5GFWD contest seeks innovative ideas on how to utilise 5G technology  

Finland City of Oulu, and Nokia together with their partners have announced an international competition under the title ‘5GFWD’ which challenges the most innovative designers, enterprises and students in the world to create ideas to utilise 5G technology in any way that contributes to people’s everyday lives.

The multiple tracks of the competition challenge participants to seek solutions for more flexible hospital visits, develop a digital shopping centre, and generate ideas for a visit or a working day in the digital city of the future. The 5GFWD competition is free for everyone, and the amount of prize money totals at € 40,000 (Kshs 4.6 million).

The 5GFWD contest’s three tracks are Easy Living & Working!, Shopping Frenzy! and Health Goes 5G!

The aim is to utilise the winning innovations in genuine environments.

”It is said that digitalization is challenging to shops and stores globally. At our new shopping centre Valkea we feel just the opposite. We are specifically looking for ideas for a digital customer experience: what happens even before you actually visit the shopping centre or after you leave,” says Cooperative Arina Marketing Director Pasi Ruuskanen, the brains behind the ‘Shopping Frenzy!’ challenge.

The Easy Living & Working! track targets for example the wireless working day of the future and all the new services that could be available for people in the city when it comes to things like traffic data, various events, or simply finding your friends.

The Health Goes 5G! challenge emphasises vital ideas: Can a family prepare for a hospital visit in a way that would make it more comforting, efficient and pleasant? Could the hospital staff get more information about a coming patient already in advance? What will a 5G ambulance be like in the future?
The Easy Living & Working! and Shopping Frenzy! tracks are free and open to all participants. Health Goes 5G! is targeted to companies, and the winner will also be admitted to a pilot project by OuluHealth’s. Each of the track winners will receive a prize of € 4,000. The Grand Prix winner will be rewarded with 10,000.

Pre-registering to the competition has already started online. The contest will be launched on February 29, while the final stage – where the overall winners well named and awarded – will takes place in Oulu on June 10, 2016.

“We wish to stir up international and Finnish companies and make them focus on 5G in their strategies as a significant competitive advantage. The region’s ICT ecosystem provides companies with a unique environment for development. It speeds up the road of products from innovations to testing phase and into the market. The University of Oulu and the Technical Research Centre of Finland already have a 5G test laboratory. The next 5G environment will be built in the OYS TestLab at Oulu University Hospital,” says BusinessOulu Executive Director Juha Ala-Mursula.

The 5GFWD competition strengthens Oulu region’s important role as one of the international hubs in 5G development. Oulu is already known as perhaps the most notable centre of radio technology development in the world, and more than 2.6 billion people use ICT technology developed in the region.

Among the competition organisers are the City of Oulu, Nokia, Technopolis, Oulu University Hospital, OuluHealth, 6Aika, Cooperative Arina, Ericsson, VTT, the municipality of Kempele, the municipality of Tyrnävä, CorGroup, Sanmina, 9Solutions, Finavia, and Bittium.

The contest is out of the realisation that 5G technology will speed up wireless data transfer, making it up to 200 times faster than in today’s 4G networks. The change is more notable than any previous generation change from one mobile network to another: 5G could make it possible for a surgeon to operate from home, enable remote robot control under dangerous working conditions, and introduce mind-blowing virtual gaming experiences. According to current plans, 5G will be deployed commercially by the year 2020.

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