Fraunhofer HHI and 5G Berlin Create a Testing Ground for 5G Technologies in Berlin

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and innovation cluster 5G Berlin, a non-profit organization are starting to operate a 5G test field. The new trial ground is located in the heart of the city in Charlottenburg in the area surrounding the campus of the Technical University of Berlin. The project partners have created a publicly accessible test field where companies and research institutions get the opportunity to develop and test innovative 5G applications and products. The trial ground operates independently from commercial 5G network providers. It consists of several base stations and displays all technology components needed for testing 5G applications. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the project "Open Testbed Berlin - 5G and Beyond - OTB-5G+".

The new test field aims at creating a comprehensive ecosystem for 5G applications and products. 5G Berlin member companies and participating research institutions can now benefit from attractive terms and conditions for collaborative or individual research and innovation testing. The focus is on topics such as Smart City, looking deeper into how to achieve steered traffic control with intelligent sensor technology. Another important field of research is the support of automated driving through novel assistance systems.

The test field also offers the possibility to try industrial campus networks for reliable radio-based control of industrial processes within factories. Furthermore, it serves as a development site for new network control methods that use artificial intelligence.

Announced by Carsten Rossenhoevel, board member of Innovation Cluster 5G Berlin and co-founder of the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC AG) that the flexible test environment operating independently from commercial networks would be available to all members on an ongoing basis. It is a significant advantage for Berlin as a business location.

The test field uses 5G macro radio cells in combination with smaller radio cells for local, broadband, and high-speed communication links. The radio cells use the 3.7 GHz band designed for the operation of campus networks in Germany. Transmission bandwidth of 80 MHz, beamforming and adaptive antenna technology with 64 elements, so-called multi-user MIMO, support the testing of applications with high demand concerning bandwidth and signal propagation times.

The Berlin-based company, ng4T, provided the 5G Core network software (5G Core). It supports application-specific quality settings, so-called network slicing, and the orchestration of network services. This allows for the emulation of multiple network instances so that roaming between public networks and campus networks can be simulated. The integration of the core network and radio access network (5G RAN) was successfully tested with commercial end devices in view of 3GPP Release 15 SA.