Proximus NXT successfully tests 5G slicing for electronic payments during ‘Wintermonde’ event

During this end-of-year period, multiple cities and municipalities across the country organize Christmas markets or winter fairs. In the city of Dendermonde, Proximus NXT teamed up with cashless payment provider EventPay to test 5G slicing capabilities in ensuring smooth transactions during these busy events.

Visitors to festivals, concerts or sports competitions are likely to have noticed it: cashless payments are rapidly gaining ground. The advantages are obvious: they allow for faster transactions and shortened queues, reduce the risk of theft and facilitates monitoring of sales revenues. At the same time, it goes without saying that cashless payment solutions are highly dependent upon reliable mobile connectivity, which can be complicated by the presence of large crowds connecting simultaneously in a given area.

Dirk Abbeloos, ICT Alderman of Dendermonde: Welcome to Dendermonde. As far as I am concerned, the most beautiful city in Flanders. We want to be there for our people and for progress and therefore we are very happy that Proximus is unpacking the 5G slicing with us today as a pilot project.

David Vermeulen, Product & Solution Manager 5G Mobile Private Networks at Proximus: My name is David Vermeulen. I am here today in Dendermonde at the Wintermonde event, where we as Proximus have a project together with our partner EventPay.
Slicing is a 5G concept that allows us to create multiple virtual networks on the same infrastructure. Specifically for EventPay, we chose to set up a payment slice with a guaranteed capacity that is only accessible by EventPay devices. Slices can be set up temporarily or permanently, locally or nationally, with or without SLA. But always with the big advantage that no investment in hardware or software is required from the customer. Because we use the public mobile network for slicing in collaboration with Nokia and Ericsson.

Klaas De Proost, owner of EventPay: My name is Klaas De Proost of the company EventPay. We provide cashless payment solutions for events. Connectivity and cashless go hand-in-hand for us.
We are looking for a reliable solution, because in the past we have been confronted quite often with saturated 4G networks and subsequently, we always had to look for backup solutions such as wifi networks which we then had to build locally ourselves. For us, the 5G payment slice actually provides a very fast, secure and good reliable solution that can be rolled out very quickly.

Anne-Sophie Lotgering, Chief Enterprise Market Officer Proximus: Proximus, as you know, is investing to ensure that it can offer Belgian consumers and businesses the best possible gigabit coverage. Whether it is fixed connectivity through the implementation of fiber or mobile connectivity with 5G.
So far, we have deployed a number of private mobile networks in Belgium. As you know, Proximus' next goal is to make sure we can advise our customers on which technology to use for which business outcome.
We are very proud that Proximus NXT is already enabling so many B2B business cases today, like the one you saw in Wintermonde. And hopefully many more will follow.
5G might come across as future technology, but it's a technology that's already here today and can be used by all companies that want to try it or understand how it can help achieve their business outcomes.

5G slicing for optimal network performance, stability and reliability

The concept of slicing can provide an answer to these challenges: it allows operators to divide their public 5G network into smaller network slices that can be leveraged for specific applications. Every slice can be configured based on different parameters and in function of a particular use-case, vertical or customer. Network slices are designed as such that they are isolated from each other, implying that what happens in one slice does not impact the other slices.

The network set-up at Wintermonde, limited in time, included a dedicated slice with a guaranteed capacity for payment handling, accessible only to a limited number of EventPay devices. Thanks to this ‘reserved’ part of the available network capacity, EventPay could rest assured it could keep running its services smoothly, without any on-premise installations of additional capacity, and without the risk of network saturation. During the first weekend of the event, around one third of the payments at the event were handled through devices connected to this dedicated slice of the network.

The unique characteristic of slicing, differentiating 5G from previous mobile network technologies, makes it an ideal fit for solutions in search of guaranteed connectivity. While the deployment at Wintermonde was a first successful test, one can easily imagine other applications: think for example of real-time data exchanges, communications or remote assistance in emergency situations.

After this first test, Proximus expects to set up several other customer PoCs in the coming months. The first commercial slicing products are expected to be available later in 2024.

foto van iemand die gequote wordt

Proximus is dedicated to building the best gigabit network in Belgium by investing heavily in Fiber and 5G technology. Our goal is to meet the needs of our customers by providing a highly customizable and flexible network through 5G slicing. This technology is ideal for business-critical applications and we are excited to continue developing it and exploring its potential use cases with our customers.


Social media