5G Lab in Liège showcases innovative applications


Orange is opening its second permanent 5G Lab in Belgium. In the iconic setting of La Grand Poste in Liège, companies can discover the possibilities of 5G and develop and test new applications with the help of experts.

In late 2021, Orange opened its first permanent 5G Lab in Belgium. The lab at the business and innovation hub The Beacon in Antwerp is a place that brings tech firms and researchers together to work on smart solutions with the aid of the new mobile technology.

This initiative was recently expanded with a second 5G Lab, this time in the iconic setting of La Grand Poste in Liège, a hub for creative and innovative businesses. Companies looking to develop new 5G user applications can test the technology with different types of certified 5G devices and the support of Orange’s experts.

At the official opening of the 5G Lab in Liège, Orange and its partners demonstrated how 5G has made the activities of several customers more efficient, safer and more sustainable.

Digital twin

One of the showcased projects is a digital twin: a 3D rendering of a robot that manipulates test tubes in the pharma industry. The operator monitors the robot’s activities through a digital twin that visualises exactly what the robot is doing.

When the robot encounters an error while carrying out its task, the operator puts on an AR headset that displays sensor data from the robot in real time, illustrating what is going wrong. The operator can also use the digital twin to carry out simulations of activities such as a reboot, for instance, before executing it for real. This way the operator doesn’t have to physically enter the workplace, thereby avoiding the risk of contamination.

5G stand-alone is important with this application because augmented reality generates large data volumes. The low latency between the sensors and the visualisation is crucial to create a lifelike experience for the digital twin. And finally, the robot and its digital twin use a dedicated slice of the 5G network, so availability is guaranteed.


Lab event Luik Robot arm sfeerbeeld_0.png.    

Hands-free loading and unloading

Another project is in the aviation industry, specifically the loading and unloading of air cargo. Cargo handlers are equipped with smart glasses that replace their paperwork with a hands-free process. This solution provides optimum support in a challenging environment.

The cargo handler places the correct pallet on the correct dolly and links them by scanning them with the smart glasses. In the event of irregularities, a video call is set up with the back office where the operator can look through the glasses to give instructions. The link ends when the pallet is being loaded onto the plane. For the video calls, the high bandwidth and low latency of a 5G standalone network are crucial.

Lab event Luik Sfeerbeeld VR.jpg

Parking planes automatically

Parking planes at an airport is a challenge, partly due to a lack of staffing. Unfavourable weather also hinders the work of the marshals who guide planes to their parking spot using two orange marshalling bats or batons. That’s why the third project installed a 5G radar at the airport, with solar panels and batteries equipped with edge computing to help planes park autonomously.

The system uses a dedicated slice of the 5G network to establish ultra-reliable connections with low latency. Now the airport can park planes quickly and with precision, regardless of weather. The airport’s increased capacity and the real-time overview of the parking status of all planes are additional benefits.

pic 5G Radar_Beeld onder 3e case airplane.png

At the 5G Lab, we invite businesses to discover, develop and test new innovative use cases driven by 5G standalone (5G SA) network technology. Discover the power of 5G standalone.

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