The works will cover two road corridors linking Spain with France (Barcelona–Montpellier/Toulouse i Bilbao–Bordeaux) and two corridors linking Spain with Portugal (Salamanca–Porto–Vigo i Mérida–Évora).
The two studies include linking Italy and Austria and the EUmob (Electric Urban Mobility) project with the company Abertis, world leader in the management of toll roads and infrastructure. This infrastructure, as an essential enabler for connected and automated mobility in the future, will ultimately benefit EU citizens and industry.
These initiatives, which are a part of the EC’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF-2) digital program, have as their primary goals the provision of high-quality, reliable 5G connectivity for road safety services as well as the provision of connectivity services to users of vehicles and passengers along the aforementioned corridors. To achieve this, Cellnex plans deploy 34 new telecommunication sites (including distributed antenna systems – DAS – in tunnels), working with mobile operators using its neutral host model, to provide a 5G network in the vicinity of these four cross-border corridors, which span a distance of over 1,400 km. The company will also add a V2X communications infrastructure network and edge computing nodes to the mix.
Together, the projects will represent a total investment of approx. €24 million, 50% of which will be covered by the European Commission. These initiatives will get started in January 2023 and should wrap up by the end of 2025.
Eduardo Fichmann, global director of innovation and product strategy at Cellnex, says that “Cellnex is investing in the benefit that digitalizing these road corridors will bring, not only for connected vehicles but also for road network managers, emergency services, logistics and fleet operators as well as passengers themselves.” He encourages “mobile operators and the various public and private actors in the mobility sector to join the project and collaborate in developing new services that will be possible thanks to the roll-out of these infrastructures.”
Albert Cuatrecasas, Nuno Carvalhosa, Vincent Cuvillier, Gianluca Landolina and Peter Haupt, the managing directors of Cellnex in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Austria, say:
We are proud to be able to provide support, in our respective countries, to the European roadmap to provide continuous and quality connectivity of cross-border road networks, thus promoting improved mobility, road safety and economic development of their areas of influence.
The 5G corridors initiative is one of the multi-nation projects of Europe’s Digital Decade policy. CEF Digital envisions establishing a pan-European transport network of 5G corridors by 2027. These infrastructures are considered key for implementing the linked, automated mobility of tomorrow. Additionally, they will strengthen the digitalization of rail operations and offer services outside the transport sector in the corridor’s surrounding areas, including rural ones.
Cellnex already has experience in similar deployments that advance the mobility of the future. As provider and coordinator of the 5Gmed project, co-funded by the European Commission, it is developing cross-border 5G application scenarios in advanced cooperative connected and automated mobility services (CCAM) and the future rail mobile communications system (FRMCS) in the Mediterranean Corridor, between Figueras and Perpignan. The company also designs, develops, and tests – through the Cellnex Mobility Lab located at the Parcmotor circuit in Castellolí (Barcelona) – the future of connectivity infrastructures with an emphasis on their sustainability and applications for connected and autonomous vehicles.