EU Reveals Seven 5G Corridors Projects to Receive Funding


Names the second series of projects that have been selected to co-fund 5G transport corridor infrastructure in 2024

The EU, through its European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), has announced the seven Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) projects that will receive funding to improve the bloc’s road, rail, inland waterways, or multimodal transport with 5G. 

More specifically, the projects will support 5G infrastructure deployment over cross-border sections of 5G corridors and ensure service continuity when crossing the borders. 

As part of the Connecting Europe Facility Programme – Digital (CEF Digital), the seven projects – 3 works and 4 inception studies – complement 15 projects awarded last December.  

The following projects were selected to receive EU funding to further our goal of creating 5G transport corridors. 

Bulgaria and Serbia 

5G BALKANS aims uninterrupted connectivity covering the Bulgaria-Serbia border by deploying dark fibre and enhancing radio network capacity. CETIN Bulgaria together with CETIN LTD and the Technical University of Sofia will collaborate to secure uninterrupted connectivity, covering the cross-border segment Sofia – Dimitrovgrad (above) along the core network corridor “Orient-East-Med” Belgrade-Sofia-Kalotina. 

The €3.36m project also aims to design and deploy enough RAN capacity to deliver CAM in these areas, achieving scenarios for automated cars with an inter-site distance of 2.88km. 

Poland and Czech Republic  

The €2.06m BALTCOR5G project will deploy 5G and V2X infrastructure cross-border between Poland and the Czech Republic. This includes sections along the Baltic-Adriatic 5G Corridor between Poland and The Czech Republic to enable high quality seamless network coverage and handover. 

Towerlink Poland together with CETIN AS will aim to develop novel business models in so-called market failure areas to provide digital services. 

Irish Sea 

The €5.2m IRISHSEA5G project aims to overcome challenges in cross-border market-failure areas by implementing passive and active 5G infrastructure through the Irish sea cross-border corridor between North Ireland and Rosslare Harbour (264 km) and to develop new business models in market failure areas. 

CIGNAL Infrastructure, together with Jason Redmond and Associates Consulting will aim to address key challenges such as the lack of infrastructure where there may be regulatory, technical and political hurdles that need to be overcome. The high cost of building infrastructure and lack of skilled labour in these areas can also make it less attractive for telecommunication companies to invest in these regions. 

 France and Belgium  

The €433k 5GHSL Eurolink project aims to deliver an inception study to prepare the implementation of 5G infrastructure along a rail cross-border section between Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium). SNCF Reseau, together with Infrabel SA with a consortium looking to define a cooperation model between railways and MNOs, prepare a detailed implementation plan, reusing existing assets of infrastructure, while defining works and estimating cost for building 5G coverage that will deliver expected service capabilities. 

They will also evaluate business viability to assess potential market failure for the corridor and for a long-term perspective of a large-scale deployment and evaluate the feasibility of the technology on high-speed lines on one of the largest European lines linking Belgium, France and the tunnel to the United Kingdom. 

Italy and France 

 The €401k 5G FRÉJUS project will deliver an inception study for the deployment of 5G and assess the effort needed to fully deploy the transport corridor between Italy and France across the Fréjus rail and road tunnels with a neutral passive and active infrastructure dedicated to the development of digital services. 

Cellnex Italia, Open Fiber, Cellnex France, Anas, Accenture, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, together with Instituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica will assess the dimensioning of appropriate fibre and dark fibre to serve the cross-border section plus work out the best ways for sharing common passive infrastructure.  

The partners will also assess the legal, institutional, regulatory, and administrate national and international frameworks needed to make it all happen including the role of quantum safe communications.  

Slovenia and Croatia 

 The €735k 5G-ADRIA project will focus on defining what 5G infrastructure is needed to support future traffic-related services that will be used along TEN-T transport corridors in Slovenia and Croatia. Additionally, the proposed corridor is connecting core TEN-T ports in the northern Adriatic region in Koper and Rijeka. 

The addressed transport route will span from the Slovenian Port Koper via Ljubljana to the Bregana border crossing, continuing into Croatia to Zagreb and further to Port Rijeka. Although the study mainly covers this corridor with a length of 378 km, it will also deliver common steps and results that could be transferable to other corridors in both countries. 

Telemach Slovenija, sirokopasovne komunikacije, together with its partners Druzba za Avtoceste v Republiki Sloveniji, Transmitters and Communications, and Univerza v Ljubljani will introduce initial standardised CAM services with improved traffic information and management, requiring improved 5G coverage with higher data demands and vehicle density. 

Italy and Slovenia 

The €343k 5G-SITACOR inception study will assess the technical requirements needed to fully provide the TEN-T Mediterranean and Baltic-Adriatic corridors. It has a particular focus on cross-border sections between Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy) and the Republic of Slovenia.  

Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia, together with its partners Univerza v Ljubljani, Druzba Za Avtoceste v Republiki Sloveniji, Universita degli Studi di Trieste, Telekom Slovenije, Aanas, Retelit Digital Services, and Luka Koper Port and Logistic system D will assess 5G neutral host and gigabit solutions can support this corridor. 

Next steps 

HaDEA is currently in the process of grant agreement signatures with the successful project beneficiaries. A third call was launched on 17 October 2023 and will close on 20 February 2023. 

Three of these projects will start deploying the needed infrastructure straightaway, both active and passive, to enable CAM services to develop in the coming years. At the same time, four inception studies will prepare the groundwork for future large-scale 5G infrastructure deployment projects in view of upcoming CEF Digital Calls. 

Source : Mobilee