Airport operator Fraport and global IT service provider NTT will install Europe’s largest private 5G campus network at Frankfurt Airport, Germany.
The private 5G network will provide Fraport with an environment in which it can control data and voice communication autonomously. Thanks to the network’s high bandwidth and low latency, Fraport will be able to accelerate innovative projects, such as autonomous driving on the apron. The 5G network also enables real-time data transfer. This may be necessary for future applications such as video-based monitoring of airport facilities via robots or drones.
Dr Wolfgang Standhaft, chief information officer at Fraport, said, “Operating a standalone mobile network is a milestone for us as an airport operator. We are laying the strategic foundations that will help us make airport operations even more efficient in the future thanks to innovation and digitalization. With NTT, we have a strong and experienced partner with whom we will trial the new technology and develop use cases.”
Kai Grunwitz, country managing director for Germany at NTT, said, “We are delighted to be realizing this groundbreaking project together with Fraport and contributing our expertise in the establishment of secure digital infrastructures. 5G is undoubtedly one of the most important technologies, if not the most important, when it comes to enabling innovative digitalization projects with the highest standards of speed and reliability. Building on our expertise in data networking, connectivity and security, NTT intends to play a pioneering role in establishing these networks. Frankfurt Airport is the driving force and economic engine for the entire Rhine-Main region and beyond. With the 5G campus network solution, we are jointly creating a new central nervous system of connectivity. This will form the basis for our work on efficient solutions and trailblazing use cases for the future.”
Work on building the 5G network infrastructure at FRA is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022. The two project partners will start testing the new technology in a selected area of the airport. At the same time, they will evaluate the first use cases in the areas of automation, robotics, sensors, localization and communication.
From 2023 onward, the network infrastructure will be gradually expanded across the entire airport premises covering more than 20km2. Fraport’s other partner companies at Frankfurt Airport will then also be able to obtain access to the 5G campus network.
Read more about how 5G is helping airports make better connections in the June issue of Passenger Terminal World magazine.