5G (BeeBright/Shutterstock.com)

Indianapolis steps up its 5G profile

Indianapolis, which is one of the two cities in the U.S. that have 5G services from AT&T and Verizon, is positioning itself as a testbed for 5G-based smart cities and internet-of-things research.

The city is launching a 5G hub to drive the testing and development of 5G-enabled technologies and help businesses and other innovators take advantage of the technology's faster speeds, reduced data latency and increased reliability.

The Indiana 5G Zone will occupy 3,000 square feet within the Eleven Fifty Academy, a non-profit that helps professionals upskill and launch careers in technology, and be integrated with the academy’s coding and cybersecurity training programs, officials said.

Once opened, the Indiana 5G Zone participating members can lease lab space where they can use the lab's 5G network infrastructure to develop and test new technologies, products or service applications. It will be the first node of what will become a statewide 5G-related resource network.

The initiative has been established in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IDEC) , and a number of corporate and university partners including AT&T, Verizon, Purdue University, Eleven Fifty Academy, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame.

IEDC will provide matching funds to support research, development and commercialization through the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which supports the state’s efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. The Indy 5G Zone will be administered by the Indiana 5G Forum, a newly formed business unit of the Purdue Research Foundation.

In June at the city's Indy 5G Summit, participants discussed the creation of an Indy 5G Zone -- a testbed for companies to pilot 5G-enabled applications, summit organizers said.

"The full potential promised by 5G: higher speed, faster response and edge intelligence, can only be realized when the whole ecosystem of innovation brings ‘killer apps’ to the growing infrastructure," Mung Chiang, dean of the college of engineering at Purdue University, said at the June summit. "The Indy 5G Zone will help accelerate such innovations. … The AT&T and Verizon deployment of 5G in Indianapolis is a key step, enabling companies large and small to come here and test their 5G-enabled products."

5G is seen as a foundational technology for IoT and smart city applications. The wireless network's speed and capacity will support transmission of massive amounts of data from sensors, connected vehicles and infrastructure to enable advances in transportation, energy consumption and public safety.

The technology is also expected to produce $160 billion in benefits and savings through reductions in energy usage, traffic congestion and fuel costs, according to research by Accenture.

More information on the Indiana 5G Zone is available at wherespeedmatters.com.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA and MA from West Chester University and did Ph.D. work in English at the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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