The pilot private mobile Campus Network (CN) is currently under construction. It will be launched during 2020 and ready to be switched to 5G. Now, it covers the interior of 2 buildings and an outdoor transport corridor. More precisely, the premises of the so-called Smart Factory, which is currently under construction. It is a university smart mini-factory with a robotized production line and other elements of Industry 4.0, as well as the Additive Manufacturing Center with 3D printing necessary for component manufacturing, where the scientists are preparing sensory networks for air quality monitoring, and, last but not least, the above-mentioned outdoor transport corridor for the operation of autonomously driven vehicles, transporting components for storage and production process. In addition, in one of the buildings, the campus network also covers the area of the so-called Home Care, experimental flats for monitoring and behavioural analysis of accommodated persons, in our case senior citizens. In the next phase, it will be extended to the entire Poruba campus. VSB – Technical University of Ostrava will gradually become the largest living laboratory in the Czech Republic.
And what does a 5G network actually mean? “5G is the designation for the fifth generation of mobile networks, which will be a follow-up to 4G LTE. The advantage of the 5G network is its two basic features – it is significantly faster and allows to guarantee the quality of services, which makes this technology interesting for many industrial applications where there are specific requirements for low-latency transmissions or very high speeds. Speaking of speeds, in 5G networks, it is possible to achieve transfer rates of up to 20 Gbit/s and the minimum speed should not fall below 100 Mbit/s. In addition, there is a fundamental change in the frequency spectrum, both in the use of cognitive radio enabling its more efficient use and in the area of millimetre waves, i.e. high frequencies, where extreme transfer rates can be achieved from today’s perspective,” explains Libor Michalek from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of VSB-TUO. “So it can be used for applications that require very low latency – for example, in the management of production technologies for robotized and digitized production lines, in the field of sensor systems, biomedical engineering, or transport. We see cooperation with the T-Mobile company as essential for the successful and efficient operation of the 5G campus network,” adds Petr Šimoník from the same faculty, who is responsible for the construction of the CPIT TL3 building with Smart Factory and Home Care.
From the perspective of an average user, it will not be as significant a change as that brought about by LTE technology virtually overnight. The 5G technology will not ensure faster data transfers by itself – it will extend the space in which data can be transmitted manifold. It is possible to imagine it as a new highway with a top-class surface with ten or more lanes on each side instead of mere two or three, and no speed limit. At that moment, of course, the risk of congestion and accidents is reduced to a minimum – everyone will have enough space for himself. But a car that takes full advantage of these assets and that can easily travel at two hundred km/h, has to be produced by someone else. In any case, even a standard user can reach the 5G network – the condition is that his mobile phone supports this technology. Such phones already exist, but so far, no band has been harmonized in the Czech Republic for the operation of 5G. “The solution is to successfully complete the so-called frequency auction, which will provide operators with frequency allocations for 5G operation, perhaps this year," concludes Libor Michalek. You will have almost all generations of technology on your phone; moreover, mobile phones have a feature implemented to connect to the best one.