5g is progressing gradually and, although we do not yet have the real 5g, industry and companies are analysing and working out the possibilities that this technology will offer. Several BRTA technology centers, such as Ikerlan and Vicomtech, are investigating and supporting companies along this path.
“It will be revolutionary,” says Marco Gonzalez Hierro, head of the IoT ( Internet of Things ) and IKERLAN Digital Platforms team. “In previous generations the speed increased fundamentally, but now latency will fall a lot, it will allow many devices to be connected at the same time, etc. All this will be of great use to IoT and industry. It will bring many changes to businesses.”
“Yes, I think it could be breaking,” says Mikel Zorrilla Berasategui, director of Digital Media at Vicomtech. “The big 5g leap is not just improving speed, latency, etc., but it has other very interesting attributes that go beyond mobile applications for industry and the professional sector, especially the possibilities it offers for software and virtualization.”
The software and virtualization of the network allows you to modify the configuration of the network to adapt it to each use. “You can monitor and know how the network is at all times, so, depending on the state of the network, I can dynamically adapt some parameters to my needs,” explains Zorrilla. This is being investigated at Vicomtech. “There we have a lot to offer in technology centres: how to use the network for industrial or business purposes.”
Regarding the virtualization of the network, González comments on another interesting option offered by the 5g: “The Mobile Edge Computing or MEC paradigm allows us to run applications that were previously run in the fog on an antenna or station much closer to the device. The fog can be in Ireland or Germany, and the station can be 200 meters from your device, thus gaining great speed.”
Four areas around 5g are investigated at Vicomtech. In the field of multimedia, work is being done, among other things, on an operational project, on the development of tools so that singers can gather the different scenarios and sing together. And actually diffused and volumetric videos. On the other hand, much research is being done into mobility, such as vehicle to vehicle communication, vehicle infrastructure vehicle communication, the use of sensors from other vehicles to see what a vehicle cannot see, etc. In the industrial field, research focuses on the use of the possibilities of this network. And finally, cybersecurity.
There are four areas where IKERLAN is working. On the one hand, they're working with many hardware companies, from design to communications, fog, artificial intelligence, etc. On the other hand, the consistency of 5g networks is being investigated to make them as robust and reliable as a cable network. Work is also under way in the field of ECM, especially in the use of stations rather than fog to train artificial intelligence. And finally, in the field of cybersecurity, the use of the 5G network itself in detecting strange patterns or security issues on devices is being investigated.
IKERLAN and Vicomtech have two 5G labs where companies around the world can perform tests and experiment. “We have permission from the Ministry to use a research band,” explains Zorrilla. “We have coverage in the technology park and it serves us to research in mobility. And a portable computer. Thus, companies can come to us or give them coverage in the company itself.”
“Because operators do not yet offer many functionalities, companies can test them in IKERLAN’s laboratory,” Gonzalez explains. “Many companies are considering implementing their 5G private network, especially in the field of robotics. Existing cable networks can be replaced by 5G, which has great advantages. But to take this step you have to be very sure that the 5G network will be as reliable as the cable.”
“This is essential, companies have to be very clear,” says Zorrilla. “And we can contribute a lot to it. We can mediate to test this technology, experiment and experiment conceptually.”