VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Oulu have already started to build a 5G test network in the city of Oulu, a northwestern city in Finland.
Finland’s 5G test network
The network will be a testbed for key 5G technologies, which can be developed and assessed in a realistic testing environment, according to a statement by VTT this week. The network will comprise two components – the first will be a restricted network ran by VTT and the second is a public network established by the University of Oulu.
In the restricted network, many of the companies who are contributing to the project can test out their technologies, whereas in the public 5G network, the performance under load and real conditions can be accurately measured to see how it performs.
“In the test network, we will develop new technologies, and build 5G test environment for the research purposes based on the technologies. It enables long-term cooperation among various actors in the wireless communications ecosystem”, said Atso Hekkala, project manager from VTT.
A full scale 5G network by 2020
VTT has also said that the test environment will have evolved into a complete, full scale 5G network by 2020, and will be in essence a ‘living lab’ for application and service testing.
5G wireless networks are also known as Tactile Internet, which is the term used to denote the next major advance in wireless communications. This basically means faster multimedia and cloud services, as well as mobile devices and other gadgets, while also reducing energy consumption and increasing efficiency.
Even though 4G is still rolling out in many parts of the world (and many developing nations such as Thailand are yet to really establish widespread 4G networks), 5G definition, development and testing is already well underway.
Recently, Boris Johnson, Mayor London, stated that the UK would be a 5G city by 2020. In practice, it will be many years before most parts of the world get 5G, and by that time 6G will already be under development.