CEBIT 2018: Huawei to bring 5G to German smart city project

Chinese giant hopes Duisberg pilot will see it build more smart cities across Europe

Huawei hopes plans to digitise a German city will serve as a model that can be replicated across the whole of western Europe, with the launch of its Rhine Cloud platform to build smart city applications.

Duisburg, in west Germany, has partnered with Huawei and a Germany-based technology subsidiary DU-IT to digitise its infrastructure after signing a framework agreement at CEBIT 2018. This follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in January.

The region's citizens should expect the digitisation to manifest as more frequent Wi-Fi hotspots, intelligent learning tools, and in traffic management, among other innovations, with Rhine Cloud - Huawei's smart city and public services cloud platform - giving support to other providers to introduce digital applications.

"Earlier this year, we signed an MoU with the Mayor of Duisburg, aiming to build a fully-connected and digital city to boost the economy, and to build a better, intelligent city - improveing the living qualities of the citizens," said president of Huawei for western Europe, Vincent Pang.

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"With Huawei's cutting-edge technology, we are confident with the cooperation of Duisburg this will become a big milestone for digital transformation in smart cities."

Huawei said its smart city services feature in more than 120 cities across the world, with its aims to digitise Duisburg, which is home to half a million people, being lined up as a test run for expanding its smart city services in towns across Europe.

"The parties have signed an MoU a couple of months back, and adhere to use the cutting-edge technologies of Huawei to digitalise and modernise Duisburg, and make it an ICT project for the whole of the western European area," said Martin Murrack, Duisburg's head of digitisation, outlining why his city is an ideal candidate for the project.

"We're expecting Huawei to contribute its 5G and cable-less broadband to the project," he continued, adding that he hopes the project will "improve the quality of life for our citizens as well as boosting our economy".

The first application that takes advantage of Rhine Cloud is a digital twinning project demonstrated by NavVis, which hopes to digitally replicate physical spaces such as museums, with highly-detailed indoor mapping, and a series of advanced features, such as annotations.

The Munich-based company demonstrated the technology in a fully-immersive guided tour of Duisburg's Stadthistorisches Museum, but Dr Felix Reinshagen, NavVis CEO, added that this technology could be applied to a host of other public service needs, such as helping search and rescue efforts following disasters.

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