GSM, or 2G, was revolutionary with respect to personal communication. It made global wireless communication possible and brought freedom from regulation, creating many new operators. Secondly, component prices dropped so much that ordinary people could afford a mobile phone. Later, 3G introduced us to mobile Internet, and then 4G provided the data transfer speed required to utilise it. Solving problems related to people’s personal communication needs has progressed rapidly.
The 5G VIIMA project just launched studies the potential of the developing 5G technology not for personal services, but rather for industrial applications.
-In practice, this means that we take the latest network technology and ICT industry innovations, such as video analytics, sensor systems, autonomous devices and new actuators in, for example, the VR and AR fields and test and study how industrial environments could better utilise digitalisation and wireless techniques. The project aims to create and test solutions that provide real value in industrial use. At the same time, we also analyse the business environment, or the creation of value chains in case of industrial solutions and the management and ownership of the network and data. The project is part of the University of Oulu’s 6G Flagship, the flagship study of the Academy of Finland, explains Olli Liinamaa, the project’s leader.
Research is key, investments significant
The University of Oulu is responsible for the coordination of the two-year-long 5G VIIMA project. Funding is obtained from the Business Finland and from businesses. The share of academic research of the various sources of funding is six million euros, with the overall budget almost tripling when including the R&D investments of the parallel company projects. 5G VIIMA is in close co-operation with Finnish 5G Test Network Ecosystem.
-5G VIIMA is a good example of what our Connected Intelligent Industries Finland program is about. It is essentially about development of smart industrial solutions for global markets in close cooperation with industry, academia and research organizations. Development of such data-driven digital value systems is of critical importance for the renewal of Finnish industries, says Program Director Toni Mattila from Business Finland.
The companies participating in the project provide real industrial environments and plenty of real-time industrial challenges related to, for example, logistics, safety, maintenance, instructions and access optimisation. All in all, there are four test sites in real industrial environments. These include a port and base station plant in Oulu, a port equipment test yard in Tampere and an electrical network in Otaniemi, Espoo. A local 5G network will be built at each site.
-5G VIIMA is a great portfolio of 5G projects for various industrial applications. The project provides valuable information on new types of usage of mobile networks and their demands for practical 5G implementations. This will facilitate the implementation of systems and services in the future, says Marjo Uusi-Pantti, Project Manager for 5G Momentum, the Finnish Transport and Communications Authority Traficom.
Together, the research organisations, companies and authorities form a functional ecosystem ensuring that the project provides real answers to real questions in a practical manner. Essential subjects include utmost reliability, minimal network latency, sensor systems, data collection and use, utilisation of artificial intelligence, automation, low energy consumption, sustainability, virtualisation and cloud services. These are the megatrends that will change societies significantly when 5G will be the communication solution for critical infrastructure.
The research parties include the University of Oulu, Aalto University, University of Tampere, Centria University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Within their respective parallel projects, the companies will create practical applications and solutions. At the moment, the companies participating are as follows (in alphabetical order): ABB, Attracs, Augumenta, Kalmar, Efora, FinCloud, Finwe, Fin-Terpuu, Herman Andersson, Kaitotek, MediaTek, Nokia, Oulun Satama, Pölkky, Realmax, Solita, StoraEnso, Telia, Tieto, Uros, Valmet Automation, Valossa.
Naturally, the companies will communicate their respective goals and project contents separately.
Last updated: 25.4.2019