Private 5G at San Sebastian Airport, Spain

Located in the municipality of Hondarribia, 22 kilometres north-east of the city of San Sebastian, next to the French-Spanish border, it is one of Spain’s main airports in the north of the Iberian peninsula. Various reforms have been undertaken in recent years to provide the airport with better infrastructures and services. The installation serves mainly regular domestic and international flights, with 383,000 passengers on a total of 5,600 flights in 2022.

Spanish airport manager Aena, which ranks number one in global passenger volume, and telecommunications infrastructure and services operator Cellnex Telecom have brought into service the first private network based on 5G technology in Spanish airports. The pilot project is itself one of the first on the European airport scene. In this project, Cellnex will enjoy the collaboration of Nokia as its partner for the 5G network, while Inetum will supply and operate the associated drones.

Globally, Aena has identified 5G as one of the key technologies for its digital transformation process.  Although connectivity has been a reality in airports for a few years, the leap to this new technology will make it possible to develop new applications in important fields such as security and operations. 5G will help to further advance the Internet of Things (IoT) and help to implement Big Data, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. 

The press release from Cellnex is available here. An infographic on the role of private networks in airports is available here.

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