5G at RWTH Aachen University



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In Spring 2020 the IT Center was commissioned by the university management to coordinate the development and establishment of 5G technology at RWTH Aachen University. The main goal of the RWTH Aachen University is to create a location where this technology and its fields of application can be researched and used by the RWTH and its partners. Upon application, the Federal Network Agency has granted the RWTH Aachen University a license to use the industrial spectrum in the field of Campus Melaten.

Together with the partners of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe (Fraunhofer-Institute for Production Technology IPT, Research Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen University e.V. (FIR), Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University, IT Center of the RWTH Aachen University) a production network 5G for the use by different use cases is to be established. This development is to be financed by suitable projects and pushed forward in terms of content. For the necessary scientific exchange, workshops are regularly organized to which invitations are issued university-wide. These workshops also serve to determine (long-term) needs.


What is 5G?

As successor to 4G (LTE), the 5G network is revolutionizing mobile communications. The 5G technology is up to 100 times faster than LTE and thus makes real-time transmissions possible. Furthermore, an extremely high data rate is available, so that services with high broadband requirements are supported.

Specified 5G performance characteristics:

  • Bandwidth for transmission capacities above 10 GBit/s
  • Latency of less than 1 ms
  • 10 to 100 times the number of connected devices
  • 10 times lower energy consumption
  • Area-wide 5G access even for less densely populated areas

The lower the frequency, the better the radio waves spread and penetrate possible resistances like walls. However, less data is transmitted. Networks with high frequency are more powerful, but cover less area and penetrate obstacles less effectively.
This is why the frequencies for 5G are higher than for LTE. This is the only way to achieve faster data rates.



Interview - 5G mobile network using the example of RWTH Aachen University

On October 13, "connect-proffesional" published an interview with our employee Frank Meeßen (coordinator of 5G activities) and Kai Grunwitz (Managing Director of NTT Germany) on the topic of "A private 5G project is always uncharted territory".

The full  interview can be found on the connect proressional website. (only in german)

5G Interview on Deutschlandfunk

On May 25, 2023, an interview was conducted by the radio channel "Deutschlandfunk" with two colleagues from the IT Center, Frank Meeßen and Christoph Viethen, and the CEO of NTT, Kai Grunwitz, on the topic of "Our new, private 5G network at RWTH and 5G in general". 

Excerpts from this interview were broadcast on the radio channel "Deutschlandfunk" on June 3, 2023 at 4:30 pm (minute 3:40 - minute 11:00 - only in German).

Private 5G Network for the RWTH Aachen University

Private 5G networks (P5G) operate on a completely isolated frequency range and offer users full control over all network functions.

After a pilot phase, the 5G mobile network from NTT and Cisco is now ready for use in the research areas of the RWTH Aachen University.

From now on, the RWTH can also autonomously control data and voice communications in its buildings. In addition, the high bandwidth, real-time data transmission and low latency have provided the university with the best conditions for research projects. 

RWTH will use the P5G network in various areas. These include an EU-funded robotics project, conducting site surveys for emergency route plans, and a project for the use of real-time data transmission in the operating room. In addition, the university is currently evaluating the possibility of using the campus network as an alternative to WLAN in the future. More

How strongly do 5G antennas radiate?

Anna-Malin Schiffarth, a researcher at the Institute of High Frequency Technology at RWTH Aachen University, uses state-of-the-art technology to measure the electromagnetic fields of mobile communications. Together with her colleagues, Schiffarth is developing measurement methods that can be used to record the immissions of mobile communications - including those of the latest 5G antennas. 

More background information and a video can be found on the website of Deutschland spricht über 5G (only in German).  

VISION FUTURE NET on May 17, 2022

The Center for Information and Media Services at the University of Duisburg-Essen invites you to the event VISION FUTURE NET.

When: May 17, 2022 I 9am to 1:15pm
Where: online via CISCO Webex
How: free registration 

The IT Center of RWTH Aachen University is also represented with a guest lecture by Frank Meeßen on the following topics:

  • Building a 5G Campus Network
  • 5G Industry Campus Europe - 5G on the Campus Melaten of RWTH Aachen University
  • Technology used
  • Frequencies
  • Radio coverage outdoor network

Register today and take part in this online event with exciting presentations on the campus network of the future and an informative exchange - we look forward to seeing you!

Local Frequency Use Grows

The Bundesnetzagentur has now been opening up the 3,700-3,800 MHz frequency range for local frequency use for a year and a half. The frequencies can be used for industrial campus networks, for example. Allocatees are primarily medium-sized and large companies, although some research institutions are also among the frequency holders. As of May 2021, 123 applications have already received a license to use a local 5G network.

Lists of frequency assignment holders who have agreed to publication can be found on the website of the Bundesnetzagentur. The Competence Center 5G.NRW has compiled an up-to-date overview of campus network sites throughout Germany. In this document you will find all holders of campus network licenses who have agreed to the publication of this information.

Overview of holders of campus network licenses [in German only]

Report of the Lokalzeit aus Aachen - "5G at the RWTH" [in German only]

On June 9, 2021, the Lokalzeit aus Aachen broadcast a report on the topic "5G at RWTH".
You can find the report on the YouTube channel of the IT Center.

News from Radiation Protection

In an interview with Dr. Gunde Ziegelberger, Federal Office for Radiation Protection, in addition to the current state of research on electromagnetic fields used for mobile radio, it is explained why mobile radio research sometimes works better in a radio hole than in the laboratory and why mosquito nets can have a placebo effect. more...