Fifteen projects, both works and studies, funded under the Connecting Europe Facility Programme – Digital (CEF Digital), were launched in the beginning of 2023 and are currently ongoing.
A second and complementary call was subsequently launched, and closed in March 2023. This call reinforced the first call and resulted in the selection of 7 additional projects, 3 works and 4 inception studies, to be funded under CEF Digital in 2024.
A third call was launched on 17 October 2023 and will close on 20 February 2023.
The resulting portfolio of 7 projects that will receive EU funding will continue paving the way for Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM), including safety and non-safety services, be it for road, rail, inland waterways, or multimodal transport.
More specifically, the projects will support 5G infrastructure deployment over cross-border sections of 5G corridors and ensure service continuity when crossing said border. Thus, they will help to connecting different regions throughout Europe.
Three of these projects will start deploying the needed infrastructure straightaway, both active and passive, to enable CAM services to develop in the coming years. At the same time, 4 inception studies will prepare the groundwork for future large-scale 5G infrastructure deployment projects in view of upcoming CEF Digital Calls.
More information on these projects and studies can be found below.
A third 5G Corridors call for deployment works and studies is foreseen to launch in Quarter 4 2023 as part of the big wave of deployment projects. It will be open to both works and studies, thus preparing the project pipelines while also already deploying projects on the ground.
5G Corridors Deployment Projects
The following projects were selected to receive EU funding to further our goal of creating 5G transport corridors.
5G BALKANS: uninterrupted connectivity covering the Bulgaria-Serbia border
5G Balkans aims to complete future uninterrupted connectivity by deploying dark fibre and providing gigabyte infrastructure, while enhancing radio network capacity utilising the respective bandwidth to deliver the needed bitrate throughput.
CETIN Bulgaria together with CETIN LTD and the Technical University of Sofia will thus contribute to securing uninterrupted connectivity and covering the cross-border segment Sofia – Dimitrovgrad along the core network corridor “Orient-East-Med” Belgrade-Sofia-Kalotina.
The project also aims to design and deploy enough RAN capacity to deliver on Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) in the mentioned areas, achieving minimum and classic scenarios for automated cars with an inter-site distance of 2.88 km, assuming fair market share coverage of the needed capacities.
Total EU Contribution: €3 364 403
BALTCOR5G: Deploying 5G and V2X infrastructure cross-border between Poland and Czech Republic
This project aims at deploying 5G and C-v2x infrastructure connecting cross-border road corridor sections along the Baltic-Adriatic 5G Corridor between Poland and The Czech Republic to enable high quality seamless network coverage and handover.
Towerlink Poland together with CETIN AS will aim to develop novel business models in market failure areas to provide digital services.
Total EU Contribution: €2 058 524
IrishSea5GCOR: 5G Corridor and v2x network for future CAM and FRMCS services in Ireland
The IRISHSEA5G project aims to overcome challenges in cross-border market-failure areas by implementing passive and active 5G infrastructure through the Irish sea cross-border corridor between North Ireland and Rosslare Harbour (264 km), and to develop novel business models in market failure areas to provide digital services.
CIGNAL Infrastructure LTD, together with Jason Redmond and Associates Consulting will aim to address key challenges such as the lack of infrastructure in the areas abovementioned where there may be regulatory, technical, and political hurdles that need to be overcome.
The high cost of building infrastructure in these areas can also make it less attractive for telecommunication companies to invest in these regions.
Another challenge is the limited availability of skilled labour and trained professionals at the places. Without adequate expertise, it can be difficult to install, operate and maintain 5G networks, which can lead to service disruptions and other issues.
Total EU Contribution: €5 206 719
5G CORRIDORS: INCEPTION STUDIES 5G HSL EUROLINK: inception study for the deployment of 5G along a rail cross-border section between Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium)
The 5GHSL Eurolink project aims to deliver an inception study to prepare the implementation of 5G infrastructure along a rail cross-border section between Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium), for the benefits of train passenger connectivity and digitalisation of rail operations.
SNCF Reseau, together with Infrabel SA will conduct the study with a consortium of 4 members, involving two rail infrastructure managers and 2 RC from both countries. They will:
- identify target communication service requirements for railways undertakings and for passengers;
- design implementation of 5G technology along the corridor, with a focus on MNO/Railway infrastructure sharing model and service continuity at the border crossing;
- define a cooperation model between railways and MNOs that maximizes synergies for deployment and for long term cooperation and sustainability;
- prepare a detailed implementation plan, reusing existing assets of infrastructure, defining works and estimating cost for building 5G coverage that will deliver expected service capabilities;
- evaluate business viability on the considered track section to assess potential market failure for the corridor and for a long-term perspective of a large-scale deployment;
- evaluate the feasibility of the technology on high-speed lines on one of the largest European lines linking Belgium, France, and the tunnel to the United Kingdom..
Total EU Contribution: €433 145 EUR
5G FREJUS: inception study to prepare deployment of 5G in the Fréjus cross-border section between Italy and France
5G FRÉJUS will deliver an inception study for the deployment of 5G and assess the effort needed to fully deploy the transport corridor between Italy and France across the Fréjus rail and road tunnels, with a neutral and agnostic passive and active infrastructure dedicated to the development of digital services.
Cellnex Italia, OpEn Fiber SpA, Cellnex France, Anas SpA, Accenture SpA, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, together with Instituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica will:
- map the list of applications that might be enabled by 5G coverage along the rail tunnel, defining requirements with focus on cross-border dimension;
- assess the dimensioning of appropriate fibre and dark fibre to serve the cross-border section of the corridor and capture synergies in sharing common passive infrastructure and minimising impact on transport corridors operativity;
- assess opportunities to create synergies in the future deployment of 5G coverage for quantum communication needs to create a resilient and reliable quantum communication system.
A thorough assessment is foreseen of the legal, institutional, regulatory, and administrate national and international framework so as to anticipate and mitigate the complexity of the implementation phase for 5G, VHCN capabilities, and quantum communications.
Total EU Contribution: €400 723
EUR 5G-ADRIA: inception study for 5G cross-border deployment between Slovenia and Croatia on the Mediterranean corridor
The 5G-ADRIA project will focus on defining what 5G infrastructure is needed to support future traffic-related services that will be used along TEN-T transport corridors in Slovenia and Croatia.
Additionally, the proposed corridor is connecting core TEN-T ports in the northern Adriatic region, namely in Koper and Rijeka.
The addressed transport route will span from the Slovenian Port Koper via Ljubljana to the Bregana border crossing, continuing into Croatia to Zagreb and further to Port Rijeka.
Although the study mainly covers this corridor with a length of 378 km, it will also deliver common steps and results that could be transferable to other corridors in both countries.
Telemach Slovenija, sirokopasovne komunikacije, d.o.o., together with its partners Druzba za Avtoceste v Republiki Sloveniji D.D, Transmitters and Communications Ltd, and Univerza v Ljubljani will:
- Match the existing passive and active infrastructure along the corridor against current traffic information and management services. The study will represent the foundation for the evolution of future networks and services
- Introduce initial standardized CAM services with improved traffic information and management, requiring improved 5G coverage with higher data demands and vehicle density.
- Introduce advanced CAM services with cooperative safety and real-time international traffic information exchange and traffic management, putting pressure on dense 5G coverage, high-data throughput, low-service latency and high-service reliability.
- Prepare the basis for next-generation networks with outstanding performances that might not be achievable in the near future, e.g., services requiring extremely high data throughput and low latencies.
Total EU Contribution: €735 225
EUR 5G-SITACOR: Inception study for the deployment of 5G along cross-border sections of the TEN-T Mediterranean and Baltic – Adriatic corridors between Italy and Slovenia
The main objective of the inception study is to assess the technical requirements needed to fully provide the TEN-T Mediterranean and Baltic-Adriatic corridors. It has a particular focus on cross-border sections between Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy) and the Republic of Slovenia. A neutral, agnostic passive, and active infrastructure dedicated to the development of digital services will assess the TEN-T road corridors existing in Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and western Slovenia, in particular with respect to the deployment of safe, secure, and sustainable high-performance infrastructure, including Gigabit and 5G networks. Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia, together with its partners Univerza v Ljubljani, Druzba Za Avtoceste v Republiki Sloveniji D.D, Universita degli Studi di Trieste, Telekom Slovenije DD, Aanas spa, Retelit Digital Services spa, and Luka Koper Port and Logistic system D.
The general objective of the Study 5G-SITACOR is to assess and define the best modalities to apply the potential of 5G network technology (higher transmission speed, lower latency and higher reliability) to different use cases for the development of linear infrastructures such as CAM and road safety (i.e., eCall) in the identified areas.
The Study will aim to:
- assess existing transport and telecommunication infrastructure serving the corridor for efficient sharing and reuse (such as fibre, power supply, utility poles, ground space etc.);
- analyse the technical and economical sustainability of needed investments for the complete coverage of the corridor in line with the goal of the call;
- assess cost-saving strategies by sharing passive and active infrastructure;
- develop linear infrastructures related to CAM and road safety (i.e., eCall), as well as the alignment with the goals of the EuroQCI infrastructure;
- identify the economic and technological requirements to ensure seamless connectivity enabling full digitalisation of the corridor in line with the existing standards.
Total EU Contribution: €342 742