Fira Barcelona Gran Vía - the venue of the MWC, Source: Fira Barcelona Facebook page

Barcelona transport integrates 5G technology during MWC

Barcelona transport integrates 5G technology during MWC

The world’s largest mobile tech trade fair is back to the Catalonian capital from 28 June to 1 July

Mobile World Congress, or as it is nowadays better known as MWC – the world’s most popular mobile technology trade show – is back home in Barcelona, between 28 June and 1 July. The event will take place at the Gran Via of the Fira Barcelona (in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat) and the local public transport operator TMB will use the occasion to show off some novelties, as well.

TMB will participate in the mobility device of this event with the transport capacity of its networks and with a special emphasis on information and attention to citizens, in addition to deploying a test of two applications of 5G technologies.

Towards digitalization of public transport

L9 Sud is the subway line that leads directly to the trade show and all one has to do is hop on it and then hop off at the Fira or Europa/Fira stations. Attendees and visitors can also use the regular H12 bus line if coming from a southern direction.

Additionally, however, the city operator is launching a special shuttle service, which will connect the fairgrounds with Plaça d’Espanya in Barcelona. One of these vehicles will be used as a platform for the application of 5G technology. It has been equipped with a 5G router and ultra-panoramic screens through which content related to the MWC will be received and streamed.

On the same days, TMB will deploy three informants with tablet-type mobile devices with 5G connectivity that allow simultaneous translation into 25 languages. With the translation assistant, these people will be able to respond to MWC visitors and provide any required information even if they do not know the language in which the info is formulated. The informants will be located at the start and end stops of the bus shuttle that will connect the Plaza de España with the Fira 2 venue.

Setting the grounds for a Bus Lab test

TMB has also designed the so-called Bus Lab project, a rolling laboratory to test all the emerging technologies to be implemented in a pilot line and subsequently to the entire bus network. In this lab vehicle, the prototypes of the different devices will be installed to evaluate their viability before extending them to the set of the fleet.

Some of the technologies that will be subjected to the Bus Lab test, and reportedly to take place in the autumn of this year will be:

  • 360-degree video surveillance (indoor and outdoor)
  • New user information system on board with streaming content
  • Real-time telemetry
  • Intelligent cloud video analysis
  • New embedded network architecture
  • R&D of the new driver information system
  • Bus lane monitoring
  • Bus sensing
  • City bus-infrastructure connection
  • Traffic light priority

The president of TMB, Rosa Alarcón, emphasized that “with these proofs of concept, TMB shows its commitment to innovation that optimizes the public transport service in the Barcelona area as well as to improving the travel experience of the people".

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