Private 5G Underlies Technology Trial at Purdue University Airport

Ericsson and Saab have established a private 5G network for Purdue University Airport that is seen as a proving ground for airport applications that could benefit from private 5G connectivity. A private 5G network uses the same technology used in commercial cellular networks but is for the exclusive use of a single entity.

The goal is to provide real life opportunities for academics, researchers and businesses to develop private 5G network use cases to improve operations and security at airports.

Private 5G is seen as potentially offering advantages over hardwired systems and other forms of wireless connectivity that are used in airports today.

Hardwired systems and sensors may require trenches for copper or fiber cabling. Point-to-point radio frequency links can be unreliable. And cellular connections entail subscription fees and consumer-oriented performance limitations.

Ericsson is providing a private 5G network to the Purdue Research Foundation that will operate at the school’s airport. The airport conducts more than 125,000 “aircraft operations” each year, which makes it the second busiest airport in Indiana, according to a press release.

Saab is installing its Aerobahn platform that drives efficiency for airlines and ramp management, its SAFE Event Management security platform and sensors to track aircraft.

“We are witnessing uptake in global demand for digitalization at airports that requires stable, secure and high-performing wireless networking. Ericsson’s Private 5G network will enable cellular connectivity for the lab to life innovation platform at the Purdue University Airport,” George Mulhern, head of Ericsson Enterprise Wireless Solutions, said in a press release. “This unique collaboration enables trials and industrialization of 5G applications and use cases that help solve aviation market needs.”

Benefits, he said, may include improving flight safety and enhancing the passenger experience, as well as increasing efficiencies and saving costs. “This is just one more example of how different enterprises can work with 5G networks to


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