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Vodafone to Cover Budapest with 5G Service

D&T
October 14, 2020

In addition to expanding coverage, the company announced that it would make available 40 MHz of its own frequency spectrum for the establishment of the 5G Laboratory currently under construction in the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME).

Vodafone Hungary says it will connect 5G at close to 200 base stations in and around Budapest, making 5G available to customers nearly everywhere in the capital. The company has also signed a co-operation agreement with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, under which the company will provide 40 MHz of its own frequency range for the establishment and operation of the 5G Laboratory currently under construction at the university, thus contributing to the development of domestic 5G-based innovations, as well as the European Union’s 5G-themed research and development program.

The company's press release that right from the start, Vodafone Hungary has been at the forefront of the development of 5G, the new generation mobile network. The company was the first Hungarian mobile operator to launch its outdoor commercial 5G service in 2019 in the inner city of Budapest, facilitated by its 3600 MHz frequency spectrum purchased in 2016. In April 2020, Vodafone Hungary acquired additional frequencies for its 5G mobile services at the frequency auction conducted by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), which enabled the island-like development of the operator’s 5G network to begin. Vodafone has now announced the latest milestone in its 5G developments: in the coming weeks it will switch to 5G at nearly 200 base stations, making 5G available to customers almost everywhere in the capital.

“The construction and hardware development of the affected base stations is almost complete, and we will launch the service in the coming weeks following software testing, which will allow hundreds of thousands to experience the amazing capabilities of the new generation mobile network, and take another significant step in elevating Hungary to the forefront of digital Europe.” - explained Dr. Gergő J. Budai, Director of External Affairs at Vodafone Hungary.

Dr. Károly Balázs Solymár, the Deputy State Secretary for Digitalization of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology commented: „One of the biggest challenges of our time is how to take advantage of digitalization as much as it is possible. We can see, that the newest technologies of the 21. century including developments based on 5G mobile network, open up a new dimension for us, where innovation, society and economic connections, as well as the opportunities of growing provide a much bigger perspective than that has been already known and used. Modern technology belongs to the future that we will only be able to use, if developments are put into experts’ hands which is signed today by a collaboration agreement between the supplier of technology and the institution of professional higher education of solutions. The Hungarian government with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology is interested in providing solutions for supporting digital technology which serves the development of Hungary, the growth of economy and also the comfort of citizens.”

Vodafone Hungary has also signed a co-operation agreement with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), under which the company will make available 40 MHz of its own frequency spectrum to the university in the 3600 MHz band. The frequency will be suitable for the operation of the University's indoor 5G network over the entire area of BME, as well as for supplying the open innovation environment and 5G Laboratory to be created under this initiative. Dr. János Levedovszky, the vice-rector of Science and Innovation at the University of Technology commented the agreement: "A unique university infrastructure is being created in Hungary which gives a major boost to the researches of communication technologies, industrial data collection and data monitoring, 5G networks and also to its education. Since a functioning 5G network is the requirement of several research and development program thanks to this improvement almost on every field of science the opportunities of BME will expands.” The University of Technology plans to build an international standard 5G experimental system (5G Smart Campus Network), the first step of which is the newly signed 5G frequency agreement, as the existence of the frequency band is one of the most important conditions for the operation of 5G network. This will soon be followed by the 5G Application Development Laboratory (5G Lab) at BME.

“For the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, which offers the best engineering education in Hungary, it is especially important that students have access to technical education that supplies them relevant, with up-to-date experience in the labour market. Vodafone wishes to contribute to this by bringing to the university 5G, the most up-to-date key technology available today. We hope that the BME pilot network will promote the education of 5G technology and the development and testing of various 5G-based innovations in Hungary, as well as the joint participation of BME and Vodafone in the European Union's 5G-themed research and development programs,” added Dr. Gergő J. Budai.

Dr. Charaf Hassan, the Dean of Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics said that "5G is not the technology of future but of the present, which brings significant changes in every aspect of our live, among other things in the industry as well. Expectedly, 5G becomes the communication network of economy in the 21. century, and contributes to the achievement of Factory of the Future and the Industry 4.0. With the establishment of the 5G test network, BME will become the center of domestic 5G developments, which is ready for the cooperation of RDI with all domestic as well as foreign companies and institutes involved in the development of telecommunication and 5G application."

He added that the 5G test network will help BME to join the European Union's Innovation Program as well as the 5G and 6G targeted researches and development programs planned as part of Horizon Europe from 2021. The technology also contributes to the fight against the coronavirus by enabling remote diagnostics and also sharing and evaluating of the radiological recordings remotely. 5G Laboratory working as part of the test network make it possible to develope the 5G based applications and services in numerous vertical industries, among others in agriculture, transportation and logistics.

BME in the process of setting up an experimental 5G test network collaborates with Nokia Hungary which provices the radio equipment for the university and also contributes of the operation of the network. In 5G-based research, BME also works with several other companies. With the establishment of the 5G test network the 5G services expand with world-class 5G R+D and innovation activities in Hungary. The planning work for it has already started in the program of BME Centre for Higher Education and Industrial Cooperation supported by Nokia Hungary.

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