Vodafone Business partnered with automotive giant Porsche to establish what the duo claimed is Europe’s first hybrid 5G mobile private network, a move to offer customers better infrastructure to develop and test intelligent and autonomous vehicles.

In a statement, Vodafone and Porsche detailed deployment of the mobile private network (MPN) at Nardo Technical Centre (NTC), a facility in Southern Italy operated by Porsche Engineering.

The hybrid infrastructure element of the deployment sees Vodafone use a private network fully integrated with its public mobile infrastructure.

Through an “innovative design”, both private and public coverage is offered at the location, meaning the local population can also benefit from the network.

Vodafone and Porsche explained the automotive company’s customers could benefit from real-time communications, promising reduced delays, wider bandwidth, improved security and reliability, and faster deployment time.

It also marks another phase “in the future-orientated development of the testing centre”, with Porsche claiming it has made continuous investments to modernise and implement technological upgrades” since acquiring the facility in 2012.

Vodafone’s network enables 4G and 5G coverage throughout the centre, which occupies 700 hectares and has more than 20 tracks for performance testing.

In the future, NTC aims to develop new applications including vehicle-to-infrastructure and to-vehicle, and highly-automated driving functions.

Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, stated 5G MPN can act as a “springboard” for a company’s evolution and the technology would help to “transform transport and mobility”.

Vodafone and Porsche are already collaborating on other initiatives, including the deployment of a standalone network and network slicing use cases at the car giant’s development centre in Germany.

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