The city of Umeå, Northern Sweden, will be Sweden’s first test city for 5G, putting both the city and Sweden in the forefront of the development of new infrastructures and services in Europe.
The “fifth generation” of telecommunications systems, 5G, is a building block for augmented reality, self-driving cars, Internet of Things, remote health care and education, just to mention some examples of infrastructure and services that can be fully realized with the new technology.
Five public actors in Umeå are included in the initiative, among them the first 5G University Hospital and Umeå University as the first 5G University in Europe.
“Umeå will be an obvious choice for all companies and residents who want to test, develop and use solutions for the future digital society,” says Hans Lindberg, municipal council in Umeå.
Strengthens Umeå as a digital city
Umeå is already a world leader in broadband and Internet connectivity. In 2011, Umeå was named the fastest broadband city in Europe and North America, ranked 15 on the world list, hit by only a few Asian IT cities.
“Umeå 5G will further strengthen Umeå’s position as an innovative, creative and attractive university and IT city,” says Peter Juneblad, Business Manager in Umeå Municipality.
Jonas Wessel at the National Post and Telecom Agency, PTS, stresses that Umeå’s initiative is an achievement not only for Sweden but also for Europe:
“Umeå 5G can help Sweden take a 5G position, meaning that we will now meet the EU’s goal of each country having a 5G ready city by 2020,” says Jonas Wessel.
The EU Commission 5G Action Plan for Europe has stressed that very high-capacity networks like 5G will be a key asset for Europe to compete in the Global market. “It opens up prospects for new pervasive mobile virtual services, important for the economy and society ranging from virtual reality for remote collaboration to on-line health monitoring or connected cars, and possibly drone delivery or automated driving.” (5G Europe Action Plan)