Cologne Bonn Airport reveals plans to build private 5G mobile phone network
With complete 5G coverage across the entire premises, it will be possible in the future to determine the exact location of devices and people, to transport luggage on self-driving vehicles, and to use autonomous robots to secure the site.
Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) is taking a big step towards a digital future. Together with the IT service provider NTT Ltd., Cologne Bonn is building a completely private 5G mobile phone network across an area of 1,000 hectares. The goal of this joint research and cooperation project is to push ahead with technological innovations such as intelligent luggage checking and border control and to achieve significant improvements in the airport’s operating efficiency.
“We see the decision to set up our own 5G network covering the entire premises of the airport as an important strategic step. Having continuous connectivity and our own high-speed mobile network will open up a range of completely new possibilities for our processes and services, which will not only be of benefit to our airport operations but also to the businesses that are based here and to our passengers,” said Johan Vanneste, President & CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.
The Internet of Things (IoT), automated vehicles on the runway and mobile security systems all mean that it is becoming necessary to manage increasingly large quantities of objects and therefore data. 5G enables better connectivity and improved processing of the rapidly growing data flows, which allows the airport, the airlines and the ground handling staff – and also third party companies – to work together more effectively and in a more straightforward way.
“In the course of this joint research and cooperation project, we are not only planning the theory, we are also implementing and optimising one of the largest completely private 5G mobile networks in Europe. This allows us to research, develop and test innovative and future-oriented applications,” explained Kai Grunwitz, Managing Director of the German branch of NTT Ltd.
NTT are currently developing one of Europe’s largest private 5G mobile phone networks for CGN. With complete 5G coverage across the entire 1,000 hectare premises – the equivalent of 1,400 football pitches – it will be possible in the future to determine the exact location of devices and people, to transport luggage on self-driving vehicles, and to use autonomous robots to secure the site, as well as to provide intelligent services for the logistics hubs. The airport has been granted a licence for the project by the Federal Network Agency from the industry spectrum, with frequencies of between 3.7 and 3.8 GHz. In contrast to a so-called dual-slice campus network, setting up a completely private network guarantees stable processes with low levels of downtime and makes it possible to have an individually tailored operational and security strategy.