Swiss telecom operator Sunrise and its partner Chinese tech giant Huawei have opened the first 5G Joint Innovation Center in Europe to test, build and showcase new 5G business applications.
On Monday, the two companies announced the opening of the center, which it says will help build the “Swiss 5G ecosystem.” Based at the Sunrise’s headquarters in Opfikon outside Zurich, the center will be focused on in incubating 5G-based services on everything from precision manufacturing to live streaming events to smartphone gaming and smart farming.
The opening comes a day before the Mobile Broadband Forumexternal link hosted by Huawei in Zurich where the Chinese company is expected to showcase its progress on 5G.
“With the opening of the first 5G Joint Innovation Center in Europe, we as a leading 5G provider are taking another important step,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of Sunrise in a press releaseexternal link. “What we have presented today will showcase the huge potential of 5G applications for both the private and business sectors.”
Sunrise is the first provider in the world to launch a cloud gaming service with 4K resolution over 5G and is currently developing a number of 5G use cases. One works with farmers in eastern Switzerland to use 5G to test technology that helps optimize cow milk production and track cows feeding behaviour.
In the center, Huawei will also operate an OpenLab, where developers of 5G applications can use a live end-to-end 5G network to test their applications or solutions under real 5G conditions before launching them commercially. Huawei will also provide components such as IoT sensors and end devices for test purposes.
The Chinese company has been at the center of controversy after the US put Huawei on a list of suspicious companies that are prohibited from selling technological equipment in the US, citing security risks.
While the three major Swiss telecom providers have Huawei equipment in their fixed and mobile networks, Sunrise is the only one that has contracted Huawei to provide the technology behind its 5G network.
The Swiss telecom operator has not made any indication that it plans to make changes in its relationship with Huawei.
Sunrise has the largest 5G network on offer in Switzerland, covering more than 262 towns and cities with 5G. This only refers to areas where 5G reaches at least 80% of the local population but the company plans to extend this to major cities such as Zurich.