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Adding to a network of similar facilities that parent telco Orange has been opening across Europe, Orange Polska has launched a 5G Lab at its Warsaw headquarters, offering a space where businesses can discover, experiment and bring future use cases to life over 5G networks.
Explaining the context to the launch, Orange Polska cited a Dynata survey in January 2022 that showed 74% of companies in Poland feel their business will need support from a telecom service provider to develop and test 5G services and/or applications on a live version of the next generation of 5G networks.
The Orange 5G Lab is divided into several zones. The showroom section presents technology and services in the field of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), video analytics based on artificial intelligence (AI), real-time monitoring of resources, critical communications such as PTT/PTV (push to talk, push to video), autonomous mobile robots and drones. All of these operate in the 3.6GHz target frequency for 5G, which has been made available for testing by consent of the Polish Office of Electronic Communications. Data transmission in the network runs at 850Mbps.
Proposed supported use cases include enabling customers to test a VR simulation service using VR goggles. Solutions of this type are successful in employee training, which, says Orange, thanks to 5G means that instead of real workstations on the production floor, they can take place in virtual reality. Also available will be a 5G video analytics system based on AI and using high-resolution cameras installed in the Orange 5G Lab. These enable, for example, the automation of quality control processes or improving workplace safety.
Orange Polska says these technologies are already accelerating the digital transformation of companies by automating distribution processes, logistic, or entire production cycles. It adds that the use of 5G technology makes it possible not only to train employees using VR, but also, for example, to digitally support workstations with AR smart glasses. The telco says this also allows very precise location and monitoring of moving people and objects. This, it says, will be the future of factories, warehouses and offices of large and medium-sized enterprises.
Apart from the showroom, the Orange 5G Lab will also feature a developer section where Orange partners – especially startups participating in the Orange Fab programme – can create, test and develop services and solutions using 5G with the support of Orange experts. They can work in a complete ecosystem consisting of, among others, 5G mobile network, edge computing solutions, IoT platform and what Orange describes as “relevant components”, such as communication modules, routers, AR glasses, VR headsets or cameras. Products and services developed can then be showcased in the showroom, making it easier to deploy the technology commercially and reach potential customers.
Orange Polska cited the example of location and monitoring firm CThings, whose solutions are used, for instance, in large production halls, where they are designed to enable a significant improvement in logistics and security. Other Orange partners present in the Orange 5G Lab include Connected VR, a specialist in VR training and simulations; Nokia, technology partner and 5G infrastructure provider; Surveily, video analytics based on AI; Augmented Vision, digital manuals; and VR Learning, VR training and medical planning using VR.
“5G will be a very significant boost that will enable further development and dynamic digitisation of the Polish economy,” said Julien Ducarroz, CEO of Orange Polska. “We are already actively involved in this process, setting up the first campus networks together with our customers today. Orange 5G Lab is a place where we develop and test solutions using 5G technology, also in cooperation with startups, and present innovative solutions to business, so that we can launch new services as soon as possible after the frequencies necessary to build 5G in Poland are made available, for which we are still waiting.”
Coinciding with the opening of the Orange 5G Lab, Orange Polska announced that it was working with the inQUBE University Business Incubator operating at the Wrocław University of Economics and Business and the Wrocław University of Science and Technology to launch a competition and support programme for startups that focus on solutions using, implementing or developing 5G technology.