, since this technology has a high capacity to contribute to economic productivity and territorial structure. According to 2016 data from the European Commission, its economic impact will involve investments worth more than 5,000 million euros and the creation of more than 300,000 jobs in Spain.

The pilots will be developed by Temporary Business Unions led by various telecommunications operators and suppliers of equipment and services for these networks. 68 public and private entities that will experience in their applications the three great improvements provided by 5G also participate as collaborators: very high-speed and capacity mobile broadband, ultra-reliable and low-latency communications, and massive machine-to-machine communications.

5G pilot calls

The public call for aid that is awarded today is the second of these characteristics. The first was also launched by this Ministry through Red.es at the end of 2018 for a value of 20 million euros. Then two projects were awarded that are still underway in Galicia and Andalusia.

The projects awarded will allow Spain to continue leading the deployment of 5G networks at a European level, since it is the country with the largest number of pilots.

Summary of some use cases of the awarded projects

Andalusia. The project has a budget of 1,228,014 euros and will be developed by Telefónica I + D and Nokia. Use cases will be developed in Malaga in the fields of security, smart cities, education and industry. In the field of security, there will be six cases of use to support the Malaga police in voice communications, traffic control of people and video transmission for emergencies, among others.

Applications of artificial intelligence algorithms that evaluate the HD / 4K images received in real time for municipal management will also be developed; four use cases of virtual reality and augmented reality at the University of Malaga; five use cases in an industrial plant 4.0 for AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) control and three use cases of video analytics with artificial intelligence for port cameras and use of drones for surveillance in the port of Malaga.

Castilla la Mancha. The project has a budget of 1,231,816 euros and the applicants are Telecom CLM, Furious Koalas and Amanto Soluciones Toledo. The applications will be developed in the television, health and tourism sectors. In the field of television, a 5G signal will be collected from the point of capture of the news to produce in real time and in the cloud the signal that will finally be broadcast. In the health field, augmented reality images will be transmitted in real time between the out-of-hospital emergency unit and the specialist doctor in the hospital. Finally, home automation and sensorization will be integrated into a hotel so that managers can coordinate their activity, carry out remote maintenance operations, etc.

Catalonia. The project has a budget of 5,392,668 euros. Applicants are a Temporary Business Union made up of Retevision, Xfera, Parlem Telecom, Nae Comunicaciones, Atos Spain, Aumenta Solutions, Nearby Computing and Lenovo.

In the educational field, remote education with two-way holography will be explored and, in the field of industry, the autonomous and connected vehicle. In Barcelona an immersive shopping experience will be generated through real-time communication between the figure of the personal shopper and the final customer in the Boquería market in Barcelona. An autonomous bus will also be developed to transport passengers between different points on the Fira de Barcelona site.

In addition, a 5G network will be implemented in a tourist area of ​​the Gavà beach that suffers from very different variations and peaks in the number of users. There will also be experiences in the television and security fields, with a video analytics system that allows security officers to have more information.

Madrid's community. The project has a budget of 2,462,305 euros and is going to be developed by Telefónica and Ericsson. In the field of industry, a private 5G network will be developed that will increase operating capacity and efficiency, as well as reduce costs for logistics centers. The capabilities of the network slicing in order to offer several mobile networks in one and simultaneous translation services will be generated in real time.

In the area of ​​mobility, real-time coordination of communications between drones will be carried out and, in the area of ​​television, remote production of professional multi-camera video that allows remote control of the cameras and access by the filmmakers. to a cloud production. In the health field, the use case is to provide real-time connectivity and interactivity to multiple sclerosis patients connected in virtual rehabilitation rooms, allowing them to do group rehabilitation from their homes.

In the field of education, meetings will be explored with holography: volumetric video capture system, where special cameras capture in real time and in 3D the body of a person, and is projected on a virtual space or in augmented reality in a remote place.

Valencian Community. The project has a budget of 10,145,234 euros and involves Orange Espagne, Huawei, Arborea Intellbird, CFZ Cobots, Global Omnium Idrica, Etra Research and Development, Red Eléctrica y de Comunicación Innovación and Robotnik. A use case will be the use of the 5G network as a backup to ensure critical communications offered through other technologies (fiber optics, mainly). In the field of tourism, we will explore improving the visitor experience through the use of augmented reality.

Another use case will be a platform for communication between displaced personnel (in this case, either workers from the Port of Valencia or City Council emergency teams) and expert personnel, sharing video / audio in real time, with augmented reality functions. for the resolution of doubts and incidents. Also in the industrial field, remotely controlled transport robots will be developed to automate logistics.

In the health field, the diagnosis of skin cancer will be explored using the 5G mobile communication network. The specialist will explore the patient remotely using robotic arms that have built-in biometric sensors that capture and process information.

Estremadura. The project has a budget of 3,141,628 euros and Telefónica and Gamma Solutions participate in it, which will develop a comprehensive training platform in minimally invasive surgery that allows medical students and residents to access high-volume educational materials such as preoperative studies. or live surgeries. In the field of mobility, it will be experimented with the transport of people within the Cáceres campus of the University of Extremadura through autonomous vehicles. The transfer of the handling of the vehicle by a driver to a control center will also be explored, becoming a "virtual driver" being able to remotely control the vehicle without losing all the information that would be obtained by driving said vehicle in the traditional way.

Another use case will mix teaching at the University of Extremadura with a visit to the historical heritage of Cáceres, a World Heritage city. In this way, the impact that the implantation of 5G technology will have on mixed reality will be studied. Finally, 5G technology will be used to control a user-oriented electricity supply network.

Galicia. Orange Espagne, Ericsson, Cinfo Personalized Informational Content, Gamera Nest and Optare Solutions participate in the project and has a budget of 8,999,369 euros. In the area of ​​security, an access control system will be implemented to the Port of Vigo Market, as well as a drone surveillance system with very high resolution cameras. A system that employs employees' 5G smartphones to control secure access to the company's corporate facilities and applications will also be explored.

In the field of tourism, a virtual reality tourist experience will be generated for visits to Plaza del Obradorio with real-time information and 3D video. Use cases will also be developed in the agricultural sector, to optimize the performance of farms; in education with classes in streaming; gaming for 5G mobile devices, improved user experience for ultra-fast networks and event broadcasting.

Basque Country. The project has a budget of 7,149,323 euros and Euskaltel, R Cable, Orange, Xfera ZTE Spain, ZTE Managed Services Southern Europe, Vicomtech, Ceit IK4, Datik, Compañía del Tranvía de San Sebastián, Gestamp Construcciones and Auxiliar de Ferro + Ikusi. In the field of industry, applications will be developed that use augmented visualization and remote assistance from operators. The monitoring and control of production processes through 5G technology will also be tested. In addition, different activities will be developed to address the different aspects of cybersecurity involved, from the deployments of the 5G networks themselves to the specific problems of different use cases. Other projects include asset maintenance as well as vehicle components and mass training services.

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