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Photo: Finavia

Helsinki Airport first in world to use 5G

Airport operator Finavia and telecoms giant Telia have brought a new big-data specialist to run around the terminal.

Helsinki Airport says it has become “the first 5G airport in the world”, as airport operator Finavia and telecoms giant Telia let a robot loose in the terminal using a 5G network that has just been launched at the airport.

The two partners have started a project that explores the possibilities of using 5G in airport operations and bringing new kinds of experiences to passengers.

Finavia is Telia’s first customer to use the pre-commercial 5G network in Finland.

The 5G robot operates in the non-Schengen area of terminal T2. Telia and Finavia will study how passengers and airport personnel react and interact with the autonomous robot, which will be carrying out service tasks.

“The robot can deliver real-time video stream from the terminal and enable for example monitoring the terminal area through remote or autonomous control and seeing that everything is running as it should,” explains Heikki Koski, chief digital officer at Finavia.

“The robot can also guide passengers in the terminal, and we aim to try out different use-cases during the project.”

Data control
The data transmission and control of the robot is carried over a 5G base station at the airport.

The network, based on technology by Finland’s Nokia, utilises the 28 GHz frequency band, which is the higher frequency band allocated for 5G.

This is the first time in Finland that so-called millimetre waves are used for 5G in a public use project.

“5G will start with enterprise customers, especially for industrial automation and remote control,” says Janne Koistinen, 5G program director at Telia Finland.

“The low-latency connection and massive capacity of 5G will serve the airport well with its masses of passengers and data, and with the focus on security and fluency of services.”

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