Airport operator Fraport has reached a strategic alliance with IT service provider NTT for the development of a private 5G campus network at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Germany.

It is claimed that this private 5G network will be Europe’s largest.

Fraport has received a licence from the German Federal Network Agency for 5G technology, which facilitates high bandwidth and real-time data transfer.

The real-time data transfer is expected to support future applications, such as video-based monitoring of airport facilities through robots or drones.

Fraport will also use the 5G network to control data and voice communication autonomously as well as speed up innovative projects, including autonomous driving on the apron.

The building of the 5G network infrastructure at the airport is anticipated to commence in the third quarter of the year.

The new technology will be trialled by the two project partners in a selected area of the airport.

Furthermore, the parties will assess the first use cases in the fields of localisation, communication, automation, robotics and sensors.

From next year, the partners intend to expand the network infrastructure across the airport premises, spanning more than 20km².

Fraport CIO Dr Wolfgang Standhaft said: “We are laying the strategic foundations that will help us make airport operations even more efficient in the future thanks to innovation and digitalisation.

“With NTT, we have a strong and experienced partner with whom we will trial the new technology and develop use cases.”

Earlier this month, Fraport agreed to extend its collaboration with Caverion for a new terminal project at Frankfurt Airport.