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5G PPP Convergent Technologies


a. Innovation actions

Strand 1: Ubiquitous 5G access leveraging optical technologies

5G access networks have to dramatically grow in user capacity, quality of service, responsiveness, energy efficiency and number of connected devices while keeping a sustainable cost.

The objective is to develop and assess new optical access network solutions based on integrated optical device prototypes. Novel integrated devices and subsystems may cover new optical transmission, switching and information processing techniques to support key access functionalities such as beam forming, high accuracy cm/mmWave generation and massive MIMO deployments. They may also be based on new network concepts and control architectures. Co-operative radio-optical approaches are seen as very promising, also to cover intelligent interference cancellation. Techniques to map 5G channels to optical transport and a co-design of the optical and wireless interfaces and protocols are also targeted, to increase capacity and reduce latency, especially in highly dense 5G scenarios. The work draws on existing scientific and research results in the field and includes scalable demonstrators validated through typical usage scenario.

Strand 2: Flexible network applications

The work leverages the current intense research activities in relation to Virtualised Network Functions (VNF) and targets development of a multiplicity of VNF's useful to operators, service providers and users. Service providers or third party providers should be able to assemble these virtualised 5G functions as ""network apps"" from an NFV hosting infrastructure, to deploy them in the relevant network nodes, to orchestrate and customise resources to provision user services. The target is for a cloud like 5G infrastructures, supporting network services, resource and service orchestration. This environment also provides an open source development framework for control functionalities and application developments. It also provides the link between the network –terminal functions and the app/content providers towards standards developments. The platform will be opened to third party developers to demonstrate network ""apps"".

For the strands above, projects will be implemented as a programme and will be expected to actively contribute key horizontal results to the integration process led by the programme level CSA. Therefore all grants awarded under part a) of this topic will be complementary to each other and to the grant agreement(s) under the topic ICT-07-2017. The respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied [[]]. International cooperation with clear EU industrial benefits may be considered, preferably with nations having launched strategic 5G initiatives (e.g. China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, USA).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Minimum one action per strand will be selected.

b. Research and Innovation Actions – Cooperation in access convergence

This activity takes advantage of the supporting 5G research and demonstration facilities offered by Taiwan towards collaborative 5G research with the EU, and aims at developing and demonstrating an integrated convergent access across different air interface technologies and the fronthaul/backhaul/core network. Test beds making use of facilities offered by Taiwanese partners are targeted. It demonstrates the capabilities of new spectrum access schemes, including for co-working with the network. A system demonstrator showing applications potential is thus favoured, e.g. for high speed moving vehicles.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 2.5 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Network and service providers are faced with increasing challenges to manage convergence technologies. On the one hand, technological versatility increases service provision capabilities, with ever raising possibilities to dimension service offer to context and user specific SLA's. On the other hand, convergence technologies are getting increasingly complex, with ever larger integration of multiple technological heterogeneous hardware and software components, and more difficult properties to characterise at scale. The challenge thus tackles scalability and usability of mixed network technological approaches that can benefit from previous research, towards validation of deployment at scale.

a. Innovation Actions

  • Validated access network architecture with integrated optical technologies for the realisation of critical access and transport control function (only for Strand 1);
  • Demonstration of technological applicability to dense access scenarios supporting the 1000 capacity increase objective (only for Strand 1);
  • Demonstrated scalability, close to operational context, of the proposed technological approach (only for Strand 1);
  • Contribution to standards, notably 5G and optical access (only for Strand 1);
  • Optical access interface with 10 times lower energy consumption (only for Strand 1);
  • Open environments for creation of network apps (only for Strand 2);
  • Open repository of network apps that may be validated and leveraged by third party developers (only for Strand 2);
  • Validation at scale of the VNF aggregation capability of the proposed environment (only for Strand 2).

b. Research and Innovation Actions – Cooperation in access convergence

  • Contribution to the ITU-R objectives for the next generation mobile network including requirements on data rates, mobility, connection density, latency, energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency, and traffic volume density
  • Contribution to the 1000 fold mobile traffic increase per area, in the context of the target application
  • Contribution to the 1ms latency objective in the context of the target application
  • Results exploitation in the context of standardization and spectrum requirements