Deutsche Messe builds Europe's largest 5G exhibition center in Hanover

Feb. 16, 2021
In partnership with Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Messe AG is transforming the 1.4 million square meters exhibition grounds into a multifunctional campus that will include 5G coverage

Deutsche Messe's exhibition center in Hanover will have an entire 5G campus network to itself before the end of the year. According to the organization, this will become Europe's largest 5G exhibition center and will be equipped with the latest high-speed generation in mobile communications. Deutsche Messe AG has partnered with Deutsche Telekom to gradually transforming the exhibition grounds into a multifunctional campus.

Deutsche Telekom, which is implementing the campus network as a hybrid network, will build the 5G coverage to cover a total area of more than 1.4 million square meters. The fairground has a private network that trade fairs and exhibitors can use for their applications while visitors can access a public 5G network covering the exhibition area. For this, 14 outdoor 5G antennas will be put into operation in the first step. In addition, more than 70 indoor antennas will illuminate the first 5 halls with 5G indoors.

Deutsche Messe has been allocated a license from the industrial spectrum by the German Federal Network Agency that allows the private part of the campus network to be implemented with frequencies in the 3.7 - 3.8 GHz range. The part of the public network will be secured using Deutsche Telekom's own frequencies in the 3.6 GHz range. A total of 190 MHz of bandwidth is available for the exhibition center.  A redundant mobile network will aid in availability. An edge computing platform processes incoming data in the shortest possible response time. It is integrated into the network architecture and processes the data directly on site. This helps with data security and data processing.

With the 5G expansion, the Hanover site will also get one of the largest 5G campus networks in Europe in terms of area. In the first step, Deutsche Telekom is equipping five halls and the entire outdoor area, including adjacent parking lots, with 5G. Telekom will then supply all 30 halls and buildings on the exhibition grounds. The hope is to create a unique test field for 5G. Deutsche Messe and Deutsche Telekom are developing and marketing the joint 5G offering as partners.

"For Deutsche Messe, the early decision to have its own 5G campus network covering the entire exhibition center is a strategically important step," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of the board of management for Deutsche Messe AG. "With the allocation of a private 5G license by the Federal Network Agency and Deutsche Telekom as a partner, we are strengthening our core and new business. We are thus offering exhibitors and guest organizers of all trade fairs in Hanover the opportunity to present their 5G-enabled products, solutions and applications live to an international audience. With the 5G Campus network, Deutsche Telekom is opening up a unique opportunity for our exhibition center to become one of the largest private and self-contained 5G areas in Europe."

As one of the key exhibitors at Hannover Messe, Siemens is setting up a private 5G campus network with a focus on industrial use in one of the exhibition halls. The network can be used by exhibitors during trade shows and, outside of trade show times, can be used by companies for tests and field trials.

“In the exhibition hall, innovative solutions for industrial networks are presented using this 5G network infrastructure," said Köckler. "One particular feature of the Siemens infrastructure is that it will remain in the exhibition hall permanently and will be handed over to Deutsche Messe for commercial use. This means that other customers can also use the Siemens technology as a test environment for their products."

The exhibition site will therefore become a test area and a showcase for the use of 5G in industry. The option of operating these private 5G networks will enable companies to adapt them specifically to their requirements in terms of performance, reliability, and security.

Siemens has already taken initial strides towards a private industrial 5G network in its Automotive Test Center in Nuremberg. Siemens is also currently creating its own private 5G infrastructures in its plants in Amberg and Karlsruhe. In these systems, Siemens is relying exclusively on its own independently developed products and solutions. Siemens is now installing a private 5G network on the exhibition site in order to highlight the advantages of this technology.

Deutsche Messe also has plans for the 5G site to offer comprehensive coverage with Telekom's public 5G network. Applications will be researched, developed and tested here. This applies to products, solutions and applications across all industries.

"We are thus changing from a mere organizer to an operator of a site for testing and demonstration purposes in high-tech environments," said Köckler. "We are developing our exhibition center into a multifunctional innovation campus."

The Lower Saxony Ministry of Digitization is supporting the 5G expansion of the exhibition center with more than 2.8 million euros. A total of eleven 5G projects in Lower Saxony have already received concept funding from the federal government. Lower Saxony is one of the only German states to develop a funding framework to support the establishment of research- and industry-related 5G campus networks. The state government's 5G strategy aims not only to support individual projects, such as Messe AG's, but to develop a state-wide 5G ecosystem.

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