Telefónica and 5GBarcelona inaugurate an open laboratory to test 5G technologies

26 / 09 / 2018
5G Barcelona
  • The space is aimed at startups, SMEs and corporations, and seeks to convert Barcelona into one of the main 5G digital innovation hubs in Europe
  • The goal of this laboratory is to shorten the time taken to launch products and services in pre-production on the market, and to increase the speed of other specific research pilot projects based on 5G technology
  • The case of EnGiDi, a startup that began using the laboratory for pilot tests on its product to speed up its implementation, was explained during the inauguration

Today, Telefónica and 5GBarcelona inaugurated its Thinx | 5GBarcelona laboratory, a space aimed at startups, SMEs and corporations and designed to test and validate new services and applications with 5G technology.

The inauguration of the laboratory, located on the premises of Mobile World Capital Barcelona in the Pier01 – Barcelona Tech City building, was attended by Jordi Puigneró, Minister of Digital Policies for the Regional Government of Catalonia; Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona; María Jesús Almazor, COO of Telefónica España; Carlos Grau, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona; and Josep Paradells, director of the i2CAT Foundation.

Also present at the event were Andrés Escribano, IoT Global Connectivity Business Director at Telefónica, and Gerard Fernández, CEO of EnGiDi, one of the first companies to test its products in the laboratory in order to speed up their implementation.

Differential value

The laboratory was created with the aim of converting Barcelona into one of the 5G digital innovation hubs in Europe. This unique test bench in the country is also to act as a product accelerator, providing the technical support and transfer of know-how on two 5G technologies: LTEM and Narrowband IoT. These technologies have particularly relevant advanced capacities for the industry, such as lower battery consumption and reinforced indoor range, and support a higher density of connected objects.

Other goals of the laboratory include supporting and monitoring pilot research projects based on 5G technology, increasing the attraction of talent in terms of new technologies, being a driving force for development and making new technologies more approachable to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Barcelona and, as a result, throughout Catalonia.

The laboratory is therefore a coworking acceleration centre that also provides technical support and know-how.

The differential value that Thinx | 5GBarcelona offers businesses involves an advanced environment that, a year in advance, reproduces technologies and the telecommunications networks in which they will have to operate. Testing on this type of environment involves a direct reduction in the time it takes for their prototypes to reach the market and is also an opportunity to simulate specific atmospheric conditions in order to test under conditions of low range, or test how batteries behave in one environment or another.

Success of its first pilot test

The startup EnGiDi was the first to try the Thinx | 5GBarcelona infrastructure, where it tested its device aimed at improving the occupational safety of employees at sites and large infrastructures by monitoring their movements in real time.

Testing showed that EnGiDi is capable of measuring the thermal stress to which employees are exposed, providing the height at which the operator is located and informing of any falls that might occur while the work is being performed, among other variables. All this information, with interaction with 5G networks, can be collected in real time to monitor a large number of employees.