Belgian full-service telecom operator Telenet has announced it is testing practical 5G options in partnership with the city of Leuven, the Catholic University of Leuven and Belgian research institute Imec. Under a temporary licence, the operator has installed 17 radio masts to roll out a city-wide 5G network as part of a plan to identify potential use cases by means of various pilot projects. The towers are located at various locations, including around the Imec site, the KU Leuven campus for engineering students, the site around De Hoorn aan de Vaart, and the business park in Haasrode. For the time being, only private 5G networks are in use, which means that consumers in Leuven will not have access to the service.
Micha Berger, Telenet Chief Technology Officer, commented: ‘As a business, we want to respond as much as possible to the needs of governments, organisations, and companies. Which is why we’re now testing the practical possibilities. For the time being, only private 5G networks are in use such that consumers will not yet see 5G on the screen of their latest smartphone. As soon as Telenet rolls out a commercial offering, it won’t be much of an effort to offer 5G to the people of Leuven as the network is already in place.’
The police in Leuven have already connected cameras to the network to combat illegal dumping and other offences, while the university will use 5G to connect its buildings and provide wireless connectivity for its field research. Telenet is also partnering with Imec on a series of studies to explore how 5G can be used in areas such as logistics, healthcare, robotics, mobility and virtual reality.