Germany and France intensify their cooperation in the field of private 5G communications networks

As recalled by the two countries during the French-German Council of Ministers on 22 January 2022, Germany and France want to cooperate more closely on strategically important key technologies to strengthen digital sovereignty in Europe. Currently, four new Franco-German innovation projects have been launched in the field of industrial 5G communications. They aim to develop and test sovereign European solutions for private 5G networks in relevant sectors. The projects’ focus is particularly on the aviation industry, the railroad sector, but also on an innovative 5G standard (DECT-2020 NR) that offers prospects specifically for SMEs.

In 2020, Germany and France agreed to step up their cooperation in the field of 5G applications. In France, the funding programme is part of a national funding strategy entitled “French Acceleration Strategy for 5G and future networks” and financed by the investment plan France 2030. In Germany, the measure is an addition to the BMWK’s national activities in the field of “5G campus networks”.

A first call for cooperation projects, published in May 2021, resulted in a technical main project (“5G OPERA”) as well as three demonstration projects. A second call with a strong industrial focus was jointly launched in March 2022. Another four winning projects were selected. They will allow participants – 15 from Germany and 15 from France – to demonstrate the benefits of 5G in the industrial sector. The solutions developed in these four projects include the entire telecommunication network (RAN, core, devices...) and the services needed for private 5G networks (integration, data management and security). The following four projects have started in November/December 2022:

  • The stic5G project (“Safe TSN for Industrial-Grade Real-Time Campus 5G”) will increase connectivity in industrial environments for employees, machines and tools to realize more efficient and flexible production processes.
  • The 5GILabBB project (“5G Industrial Lab Bischheim”) ambitions to mobilize 5G in order to increase the quality and the delivery pace for the automotive maintenance.
  • The 5G-RACOM project (“5G for resilient and sustainable operation of FRMCS railroad radio systems”) plans to offer a responsible and highly performative 5G based solution for the automotive and railroad industries.
  • The MERCI project (“Media and Event production via Resilient Communication on IoT Infrastructure”) will develop innovative solutions for private 5G hybrid networks for the media & event sector, as well as for the industrial IoT sector.