01 December 2021
A group of eight students from the ABC-UCM Master’s Degree in Journalism and Digital Communication has visited the IMDEA Networks headquarters to learn about the work being carried out at the 5TONIC laboratory, founded by the Madrid institution and Telefónica. Carlos Jesús Bernardos, vice-president of 5TONIC, and Ignacio Berberana, technical manager of the laboratory and Research Engineer at IMDEA Networks, made a presentation of the ongoing projects and then showed them the lab.
The purpose of the visit of the students belonging to the academic alliance between the newspaper ‘ABC’ and the Complutense University of Madrid was to gather information and statements for a practical course: the best of all will be published in an upcoming edition of ‘ABC Empresa’ (whose editor-in-chief, Fernando Pérez, was also present), the supplement published every Sunday in the Spanish media, with a strong commitment to innovation issues.
In this context, both Bernardos and Berberana highlighted 5TONIC’s status as “a living laboratory, not a demonstration center”, as well as its value as “a test environment that allows connecting partners interested in the development of 5G technology“. Concepts such as cutting-edge research, public-private collaboration, European projects, or university participation (in this case, UC3M) were addressed in this interesting conference.
Bernardos and Berberana explained some successful use cases developed by 5TONIC. An example of this is the novel 5G-based emergency services assistance system, carried out in the framework of the European innovation project 5G-TRANSFORMER and together with SAMUR-PC and UC3M.
In addition, they put the students in context by telling them about the differences between 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA) and 5G Stand-Alone (5G SA). Currently, commercial 5G is in this initial 5G NSA phase which, actually, what it offers is a better utilization of the 4G infrastructure. The communication between the mobile and the antenna is done through 5G protocols, but the data transmission is done through 4G technology. However, 5TONIC already has a network core defined for 5G (5GC), which enables the support of SA access and facilitates support for new use cases, as well as the use of network slicing that supports 5G for the customization of network capabilities to the needs of users.
Luis Prados, the coordinator of ABC’s master’s degree, stressed the importance of reporting as journalists on such innovative initiatives as 5TONIC, as well as “knowing how to transmit content to the recipients of the information in the clearest possible way, knowing how to tell things so that everyone understands them”.
After the visit to 5TONIC, the group was able to see first-hand the IMDEA Networks facilities, where they were attended by some of the researchers, with visits to two of the laboratories and the Projects & Funding department.