Ericsson teamed with operator Telia on a new innovation programme designed to accelerate 5G deployment for industrial enterprises in Sweden, focusing on bolstering customer R&D units in the automotive and transportation sectors.

Dubbed NorthStar, the project aims to accelerate industry digitalisation in the country by providing business clients with tools and resources around 5G technology, tapping into areas including network slicing.

Initially focused on automotive and transportation, the first customer to use Northstar is AstaZero, a company that develops test environments for road safety.

For the technology, NorthStar uses Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core and connects to Telia’s 5G public network, currently being rolled out in Sweden.

The initiative will also allow customers to build their own 5G networks at their own locations, for example test sites, to connect them to NorthStar.

AstaZero CEO Peter Janevik said the combination of open and closed networks provided by NorthStar “makes it possible to step up both research and development testing”, highlighting the technology’s compatibility with the environment for unmanned vehicles.

Erik Ekudden, SVP and CTO at Ericsson, added NorthStar marked yet another milestone with Telia as the companies moved to progress industry digitalisation across Sweden and the Nordics.