Estonia 5G network to go live by year-end, self-driving car on show by 2019

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Telia Company has partnered with Ericsson and Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) with the intention of rolling out a live pilot 5G network at the university by the end of 2018.

The project is designed to further the development of 5G applications, services and business models, the companies said, with the network providing high-speed mobile data connectivity across the TalTech campus.

"We want to demonstrate how different vehicles move and communicate with each other, how smart houses affect our daily lives, and showcase traffic with self-driving cars, smart traffic signs and infrastructure equipped with various sensors," said Kirke Saar, CTO at Telia Estonia.

"We believe that this new technology will make our lives safer, more convenient and effective both in homes and public spaces," Saar said.

TalTech has developed a self-driving car, dubbed Iseauto, which will be among the first cooperation projects under the partnership deal.

The partners have pledged to showcase Iseauto's capabilities – driving and communicating with the surrounding infrastructure, facilitated by 5G technology – next year.

"With the help of a smart city test platform, entrepreneurs will be able to develop new business models together with researchers, which would be possible on the new 5G network," said Gert Jervan, Dean of TalTech's IT faculty.

"So, it's not just a technical solution - its scope will be considerably wider," he said.

Meanwhile, Ericsson talked up the benefits of the project for the Estonian market as a whole.

"This 5G project...serves as another crucial step towards launching early commercial 5G services in the country," said Per Narvinger, Head of Customer Unit Northern & Central Europe at Ericsson.