- España-Europa Fira is becoming one of the first stretches of indoor railway in the world to be equipped with commercial 5G technology
- The infrastructure will remain permanently installed so that FGC and other companies may test new 5G applications in a real environment
- FGC, together with MWCapital, the Regional Government of Catalonia and Vodafone, are undertaking this project as part of 5G Barcelona
This year, attendees at MWC Barcelona 2020 (24-27 February) will have their first experience of 5G even before they reach the fair complex. Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the Government of Catalonia and Vodafone, have installed 5G coverage in part of the FGC railway network, specifically between the Plaça Espanya and Europa Fira stations. This project belongs to the network of laboratories for testing 5G technology that 5G Barcelona is promoting in the city.
It is one of the first railway infrastructures with a commercial 5G network that covers not only the station but also the tunnel that joins the 4 stops. After this initial pilot trial, the installation will also remain in operation as a global testing laboratory. This will allow, on one hand, for the development of improvements in railway logistics through the optimisation of railway management and, on the other, for the creation of new applications to improve both customer service and safety, such as the implementation of information systems in real time, the personalisation of multimedia entertainment and an increase in capacities of remote service for passengers. The goal in the future is to extend this 5G infrastructure to the entire FGC network.
Tonight, a visit was paid to the installation work in the new connected stretch. The Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration of the Regional Government of Catalonia, Jordi Puigneró; the Minister for Territory and Sustainability of the Regional Government of Catalonia, Damià Calvet; 5G Director of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Eduard Martín; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Ricard Font, and the Regional Director of Vodafone in Catalonia, Laura Molist, all took part in the visit.
Pl. España-Europa Fira, a 5G laboratory
5G coverage will be available at the FGC stations of Plaça Espanya, Magòria-La Campana, Ildefons Cerdà and Europa Fira, on the platforms and in the foyers of the departure and arrival stations and also along the entire line between the Europa Fira station and the Fira 2 complex, where MWC Barcelona is held.
The infrastructure will be ready for MWC Barcelona 2020 and the first technological solution to be tested will be an augmented reality hologram volumetric assistant that will welcome attendees to MWC Barcelona 2020. This solution will be applied to test two use cases: first, sending high-quality content, executed from the cloud; and, second, testing Massive IoT at times of high public influx in stations and on trains.
In the medium-term, the connected stretch will be used as a 5G railway laboratory with a twofold purpose: first, to explore solutions for industry, mobility and railway logistics and for the management and control of the movements of passengers and goods; and, second, to seek and to test disruptive solutions that have a direct impact on FGC users and help to improve their experience from a functional perspective. The tests to improve user experience will be extended to the Pl. España – Sants and CC Gran Via 2 shopping area. The laboratory will enable technology companies to validate their solutions in a real environment and to reduce the time involved in launching them on the market.