A 5G testbed in the Dutch province of North Groningen was officially launched on 9 June, when an international agreement was signed between the ten partner organizations who initiated the 5Groningen project. The ground-breaking initiative brings together partners from the fields of telecommunications, innovation, science and sustainable economic development to jointly research the practical applications of 5G.

The 5Groningen project is an initiative of Economic Board Groningen, KPN, the Dutch Telecommunications Agency (Agentschap Telecom), Vodafone, Ericsson, TNO, Huawei, the University of Groningen, SURF and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The first series of tests will be launched before the end of the year at Zernike Campus, Groningen’s large research complex.

“Today, the Netherlands enjoy fast mobile connectivity. We need to ensure that our country continues to benefit from the latest developments of mobile technologies such as 5G,” said Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs. “This will bring added value for citizens, as well as businesses – not only from an economic perspective, but also by enabling key innovations in fields such as healthcare and agriculture.”

The unique new testing environment will serve as another stepping stone towards 5G deployment by 2020, meaning that citizens and the economy as a whole, in North Groningen as elsewhere, will be able to reap the benefits of this new technology.