Slovakia’s first private 5G SA network already in operation Slovak Telekom together with its partners SOVA Digital and Siemens today launched the first Slovak private 5G SA network at the Technical University in Košice, which opens up new technological possibilities for use in Industry 4.0.
The so‑called 5G SA (5G stand-alone) network is a type of solution that does not use the support of older technologies such as 4G. In a 5G SA network, all elements are optimised to use only 5G technology and operate autonomously in a designated location.
The private 5G SA network is a technology created for use in a closed ecosystem, i.e. in this case Slovak Telekom installed it at the Technical University in Košice for testing and development of innovative solutions. Private 5G SA networks allow companies to create their own communication ecosystems with high reliability and security. They are designed to provide reliable, high‑speed connectivity essential for mission‑critical applications and services in industry, agriculture, energy and other sectors.
The increasing degree of automation in industry, the requirements for individualisation of the final product with the need for flexibility in the production process and the advent of the fourth industrial revolution require secure and fast data transmission in the enterprise.
The emerging 5G SA network will enable the deployment of several innovative aspects that will simplify and streamline operations in the industry with benefits such as:
- thousands of connected devices
- extremely short response times
- transmission of huge volumes of data in a very short time
- harnessing the potential of augmented reality technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence
- protection against cyber threats
Telekom’s new private 5G SA network will enable the development of state‑of‑the‑art solutions focused on intelligent logistics and production systems for the factories of the future. It will provide them with space for further development as well as process innovations in the field of industry or artificial intelligence and their deployment in practice.
“Private 5G SA networks are a unique technology that delivers high levels of security, reliability, speed and flexibility in mobile data transmission, opening the way for innovation in many industries and opportunities to significantly advance digital transformation. We are proud that Slovak Telekom is launching the first private 5G SA network in Slovakia for the Technical University of Košice and, in cooperation with partners, is introducing unique opportunities for its use. In addition to the installation and operation of the private 5G network, Slovak Telekom is ready to provide companies with end‑to‑end solutions including the necessary hardware,” added Peter Laco, Director of the B2B segment at Slovak Telekom.
Plenty of practical examples in a private 5G network
The private 5G SA network at the Technical University of Košice has become home to a number of solutions that will address the challenges of many areas of industry.
Students and professional staff will be able to encounter individual practical demonstrations at a number of workplaces on the TUKE campus.
Each professional workplace will focus on a different type of application of the state‑of‑the‑art private 5G SA network, including professional staff who will continue to develop and implement these technologies in practice. In total, more than ten functional models will be available for the professional public, students or academics, which may become part of industrial use in the future.
Several functional models are available that can demonstrate the main benefits of the 5G technology solution in practice, such as high number of connected devices, high transmission speed or low latency. Functional examples include:
- IoT sensors using 5G network connectivity
- 4K video transmission using machine learning and artificial intelligence analysis as well as object recognition in interactive environments
- real‑time visualisation of industrial data
- robot communication
All will serve as a practical demonstration of what new technologies can bring to Industry 4.0 in the future.
“Technical University of Košice is a top research and educational institution, which is one of the leaders in the field of information technology research and its applications. TUKE has long been cooperating with industry in the search for unique innovative solutions. The establishment of a private 5G SA network is therefore another significant impetus for the development of TUKE’s exceptional cooperation with its industrial partners in a wide range of modern industrial applications.”
Jaroslav Porubän, Vice‑Rector for Development and External Relations of TUKE.
Unique solutions in TestBed 4.0
Siemens and SOVA Digital are important partners of the 5G campus network in Košice. Their TestBed 4.0 workplace is designed for testing and verification of solutions focused on the application of Industry 4.0 in industrial enterprises.
TestBed 4.0 will feature several functional models demonstrating the qualities of private 5G campus networks:
- Mobile handler with quality control
- Control Panel over 5G
- Digital twin
- Augmented reality
“There is an exponentially increasing need for smart devices in manufacturing. 5G brings advantages in speed of communication, flexibility of reactions to changes, possibilities of fast connection of devices and elimination of human errors,” said Martin Morháč, Director of SOVA Digital.
“Private 5G network is a key technology in terms of digitalization and full automation of industry. It is a natural evolutionary step for industrial enterprises, to streamline production, customize the product portfolio, optimize production costs and reduce the error rate of production equipment. 5G network does not have to be the prerogative of large enterprises only, but also smaller ones that operate in industrial complexes and can be group‑connected to one private network,” added Jozef Magic, Head of Digital Industry at Siemens.