Telefonica, IMDEA to open Spain’s first 5G lab

Ericsson first vendor on board

Spain is to get its first 5G lab, opening in November. The centre, called 5TONIC, was developed with the backing of  Telefónica and IMDEA Networks and the companies want it to be a place where actual real world, pragmatic tests can be undertaken

It says this will make it “the first laboratory in Europe that proposes taking on such investigative processes from an eminently practical point of view” – although that might be disputed by the centres in Dresden, Munich and 5GIC in Guildford, a centre also backed by Telefonica.

The lab’s backers said that partners will be able to carry out viability tests of a specific technology, determining hidden deployment costs, and analysing all aspects of the system as well as the complexity of all the different solutions. So far Ericsson is the only announced manufacturer partner.

A release from Telefonica said: “In this sense, the laboratory will allow different sector players interested in conducting realistic analysis of not only the technologies that could graduate to 5G, but also on accelerating innovations needed in network architecture to enable cases of use and applications from multiple industrial sectors.”

5TONIC will comprise two main areas: a unit dealing with virtualisation software for 5G networks (5G Virtual Software Network) and one looking at the 5G wireless systems area.

Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTO, said, “The centre of 5G excellence in Madrid will allow us to test, choose, and prioritise the functionalities of the candidate networks and services that will be part of future 5G networks, in order for the resulting system to be consistent and coherent. We don’t want the 5G networks start-up to be a specific single event, but rather a process which we want to begin right now”.