Launched just a few months ago, everything is set for what will be your first major innovation project. We are talking about the 5G Laboratory of the University of Vigo, located in the Faculty of Telecommunications Engineering and which is destined to become the main Galician research space on these advanced wireless communication technologies. This first work with which the laboratory begins its activity revolves around the so-called Network Slicing or Network Segmentation, one of the most innovative features of the 5G technology standard, although its development is still at a very early stage despite of the great advantages that it presents with respect to the shared network, the allocation of bandwidth and the quality of the service.
“The main objective of this project is precisely to advance in the use and application of technologies,” explains the researcher from the Department of Telematic Engineering, Felipe Gil. These technologies allow experts to take advantage of the virtualization features of 5G technology to create networks. isolated and adapted to specific needs (such as IoT, broadband, connected vehicles or private networks for corporate users, etc.) in the same infrastructure without having to implement new specific equipment, as might be necessary today.
This work will make the laboratory an international benchmark
Therefore, the Galician 5G laboratory will be one of the first to delve into the possibilities of network segmentation, which will make it a national and international reference in the field of research on the different functionalities allowed by the 5G technology. The launch of this center last March was possible thanks to the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Rector of the University of Vigo, Manuel Reigosa; the director of the Agency for Technological Modernization of Galicia (Amtega), Mar Pereira, and the managing director of Retegal, Miguel Rodríguez. In addition to the creation of the laboratory, this agreement also continued the collaboration begun with the launch of the 5G University Specialist Course that had held its first edition in 2019.
The new laboratory offers, on the one hand, specific equipment to carry out all kinds of tests on this technology and, on the other, the advice of university specialists. Its constitution is part of the actions of the 5G Node, promoted by the Xunta through the Galicia 5G Plan, and which the University of Vigo joined in 2019, and which also includes the operators Telefónica, Vodafone and R and with which also collaborates. The 5G National Observatory.
“We have equipment and experience and we are interested in putting it at the service of the environment that surrounds us, of companies and institutions that want to collaborate with the University. This is what we call open innovation, a transfer space in which to take advantage of the knowledge that exists at UVigo ”, explained Felipe Gil at the time the laboratory was established. It is not, he remarked, “that companies and organizations limit themselves to using our facilities”, but what is sought and generate synergies, collaborate on projects and open new areas of research in line with the needs of the surrounding business fabric.
Since then, there have been several requests for use by the tech sector. The different applications are currently being explored and evaluated, which will now begin to bear fruit with this first innovation project based on network segmentation.