On the 1st of July this year the first phase projects of the European 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP) were started with a joint meeting in Paris. This is a major milestone in a joint initiative between the European Commission and the European ICT industry to get research investment focused in a very coherent way on the challenges associated with having a communications infrastructure capable of coping with all future demands by 2020.

The motivation for the 5G PPP is to secure Europe’s leadership in the particular areas where Europe is strong or where there is potential for creating new markets such as smart cities, e-health, intelligent transport, education or entertainment & media. The 5G PPP initiative will reinforce the European industry to successfully compete on global markets and open new innovation opportunities. It will “open a platform that helps us reach our common goal to maintain and strengthen the global technological lead”.

The goals for the 5G Infrastructure PPP are:

  • Providing 1000 times higher wireless area capacity and more varied service capabilities compared to 2010
  • Saving up to 90% of energy per service provided. The main focus will be in mobile communication networks where the dominating energy consumption comes from the radio access network
  • Reducing the average service creation time cycle from 90 hours to 90 minutes
  • Creating a secure, reliable and dependable Internet with a “zero perceived” downtime for services provision
  • Facilitating very dense deployments of wireless communication links to connect over 7 trillion wireless devices serving over 7 billion people
  • Ensuring for everyone and everywhere the access to a wider panel of services and applications at lower cost

The 5G Infrastructure Association, as the Private side of this public-private partnership, has already started working groups, in collaboration with the Networld2020 ETP community, on Key items such as pre-standards, spectrum requirements, and maintaining a 5G Vision to guide the work.

The first call for projects held at the end of 2014 has resulted in 19 projects being selected addressing a rich cross section of the research challenges leading to a 5G infrastructure by 2020. Predictably, the majority of the projects are focusing on radio and wireless technologies as the shared belief is that the vast majority of future communications will use wireless access technologies. This puts tremendous requirements on the projects to find ways to maximize the efficiency of the wireless interfaces, optimize the use of scarce resources – such as spectrum and energy – and dramatically increase the throughput capability of the infrastructure.

The 5G infrastructure will have to cope with everything from billions of small devices in the Internet of Things domain to billions of heavy data consumers enhancing their lives and activities with real-time multimedia content. The new approach must be fully convergent as well as there will be no arbitrary distinction between fixed and mobile – there will be simply a seamless infrastructure satisfying everyones communications needs in and invisible, but totally dependable, way.

The 19 projects selected are:

5GEx 5G Exchange
5G-Ensure 5G-ENSURE will define and deliver a 5G Security Architecture and security enablers for 5G
5G-NORMA 5G NOvel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture
5G-Xhaul Dynamically Reconfigurable Optical-Wireless Backhaul/Fronthaul with Cognitive Control Plane for Small Cells and Cloud-RANs
CHARISMA Converged Heterogeneous Advanced 5G Cloud-RAN Architecture for Intelligent and Secure Media Access
COGNET Building an Intelligent System of Insights and Action for 5G Network Management
COHERENT Coordinated control and spectrum management for 5G heterogeneous radio access networks
EURO 5G Euro-5G: Supporting the 5G-PPP programme operatons
FANTASTIC 5G Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation
Flex5Gware Flexible and efficient hardware/software platforms for 5G network elements and devices
METIS II Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society-II
mmMAGIC Millimetre-Wave Based Mobile Radio Access Network for Fifth Generation Integrated Communications
SELFNET Framework for Self Organised Network Management in Virtualised and Software defined Networks
SESAME Small cEllS coordinAtion for Multi-tenancy and Edge services
SONATA Service Programing and Orchestration for Virtualized Software Networks
SPEED-5G quality of Service Provision and capacity Expansion through Extended-DSA for 5G
SUPERFLUIDITY Superfluidity: a super-fluid, cloud-native, converged edge system
VirtuWind Virtual and programmable industrial network prototype deployed in operational Wind park
XHAUL Xhaul: The 5G Integrated fronthaul/backhaul

 

These projects represent the first phase on investment in the 5G-PPP challenges and they will be followed by a second set, building on the work from the first phase, which is due to be called for in 2016 and launched in 2017.