KPN launches hybrid 4G/5G edge services for industry – Mobile Europe

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The new Campus service is a combination of 5G, on-premises and edge compute, indoor localisation and business LAN

KPN has launched its new 4G/5G edge service which wraps together on-premises computing, indoor localisation and LAN for enterprises – various options of these will be added to the service over the coming months. The operator is pitching the service as “secure and reliable infrastructure and services” which it can deliver three ways: via the public 5G, hybrid public and private and fully private 5G networks. 

The operator said the new service family is its response to the growing need for more autonomy, reliability and guarantees for on-site infrastructure. Industrial services require more than just speed and connectivity. They also need a high level of security, high-quality (indoor) coverage, availability guarantees and fast response times. 

“We want to be at the forefront of 5G connectivity and relevant applications that meet the needs of our customers,” said KPN chief business market and executive board member Chantal Vergouw (above). “We already do this with our existing mobile networks and from now on we can also offer all business customers with mission- and business-critical processes the right 5G solution on location with KPN Campus. We can also unburden private 5G, so that businesses in the Netherlands can reap the benefits of digitization in an environment that always has to work.” 

Flexible options 

Depending on what the enterprise needs and what level of network management it wants to do itself, KPN can mix-and-match depending on need. For example, the telco already offers public 5G for high-quality indoor coverage. Organisations can now handle extensive mobile data traffic locally through a local 5G gateway – hybrid 5G.  

KPN Campus also lets companies to set up a fully private mobile network. This network can be used for both 4G and 5G equipment and runs autonomously at the customer location. KPN hasn’t detailed its technology partners for Campus although the operator partnered up with Ericsson when it began testing 5G standalone at 3.5 GHz and is currently introducing it in its network this year. KPN also has 700MHz which is a lot better for indoor applications.  

Beta testing Campus 

In January, KPN revealed it was testing its 5G Edge technology at logistics service provider KLG Europe, where it installed an on-premises local 5G gateway. Several automated guided vehicles (AGVs) operate in the KLG Europe distribution centre to collect and distribute packages and pallets. These AGVs are equipped with SIM cards and connected to the 5G indoor network in the warehouse. By installing a local 5G gateway, all mobile data from the AGVs is routed directly to the AGV server at the same location. This improved the latency to only four milliseconds, where approximately 21 milliseconds is currently still common. All the processed data remains onsite as well making it a proper edge service.  

KPN emphasised Campus will give large business customers more autonomy and provides the highest possible availability guarantees. For example, the network capacity can be fully allocated to certain mission-critical applications, such as controlling autonomous vehicles and robots or augmented reality applications.  

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