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H2020

METIS-II Report Summary

Project ID: 671680
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - METIS-II (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society-II)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

METIS-II builds on the successful METIS project, which was the first integrated 5G research project. In METIS, the scope and requirements of 5G was set, and a number of essential technologies and concepts were developed. One of the remaining challenges is to design the technology for an efficient integration of these many concepts among each other and with legacy radio access technology into one holistic 5G system that can efficiently scale to meet all 5G use cases. Further, the proposed technology components have to be complemented by architectural elements that are needed for concepts to be efficiently brought into standards bodies. METIS-II continues the 5G system development by providing a specification and proof-of-concept of a complete user and control plane design corresponding to technology readiness level 2 , including the abstract architecture of functional elements and the information flows among these. To make the rollout of 5G successful, the designs must be economically feasible and energy efficient and this is also evaluated by the project.

The project pursues three main objectives:
1) Develop the overall 5G radio access network (RAN) design (where 5G refers to the overall future wireless communications system including evolved legacy and novel radio access technologies), focusing particularly on designing the technology for an efficient integration of legacy and novel radio access network concepts into one holistic 5G system.
2) Provide the 5G collaboration framework within 5G PPP for a common evaluation of 5G radio access network concepts from both a performance and techno-economical perspective. To facilitate collaboration METIS-II develops a performance and techno-economical evaluation framework and provides consolidation and guidance to other 5G PPP projects on spectrum and overall 5G radio access network design aspects. Further, METIS-II develops an open-source 5G evaluation and visualisation tool for illustrating the key use cases of a 5G system.
3) Prepare concerted action towards regulatory and standardisation bodies for an efficient standardisation, development and economically attractive roll-out of 5G with a strong European footprint and headstart.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed in METIS-II has provided strong progress towards its objectives, and led to these main results:

1) Develop the overall 5G RAN design
METIS-II has provided significantly more detailed considerations on the 5G RAN design, and obtained a large consensus on key 5G RAN design aspects among the partners. The 5G RAN design details are captured in:
• D3.1 “5G spectrum scenarios, requirements and technical aspects for bands above 6 GHz”, which provides novel insight into 5G spectrum usage scenarios by combining information from the wireless and vertical industries, including technical aspects like coexistence, performance and coverage.
• D4.1 “Draft air interface harmonization and user plane design”, which is the first work of its kind with detailed considerations on the overall 5G air interface including evolved legacy and novel technologies, the possible extent of harmonization and integration of these, and an overall user plane design.
• D5.1 “Draft synchronous control functions and resource abstraction considerations”, which describes an agile resource management framework that enables a flexible scheduling of diverse services and provides RAN support for network slices and dynamic radio topologies.
• D6.1 “Draft asynchronous control functions and overall control plane design”, containing considerations on a beam-centric and lean design, and various innovations and detailed concepts related to initial access, mobility, paging and multi-connectivity
• D2.2 “Draft Overall 5G RAN Design”, with more detailed considerations on, e.g., the extent of network function differentiation for different services, RAN support for network slicing, possible changes to protocol stack layer specifications, and the joint contribution of RAN design concepts to energy efficiency.

The large degree of consensus in METIS-II is reflected in the early publication of a METIS-II White Paper on “Preliminary Views and Initial Considerations on 5G RAN Architecture and Functional Design”, and two journal papers “5G Radio Access Network Architecture – Design Guidelines and Key Considerations” (IEEE Communications Magazine) and “Emerging network architecture and functional design considerations for 5G radio access” (Wiley Emerging Telecommunications Technologies). METIS-II has addressed most of the 11 RAN design questions phrased in the DoW, marking the achievement of Milestone 2 “Key 5G RAN design questions clarified”.

2) Provide the 5G collaboration framework within 5G PPP
METIS-II has achieved Milestone 1 “Consensus for evaluation framework in 5G PPP obtained” through:
• D1.1 “Refined scenarios and requirements, consolidated test cases, and qualitative techno-economic assessment” and D2.1 “Performance evaluation framework”, both building on input from other 5G PPP projects and beyond, and providing the basis for a joint investigation and evaluation of 5G RAN concepts in 5G PPP.
• Two cross-project 5G PPP workshops where around 10 projects participated. The main outcome was the creation of a joint 5G PPP document on 5G use cases and evaluation models, which was endorsed as the basis for KPI evaluation in 5G PPP, and a tight collaboration between METIS-II and FANTASTIC-5G on resource management, with a jointly edited IEEE Communications Magazine feature issue on this topic.
• METIS-II has initiated a series of 5G RAN design workshops at IEEE conferences, jointly organized by multiple 5G PPP projects. The first workshop instance at ICC 2016 was a large success, with the largest number of participants of all ICC workshops.

3) Prepare concerted action towards regulatory and standardisation bodies
METIS-II has been very active in the discussions with and contributions toward standards and regulatory bodies, e.g. with direct contributions toward 3GPP on modelling assumptions. The project has also contributed to the 5G PPP activities toward regulatory bodies, e.g. RSPG and directly to ITU discussions. For the roll-out of 5G, METIS-II has provided a qualitative assessment of the techno-economic feasibility, captured in D1.1.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

METIS-II has progressed strongly beyond the state of the art by developing novel technology components for 5G, or by complementing and integrating earlier identified components towards detailed functionality frameworks for 5G.
• The project has developed a novel traffic steering and resource management framework enabling a fast routing of data flows at lower protocol stack layers instead of hard handovers in legacy systems, allowing for a more agile assignment of diverse services to air interface variants and radio resources. Further, the project has developed new RAN moderation schemes, exploiting joint reception and transmission in dense deployments, for improved energy efficiency.
• The project has designed novel ultra-reliable multi-link connectivity concepts. The novel RRC state concept which enables RAN-based mobility and paging, yields strong reductions in control plane latency and CN/RAN signaling. The project has also developed an overall lean and beam-based design for 5G, e.g. based on new ways of handling system information, for improved energy efficiency and future-proofness.

METIS-II has also developed a novel methodology and framework to assess different hypotheses of the overall 5G air interface landscape. The methodology considers the degree of harmonization and possible integration of different air interface variants, and factors in the requirements posed by the control plane design.

Regarding the socio-economic impact, communication technologies are clearly transforming the society and our way of life in a profound way. Especially 5G is expected to have an impact far beyond the ICT sector through addressing novel communication use cases and by enabling novel services and business opportunities. METIS-II is strongly contributing to this by fostering the integration of new and existing wireless technology into one overall 5G system. This will render the creation of new services simpler and easier, in turn accelerating transformation of society. METIS-II has also strongly contributed to pre-standards consensus building in the community, influenced the regulatory process directly and through activities common to all 5G PPP projects and contributed to the standardization process, helping to accelerate this and bring 5G quicker to the market.

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