It may not exactly be herding cats, but Telenor Group has been tasked by the European Union with coordinating 5G across Europe.
Telenor is coordinating the EU's 5G Verticals INNovation Infrastructure (5G-VINNI) project, which was designed to grease the wheels of 5G uptake by providing an end-to-end facility to validate the performance of new 5G technologies across various verticals such as public safety, healthcare, shipping, transportation, media and entertainment and automotive.
In addition to Telenor in Norway, the 5G-VINNI project is scheduled to take place across three main sites in the U.K., Spain and Greece, with additional experimental sites coming on board in Germany and Portugal. The project is slated to run for three years and has a budget of about $23.2 million.
Patrick Waldemar, vice president of Telenor Research, will manage the project for Telenor.
“We are proud to be given the opportunity to coordinate the 5G-VINNI project and to explore valuable future solutions for the vertical industries. Being one of three large-scale test platforms for Europe, 5G-VINNI will help propel the development of 5G. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible to utilize and test the platform and we now call on industry players in Europe to engage with the project,” said Waldemar in a prepared statement.
The project will leverage the latest 5G technologies, including results from previous 5G PPP phases such as advanced network virtualization, slicing, and radio and core elements. Automation testing will also be used to validate 5G under various combinations of technologies and network loads.
The 5G-VINNI project is comprised of 23 partners including service providers, vendors and academic institutes.
The 5G facility in Norway will be run by Telenor Research, Telenor Norway and Telenor Satellite and hosted in two locations: one in Kongsberg and another site in the greater Oslo area.
In Telenor's testing facility, Nokia has been tapped to provide the virtualization platform and end-to-end orchestration while both Ericsson and Huawei will supply 5G radios and core technologies. Cisco is also taking part with its distributed internet of things data-fabric service.
Telenor announced in November that Kongsberg would be the first city in Norway to pilot its 5G technology. That pilot includes autonomous buses, drones, emergency communications and healthcare applications.
Earlier this year, Telenor and Metaswitch released a white paper that said containers represented the best option for building and scaling 5G networks.