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Carinthia switches on 5G in its flagship smart region

The Austrian state is also showcasing a range of smart applications including using virtual reality for tourism and a smart beehive that monitors the environment.

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The Bee-O-Meter counts bees but also analyses environmental data using AI
The Bee-O-Meter counts bees but also analyses environmental data using AI

The federal state of Carinthia in Austria has begun live operation of 5G in its Pörtschach-Wörthersee region as part of the Smart Urban Region Austria Alps Adriatic (SURAAA) project.

 

The 5G network, provided by Drei, will offer transfer speeds up to one gigabit per second.

 

Smart hub and applications

 

Carinthia stated its aim to use 5G to become a hub for mobility, tourism and business in 2016 after entering a digitsation partnership with Chinese telecoms and systems company, ZTE.

 

The Pörtschach-Wörthersee region already has Austria’s first intelligent lighting masts and is also piloting autonomous vehicle systems and air taxis.

 

At the see:PORT innovation hub, SURAAA, Drei and ZTE recently presented 5G applications, including a 360-degree live view of the Wörthersee tourism region with virtual reality glasses. The project partners have also worked with Carinthian company IoT40 Systems to design a smart beehive, which is installed on the roof of the see:PORT.

 

The Bee-O-Meter counts the bees that fly out and return and also monitors the surrounding environment. Via a livestream, supported by 5G, the beekeeper can keep a constant eye on the bees. If environmental pollution that could harm the bees is detected, an alarm is triggered. Wider conclusions to help protect bees will also be drawn from artificial intelligence-powered analysis of the data.

"The new technology offers transfer rates of up to one gigabit per second and is required for our future technologies, such as autonomous driving or automated flight taxis”

The partners intend to equip a larger test region in Carinthia with Bee-O-Meters in 2020. The data collected could be used for research into bee diseases or to determine the purity level of Carnica bees.

 

"For SURAAA, the advantages of 5G applications are obvious: the new technology offers transfer rates of up to one gigabit per second and is required for our future technologies, such as autonomous driving or automated flight taxis,” said Walter Prutej, project manager of the SURAAA initiative.

 

“With the 5G standard, Pörtschach is also taking a further step towards an open 5G future laboratory for companies and start-ups. The see:PORT will thus become the first 5G co-working space in Carinthia and Austria, giving domestic start-ups and companies a significant market advantage.

 

“Through 5G, Pörtschach also gets the best prerequisites for the new tourism target group of digital nomads (working around the globe regardless of location) - the beautiful Wörthersee landscape and a super-fast Internet connection."

 

Member of the Federal State Parliament and mayor of Pörtschach, Silvia Häusl-Benz, said she expects the 5G network to have a positive effect for citizens, tourism and the economy in the community.

 

She added: “Pörtschach is once again a showcase community for digital applications and therefore we hope to be able to welcome many start-ups and companies to Pörtschach/Wörthersee in the future.”

 

The project partners will continue to work together and have set up a 5G information desk where visitors can find out more about 5G and its applications as well as test live 5G.

 

"While others are still talking about 5G ready, the digital future in the flagship region of Wörthersee is already a reality,” said Jan Trionow, CEO of Drei Austria.

 

“With the start of the fifth mobile radio generation in Pörtschach, Drei will offer a more efficient Internet supply for Carinthian households and companies. The support of innovative regions is a large request to us as 5G helps to reduce the digital divide between the city and country and creates important new impulses for tourism, transport, medicine and agriculture." 

 

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