- The Regional Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the i2CAT Foundation, the CTTC, Atos and the UPC launch the 5GBarcelona initiative to make Catalonia a European 5G hub
- Catalonia-based entities and research centres currently participate in 22 of the 37 projects in the 5G PPP programme being financed by the European Commission over the period 2014-2019
- The 5GBarcelona initiative will create an open experimental environment in the city that will transform it into a metropolitan 5G testing laboratory
Today, the Regional Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation, the i2CAT Foundation, the CTTC (Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya), Atos and the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) will present the agreement they have signed to promote the 5GBarcelona initiative, which has been designed to convert Catalonia and the city itself into a European digital innovation hub within the 5G field.
5G technology will open the market to a change in technology and create smart environments and advanced industries that will be available to the general public and emerging economic sectors. 5G will also improve access to the so-called Internet of Things, opening the door to the creation of innovative new services in fields such as smart autonomous vehicles, drone-based services, industry 4.0 and access to remote eHealth services, improving user experience and providing support to critical services. The deployment of 5G technology will also bring about a technological transformation in services and infrastructures, help to bridge the digital divide and create opportunities for the new generations.
Catalonia is a leader in R&D in 5G technologies. Since the 5G PPP initiative was launched as part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme in 2014, research institutes based in Catalonia have received funding to take part in 22 of the 37 projects that have been granted, a number that strengthens Catalonia’s position as the major player in the 5G ecosystem on an international level.
5GBarcelona will create a European 5G digital hub, based on an open experimental infrastructure in the city’s metropolitan area that will serve as a civic technological laboratory for testing 5G technologies and services. The hub will provide an open innovation environment built on the cooperation between public and private entities and will create synergies with the ecosystem generated by the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the other technology fairs that are held in Barcelona. At the same time, it will also stimulate the existing innovation ecosystem in Barcelona, help to attract foreign investment, boost tech startups and generate an entire industry around 5G technology.
As part of the next phases in the 5G PPP programme this year, the European Commission will select a small number of projects with the aim of creating testing and validation environments for 5G technologies, and 5GBarcelona hopes to be among them.
Catalonia is not merely a world leader in R&D that encompasses pioneering companies and institutions: its capital is also the mobile capital of the world and also hosts the Mobile World Congress.
Barcelona has already taken on the role of a testing ground in the new 5G paradigm thanks to the 5GCity project, in which entities such as Barcelona City Hall, i2CAT, betevé TV channel and CellNex, among others, also participate with the aim to develop a pilot based on the deployment of a neutral 5G network.
In the upcoming months, the founding members of the 5GBarcelona initiative will begin to implement the action plan designed to deploy the experimental infrastructure, identify verticals that can be offered support and services, incorporate other entities and companies in this joint venture and involve the general public in Barcelona and Catalonia in this open, strategic initiative to make 5GBarcelona the first 5G Living Lab in Europe and the world.