• The Nissan Cartuja Auditorium, located in the PCT Cartuja, hosted more than 500 professionals on the opening day of the 5G Forum 24, “Where 5G leaders meet”, which is being held from May 6 to 10.
  • “Our commitment is to bring 5G coverage to every corner of Andalusia,” said Antonio Sanz, Minister of Presidency, Interior, Social Dialogue and Administrative Simplification of the Andalusian Regional Government.
  • Julia Criado, deputy head of the Subdirectorate of Planning and Management of the Radio Spectrum, has presented the new ‘Map of 5G in Spain in 2024’ which has among its objectives to bring 5G to population centers with less than 5,000 inhabitants.
  • Miguel Ángel Victoria, Head of IoT B2B at MASORANGE, has explained the “endless possibilities” that 5G technology offers us.
  • Juan Cambeiro, Head of 5G customer projects at Telefónica, and Ángel Álamo, LAN and 5G Marketing Manager at the Spanish multinational, have reviewed the present and future of “one of the most transformative technologies that have been deployed in recent years: 5G”.

The 5G Forum 24, “Where 5G leaders meet” kicked off on Monday, May 6 in Seville with record attendance figures. A total of 530 top-level professionals attended the start of the seventh edition of one of the benchmark events in 5G technology in Spain.

The Nissan Cartuja Auditorium, located in the PCT Cartuja, has hung the sign of full capacity during the first two days of the event -Monday 6 and Tuesday May 7-, while about 300 professionals join remotely to follow via streaming the event from May 6 to 10 -May 8, 9 and 10 exclusively in online format-.

The new ‘5G Map of Spain in 2024’.

One of the main attractions of the day was the presentation of the new ‘Map of 5G in Spain in 2024’ by Julia Criado, deputy head of the Subdirectorate of Planning and Management of the Radio Spectrum, who indicated that “the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan promotes 5G in urban areas, as well as developing innovation and the development of 6G”. Thanks to the ÚNICO 5G Program, population centers with less than 5,000 inhabitants will be able to enjoy “connectivity to very high-speed broadband mobile communications services”, while on the development of 6G, Criado stressed the “ubiquitous communication”, since 6G is called to offer global coverage both on land and at sea and at altitude with the use of satellite platforms.

The Ministry for Digital Transformation and the Civil Service was also represented by Antonio Fernández-Paniagua, Deputy Director General for Radio Spectrum Planning and Management, who highlighted the extraordinary work being done by the public administration to make the deployment of 5G “inclusive” and “the backbone of our country” thanks to the contribution of 1,000 million euros in subsidies.

Commitment of the Regional Government of Andalusia to the development of 5G

“Our commitment is to bring 5G coverage to every corner of Andalusia,” said Antonio Sanz, Minister of Presidency, Interior, Social Dialogue and Administrative Simplification of the Junta de Andalucía, in charge of welcoming the seventh edition of the 5G Forum. Sanz has used his greeting to highlight the “importance of reducing the digital divide and bring high-speed Internet access to every corner of Andalusia”, while stressing the importance of collaboration between companies, institutions and citizens to promote technological development. The Minister also announced the implementation of a Simplification Decree-Law, the Andalucía Digital Law and the creation of a “one-stop shop as a single contact for operators to streamline procedures and make investments in Andalusia more attractive”.

In addition to the director of the ADA, Raul Jimenez, the Director General of Research Planning of the Ministry of University, Research and Innovation of the Andalusian Government, Loreto del Valle Cebada and the Director General for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Continuing Education of the Ministry of University, Research and Innovation of the Andalusian Government, Francisco Javier Gonzalez Navarro, also took part in this inaugural day. In addition, Luis Pérez, General Manager of the Cartuja Science and Technology Park, highlighted the “privilege and honor that this congress has made the leap to this innovation ecosystem” as the PCT Cartuja.

5G offers us an infinite number of possibilities

The multinational company MASORANGE, a joint venture between the French company Orange and Lorca JVCo, the British parent company of MásMóvil, which has become the leading operator in Spain by number of customers, was represented at the seventh edition of the 5G Forum by Miguel Ángel Victoria, Head of IoT B2B, who explained the advantages of the Internet of Things in both the residential and business markets, while explaining the “infinite possibilitiesoffered by 5G technology. However, Miguel Ángel Victoria wanted to differentiate between what is innovation and what we can improve in the short term, i.e. “let’s think about efficiency, savings or what this technology can give us” and not only “what is cool”.

Telefónica’s view of the present and future of 5G

The Spanish operator Telefónica, immersed in the celebration of its 100th anniversary, did not miss a new edition of the 5G Forum, where Juan Cambeiro, Head of 5G projects with customers, and Ángel Álamo, LAN and 5G Marketing Manager, reviewed the present and future of “one of the most transformative technologies that have been deployed in recent years: 5G”. Cambeiro highlighted that “only 6% of operators have turned 100 years old”, which shows Telefónica’s “ability to transform itself, to learn from the past to anticipate the future”. Regarding the future of 5G, the head of projects for these networks at Telefónica spoke of the importance of “low latency, because without stability it is worthless”.

For his part, Álamo reviewed the present state of 5G networks in Spain, about which he gave some exciting figures: “We want to reach 89% 5G coverage throughout Spain and for the network to continue to have the best performance, reaching 6,000 nodes in 2024.” In this regard, the Near-Edge project, sponsored by the EU, aims to create a network of edge nodes that will “ensure low-latency service at any point in the country”, while the global OpenGateway initiative, in which Telefónica is collaborating, aims to transform communications networks into platforms.

David Artuñedo, Head of Future Networks Lab at Telefónica, gave a preview of what is to come with 6G, saying that “networks have to be much more sustainable in 6G. Sustainability is going to be a cross-cutting issue in 6G”.

The power of cloud platforms for telco

Ignacio González, Head of Telco Mobile Networks Business Development EMEA at Red Hat, analyzed the power of Cloud platforms for Telcos, pointing out the importance of “open source technologies”, which are fundamental for the “development of innovation”. González also stressed that “today, the vast majority of 5G implementation is done vertically, but the trend is to increase horizontal platforms to the detriment of vertical ones”, mainly through telco cloud infrastructures.

5G in audio-visual, critical communications and indoor coverage

Cristina León, Head of Audiovisual Business Development at Axion, moderated a panel on 5G and the different uses in the telecommunications sector-audiovisual, critical communications and indoor coverage in which Manuel Garrido, head of telecommunications at Canal Sur Radio and Television (RTVA), took part, arguing that “the future of 5G in terms of quality of service and low latency is very promising”. Francisco Manuel Pérez Costa, Head Responsible for Civil Protection of the city of Seville, highlighted the advantages offered by 5G networks in the context of surveillance: “The great advantage is to operate in real time bidirectionally and to be able to verify remotely in real time that alarm”, has considered Pérez Costa, while Álvaro Ontañón, CIO of Merlin Properties, has highlighted the importance of 5G networks inside buildings such as offices or shopping centers where users do not have Wifi network: “With the implementation of 5G we hope that our customers can make that leap in quality of service”.

Two big overlooked 5G testing

Pablo Álvarez, General Manager at Netmetrix, has talked about the two great forgotten aspects of 5G testing: “synchronism and testing in the most realistic environment possible”. Normally when testing 5G, performance, functionality or interoperability are always taken into account, but not these aspects that are increasingly important: “If you lose synchronization, you lose everything,” has maintained Alvarez, for whom “the cost of testing is not a waste of money, but a great investment” and these have to be developed in environments that are as realistic as possible.

AI and machine learning in Open RAN

Sergio Garcia, Open RAN pre-sales manager for Southern Europe, Caribbean and Latin America at Mavenir, spoke about the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning applied to networks based on Open RAN, “the perfect architecture that will be able to give visibility to a business in the network”. Garcia presented the use cases of NIaaS (Network Intelligence as a Service), a “holistic platform based on native AI oriented to telecommunications networks”, which is housed within Mavenir’s RIC, helping mobile network operators to reduce their operational and infrastructure costs, while improving the quality of their network and increasing the agility of their business. “One of the big benefits of AI or machine learning to 5G is to improve network operational efficiency. Make sense of the use cases.”

The electromagnetic field in 5G

Wavecontrol, which has premiered presence in the 5G Forum, has participated through Carlos Alonso, Applications Manager of this Catalan company, which has addressed the “simplification of electromagnetic field measurements in 5G”, a technology that has completely changed how to measure the waves that a person can receive. Among the different measurement approaches, Alonso has claimed “the direct method” as the most suitable to develop “in realistic scenarios”, since no calculation or post-processing is necessary, the equipment is simple and “allows to evaluate the maximum exposure”.

5G networks, a long way to go

For her part, Luisa Bastero, Sales Manager at Viavi Solutions, shared some of the issues that most concern the telecommunications sector, such as quality, security and interoperability, not only in 5G networks, but also in what is to come with the future 6G. The sales manager of the Arizona multinational advances that “with the migration of networks to the Cloud, complexity increases, demanding greater quality and interoperability measures”. “5G networks still have a long way to go, while we are taking the necessary steps towards 6G”, concluded Jaime Ruiz, Innovation Manager at Nokia, who shared some of the latest developments and advances of the Finnish multinational, such as the Network as Code (NaC) concept or the 5GNaCar, “a research project that takes another step forward in the new functions supported by NaC”.

Safe, private and ethical AI

The director of AI Funded, Mª Eugenia Taillefer de Prado, gave some clues about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning: “We make AI chatbots using natural language processing (NLP) tools, always using a safe, private and ethical AI”, she highlighted. For his part, Gabriel R. Gonzálvez, CEO of Opossum, introduced the attendees to the world of Extended Reality and innovation through his micro-company of which he is the only member and which is the first company in Europe in heritage conservation in VR.

Exceptional demonstration area

During the first day held at the Nissan Cartuja Auditorium, attendees were able to enjoy first-hand an exceptional area of demonstrations with smart cars, metaverse experiences and 5G robots, among others.

MASORANGE, Telefónica, Red Hat, University of Málaga, Nokia, Opossum, Aifunded, Rohde & Schwarz, Viavi Solutions, Gradiant, Axión, Secmotic, Wavecontrol, UHD Spain or Tesla, among others, have been present in the area for demonstrations where it has been possible to see from a 5G-controlled robot dog presented by the UMA to training applications for firefighting by Nokia.

For its part, the Spanish multinational Telefónica has presented live the exhibition of predictive and real-time analytics of the 5G network via NWDAF, while MASORANGE has shown how 5G+ technology can be used to prevent fires. Streaming using a drone (Gradiant), immersive interaction with heritage assets of the past (Opossum) or the implementation of chatbots based on natural language processing in 5G networks (Aifunded) were just some of the various demos experienced by all those attending the first day of the 5G Forum 2024.

The 5G Forum has established itself as a reference forum in the technology sector, as it is a unique showcase with a multidisciplinary vocation to present the use cases and success stories of operators, companies, universities and institutions. On the second day, which begins tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7 at 10 am, relevant topics such as intelligent mobile networks and 6G or 5G as a fundamental tool for satellites will be discussed, and the Red Victoria and 6G Diferente projects will be presented.

All the presentations of this and previous editions can be viewed through ‘The Observatory’, the digital platform of Medina Media Events, where all the interventions will be available 24/365 for on-demand consumption, like Netflix, but free of charge.

The seventh edition of the 5G Forum is organized by Medina Media Events and is supported by MASORANGE, Telefónica, Red Hat, Netmetrix, Huawei, ZTE, Mavenir, OFG, Vicomtech, Wavecontrol, Axión, the University of Málaga, Viavi Solutions, Nokia, Rohde & Schwarz, Gradiant, Hispasat, Gsertel, AI Funded, Opossum and Gamma Solutions, among others.