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Verena Fulde

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What's working with 5G? First teams of the 5G Early Access Program have tested their ideas

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A very warm "thank you" for their information from the first tests with developers goes to Noel Wirzius, Product Manager Network APIs, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Alexander Krappe, Program Lead at hubraum.

We want to help companies and developers build new or even better products based on our network. To this end, Deutsche Telekom is currently developing functionalities in the network that can be booked and used by customers and partners in the future in a simple, digital and standardized way. This is made possible via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). These are standardized interfaces to our infrastructure. Developers can thus book features from the network in a very simple way. The best thing about it is that monitoring, billing and accounting are directly implemented via a self-service.

Before something like this goes to market, we have to make sure that we create these network products correctly so that they address market needs and problems. We have to make sure that we support partners and developers in the right places and, for example, that the API documentation is easy to understand. We want to make interaction with Telekom as simple as possible. The technical jargon says: we increase the "developer experience". 

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To this end, we have set up a 1,500m2 so-called 5G testbed at our Berlin site. We have initiated the 5G Early Access Program so that developers, partners and customers can already test the functionalities. hubraum is responsible for the program management, the selection and on-site support of the participants as well as the analysis of their experiences afterwards. The International Wholesale division acts as sponsor and provides the APIs.

In our program, partners and developers gain important experience with the capabilities of 5G well ahead of their competitors and can implement it in the further development of their solutions.

After two smaller test runs at the end of last year, the time had finally come in June: the first developers of the program arrived in Berlin to test their use cases in our 5G testbed and with our first 5G APIs.  "Quality on Demand" APIs that developers can use to prioritize their data in the network when network conditions are poor. No complex integration is needed for this, a simple piece of code is enough. 

These development partners were there:

  • Aeriu Technology wants to accelerate warehouse management and reduce costs with their software using drones. To do this, they need stable and high-performance data connections.
  • CTHINGS.CO develops hardware and software for 5G IoT solutions, where latency times and interference-free connections are elementary.
  • GoCharly offers delivery service 2.0, relying on teleoperated delivery robots instead of traditional human couriers.  Again, ultra-low latency connections are a critical element.
  • Latency is also a critical factor for Polyptik, which has developed Vrombr, the first remote reality racing game for smartphones.
  • The fifth participant in this first cohort in the 5G Early Access Program is Volucap. In their world-leading Volumetric Capture Studio, they create three-dimensional videos or avatars to merge digital and physical worlds. Virtual presenters can thus become part of live events - in almost photo-realistic quality; especially important here are options for bandwidth optimization.

It was extremely exciting for all involved and extremely fruitful. We learned a lot about the various requirements and test scenarios. For example, about the behavior of our APIs under certain conditions, which use cases benefit the most, or what other requests there are for new APIs and functionalities on the market. After just one day of joint testing, we can thus gain very deep and far-reaching experience. This valuable feedback will flow into further development.

And it goes straight on: By the way, a major German car manufacturer and an American software giant are coming to Berlin for testing next. We are in talks with many more large partners, the demand is huge.

For smaller partners, applications are already underway for the next of a total of four batches, which we will fill at the beginning of August. We will report!

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