Cisco Live conference at RAI Amsterdam
Innovation Future

RAI Amsterdam first venue in Europe with private 5G network

Monday, 5 February 2024


New technology logical next step as innovation centre

RAI Amsterdam has become the first convention centre in Europe to be equipped with its own private 5G network. This new technology, which only became available in the Netherlands at the start of December, will enable the RAI to take the next steps as a renowned centre of innovation. Its private 5G network, the fastest and most reliable and secure mobile network currently available, will be used for the first time from February 5 to 9 during Cisco Live, one of the world’s largest IT events.

"The RAI is increasingly evolving from a traditional exhibition and conference venue into an innovation platform and knowledge centre where events take place," says Bret Baas, manager of IT and Digital at RAI Amsterdam. "New technologies are of critical importance to both our clients and ourselves. They open up a world of possibilities during events such as flying drones and showing & forwarding high quality videos. At the same time, our premises are becoming ever smarter, facilitating elements such as crowd control and sustainability."

Next-step mobile internet development
The new private 5G network is the next step in the digital transformation trajectory on which RAI Amsterdam has embarked. It is an area, adds Baas, in which the RAI as an organisation is leading the way in Europe. "5G is the next stage in the development of mobile internet, ensuring the secure and fast transfer of data. One of the key benefits of a private 5G network is that, unlike with Wi-Fi, network overloading will rarely occur. Nor does it require cables. 5G offers exhibitors and customers far more options while allowing us to be exceptionally flexible on their behalf."

Working closely with partners NTT Data and Cisco, this new network was installed in a short time. "We are delighted to jointly offer this first network solution for private 5G in the complex environment of conferences and events,” comments Jeroen van Hamersveld, general manager of NTT DATA Netherlands. “Acquiring private 5G as a service not only provides RAI Amsterdam as a venue with maximum speed and security… RAI clients can also take advantage of the support 5G provides for any new concepts and innovations they are looking to present.”

Ready for the future
The RAI’s new private 5G network will be made available to exhibitors for the first time during Cisco Live. Edwin Prinsen, managing director at Cisco Nederland, sees the installation of 5G as a fine example of the successful cooperation between the three parties. “Delivering a private 5G network within just six weeks is an impressive achievement and the rollout benefits both RAI Amsterdam and Cisco. It allows us to use interactive real-time video for live streaming throughout the entire location during the Cisco Live event; removing the need for long cables makes everything that much simpler. What’s more, it opens the door to other innovative applications related to crowd management and the management of large visitor flows. Last but not least, this private 5G network means that RAI Amsterdam is truly ready for the future.”

Bret Baas sees enormous potential for other events too: "Examples include Intertraffic Amsterdam and IBC, which require a great deal of communication between the equipment on-site. In a similar vein, Interclean features lots of cleaning robots and our private 5G network will ensure that these can be seamlessly operated."

There will be many other possibilities opened up in the future, adds Baas: "Self-driving cars will make use of 5G networks, for instance. This will be crucial as you cannot have delays if the cars are to respond to traffic signs. Ditto for television broadcasting: we already saw an example during the coronation of King Charles in the UK last year when 5G was deployed to make sure there were no delays in transmitting high-definition footage and that everything was secure."