Broadband  |  2024-02-02

RAI Amsterdam to be the First Venue in the EU with a Private 5G Network

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The RAI's private 5G network will be available for the first time during the Cisco Live IT fair.

RAI Amsterdam is the first exhibition and conference organization in Europe with a private 5G network. With this new technology, which has only been available in the Netherlands since December 1, 2023, the RAI is taking the next step as an innovation center. The private 5G network, which is currently the safest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, will be used for the first time from February 5 to 9 during Cisco Live, one of the largest IT events in the world.

“We are increasingly developing from a traditional exhibition and conference location into an innovation platform and knowledge center where events take place,”

says Bret Baas, IT and Digital manager at RAI Amsterdam.

“New technologies are of great importance to both our customers and ourselves. They ensure that more is possible technologically during events, such as flying around with drones or showing and forwarding videos in the highest quality. At the same time, it helps to make our building smarter, which is important for crowd control and sustainability, for example.”

Next step in mobile internet development

The private 5G network is a result of the digital transformation that RAI Amsterdam has initiated. According to Baas, the trade fair and conference organization is leading the way in Europe. “5G is the next step in the development of mobile internet. It ensures safe and fast data transfer. One of the major advantages of a private 5G network is that, unlike with WiFi, network overload hardly occurs anymore. In addition, you don't need cables for 5G. And it offers exhibitors and customers many more options and ensures that we can be very flexible towards them.”

With the help of collaboration partners NTT Data and Cisco, the new network for this pilot was installed in a short time.

Jeroen van Hamersveld, general manager of NTT Data Netherlands:

"5G accelerates the digital transformation in various sectors, including the conference and event industry. Thanks to the private 5G network, both RAI and its customers can develop new concepts and innovations, such as the Internet of Things.”

Ready for the future

The RAI's private 5G network will be available for the first time during the Cisco Live IT fair. According to Edwin Prinsen, general manager of Cisco Netherlands, the installation of 5G is an example of the successful collaboration between Cisco, RAI and NTT Data. “Delivering a private 5G network within six weeks is an impressive achievement. This pilot is beneficial for both RAI Amsterdam and us. A successful launch will allow us to use interactive real-time video for live streaming on location during Cisco Live in Amsterdam, without long cables, which makes everything much simpler. Moreover, it opens the door to other innovative applications that, for example, help to better manage large visitor flows. With this private 5G, RAI Amsterdam is ready for the future."

In addition to the potential for Cisco Live, Baas also sees many possibilities for other events: “For example, at Intertraffic Amsterdam or IBC, there is a lot of communication between equipment. And during the Interclean cleaning event there are many cleaning robots driving around. Then our private 5G network ensures that this runs smoothly.”

Baas outlines what else is possible in the future: “Self-driving cars will use 5G networks. It is even crucial, because you should not be delayed if a car has to respond to a traffic sign. And also for television broadcasts, as already happened at the coronation of Charles in Great Britain, 5G will be used to ensure that there are no delays in transmitting increasingly heavy images and that everything is well secured.”