‘5G Playground Carinthia’ – Carinthia to become first test region for 5G in Austria


Vienna, 27.09.2017 – The Ministry of Infrastructure and State of Carinthia are together setting up the first 5G test region in Austria. The new universal mobile telecommunications system is significantly faster and higher performing than the current LTE generation.

The 5G test region in Carinthia is known as the ‘5G Playground Carinthia’. It serves as a test laboratory for local operators under real life conditions as a place where they can develop and test new technologies. This includes self-driving vehicles and intelligent drones which can find injured people and direct rescue teams to the site of the accident. The Ministry of Infrastructure is also launching a funding programme for research relating to the new 5G universal mobile telecommunications system.

“I want Austria to become a pioneering country in Europe for the new 5G universal mobile telecommunications system. Today we are giving the green light for the first 5G test region: Carinthia will become a large playground for our local operators; a place where they can test new technology in a practical setting including self-driving cars, intelligent rescue drones and networked robots. In this way, we can strengthen our location and bring some well-paid jobs to Austria,” says Minister for Infrastructure Jörg Leichtfried.

In addition to Lakeside Park in Klagenfurt, the High Tech Campus in Villach and Industry Park St. Veit will be fitted with fast fibreglass internet so that 5G can be tested as a new technology. The Ministry for Infrastructure and state of Carinthia are together providing 1.6 million euros to install the necessary fibreglass infrastructure and the first prototypes of 5G transmitters. The Technical Faculty at the University of Klagenfurt is also on board as a research institute. Another estimated 5 million euros will be needed for the research funding. This sum will not be taken from the so-called Broadband Billion but instead will be provided separately.

“The establishment of this test region allows Carinthia to play a pioneering role and gives the state a technological advantage of several years. We want to concentrate in particular on three areas of application: use of drones in lifesaving, the Smart City which we want to establish with the Harbach 2020 district development project and Robotics, i.e. machine interaction as the basis for Industry 4.0” says Gaby Schaunig, Deputy State Governor of Carinthia.

“The focus of 5G is on wireless networking and the reliable control of machinery, for example cars, mini-drones and robots in industrial buildings. Research institutions and start-ups can test their concepts in the 5G playground and implement them in practical settings. For example, we are developing algorithms for multi-drone systems for use in disaster situations, agriculture and forestry and the delivery of urgent goods.  WLAN and LTE often fail to meet the application-specific requirements when it comes to drone communications,” says Christian Bettstetter, Professor at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.

The 5G universal mobile telecommunications system is classed as a key technology. On the one hand, 5G will enable much faster downloads. This means that a full film can be downloaded in under 4 seconds. 5G also enables a much higher density of devices than the current standard LTE. While customers today still have to battle network failures at concerts or in football stadiums, this problem will be a thing of the past with 5G. This creates the basic technological conditions for self-driving cars, networked production machines and intelligent household devices.

Caption: BMVIT | Johannes Zimmerer