September 27, 2019

5G Testbed: Test infrastructure for mobile communication of the future

In the course of the advancing digitalization, 5G communication networks are to be further developed and expanded. They form the basis for many new applications in public and private spaces, such as automation processes in the industry, Augmented Reality or autonomous driving. For this reason, a test infrastructure for Mobile Communication - the 5G Testbed  - is being built in Berlin-Charlottenburg between the buildings of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI, the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS, Telekom and the North Campus of the Technische Universität Berlin.

The 5G Testbed is a cross-departmental activity of the two departments Photonic Networks and Systems and Wireless Communications and Networks at Fraunhofer HHI. It serves as an efficient test infrastructure for interdisciplinary research and for industrial projects in the field of Mobile Communication. The aim is to create an open and permanent outdoor test network in Berlin that tests the current mobile wireless technology and its successors. Fraunhofer HHI provides essential technologies, components and the fiber optic infrastructure for the Testbed and cooperates with other companies and scientific institutions within the framework of the non-profit association "5G Berlin".

In order to install the 5G Testbed sustainably, the infrastructure is to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology in several phases. It currently includes a macro cell with LTE technology and a cloud infrastructure for application-related testing. Before long, the currently used mobile wireless technology (LTE) will be replaced by 5G technology in order to be able to test urbane applications under realistic conditions. Furthermore, selected street lamps will be integrated into the Testbed using glass fibers or wireless bridges. This way, they will be equipped with 5G technology as well as additional sensors. Finally, the 5G Testbed will include all relevant technology components of a convergent 5G network and will thus foster innovation in Mobile Communications.

Application and test procedures:

  • Application-related tests that include the acquisition, mobile transmission and evaluation of sensor data
  • Optical transmission technology for the backhaul or fronthaul network
  • Network control and monitoring (SDN, virtualization)
  • Application of wireless optical techniques for the connection of small cells as well as for mobile scenarios in indoor areas