A 5G innovation program for industrial enterprises is being launched by Telia and Ericsson for the development and implementation of new digital solutions. The NorthStar project aims to accelerate the adoption of 5G and transform industries to strengthen Sweden’s international competitiveness.
AstaZero is the first customer to join the NorthStar program. The company is based outside of Gothenburg in Sweden and claims to offer the world’s first full-scale independent test environment for automated transportation systems.
To begin with, the program will focus on customers’ innovation and R&D units in the automotive and transportation sectors. NorthStar will provide the tools and resources required, such as network slicing and positioning, and the secure, safe and reliable connectivity needed to develop new use cases. The program will also bring together 5G specialists from Telia and Ericsson to support customers during the program.
NorthStar’s 5G network uses Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core and connects to Telia’s existing public 5G network, which is currently being rolled out across Sweden. Advantages of the NorthStar 5G environment include high-speed connectivity across large geographical areas. Furthermore, customers will have the ability to build networks that meet their requirements at their company locations, including at test sites and R&D facilities, which will then be connected to the NorthStar network.
“Sweden is an industrial powerhouse with iconic brands that reach around the globe,” said Anders Olsson, CEO at Telia Sweden. “Scaling digital solutions and turning new technologies into tangible business benefits is critical if these companies, and Sweden as a nation, are to remain competitive. Without access to robust and secure digital infrastructure, businesses risk falling behind. Through the NorthStar program, we welcome industrial players to collaborate and trial their solutions using the latest 5G technology, which will help accelerate the development of smart and sustainable transport solutions.”
“For AstaZero, the combination of one open and one closed network makes it possible to step up both research and development testing,” commented Peter Janevik, CEO at AstaZero. “For example, a self-driving truck can undergo research tests in the closed network in our FLX Zone, simulating operations in a harbor or logistics center. After leaving the FLX Zone, the truck would transition to the public network, just as it would when leaving the closed area; however, still in the safe confines of the AstaZero Proving Ground. This is one more example of how AstaZero increases digitally driven research and development possibilities.”
”The NorthStar program marks another milestone in our partnership with Telia toward the digitalization of Sweden and the Nordics with the latest mobile technology,” explained Erik Ekudden, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ericsson. “Telia and Ericsson launched Europe’s first 1G network and the world’s first 4G network. With NorthStar, we are giving Swedish industry access to the most advanced 5G technology for local sites and for their wide-area connectivity and digitalization needs. NorthStar’s ambition is to be the catalyst to further develop Sweden as a leading industrial nation and to increase our international competitiveness.”