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EU-China 5G Collaboration

The scope is to conduct 5G trials addressing two specific scenarios: scenario n°1 - enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) on the 3.5GHz band, which is a priority band in the two regions for early introduction of very high rate services; and scenario n°2 - Internet of Vehicles (IoV) based on LTE-V2X using the 5.9 GHz band for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and the 3.5 GHz band for Vehicle-to-Network (V2N). The overall goal is to evaluate in real setup innovative end-to-end 5G systems built on the outcomes of the previous phases of the 5G R&I. More specifically, the optimisation of the band usage in multiple scenarios with different coverage is a key target, so as the validation of the geographic interoperability of the 3.5 and 5.9 GHz bands for these use cases. Both scenarios shall be implemented in both regions (EU and China) through testbeds with interoperability forming the core of the R&I work.

The underlying trials' testing facilities shall implement the latest mature and broadly commonly agreed 5G systems, network architectures and technologies spanning from the core/transport networks, the radio access, up to the service, orchestration, management and security components. The trial facility shall not be restricted to innovative 5G radio access technology, but should include and enable the evolution of 5G networks innovations in network slicing, virtualisation, cross-domain orchestration, in view of supporting resource control from multiple tenants. In EU, trials are preferably implemented over the 5G end-to-end platforms developed under ICT–17-2018.

The 5G trials' infrastructures shall facilitate the testing and validation of innovative applications for each of the defined scenarios, including efficiency solutions in the areas of spectrum usage, energy consumption and costs.

As per cPPP objectives, relevant industries and organisations are expected to have a sizeable share of the proposals participation. Teams including mobile operators, vendors (for both scenarios) and car companies (for scenario n°2 IoV) together with SMEs, academia and research institutes may be considered.

Proposals shall foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by China to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies. This topic is calling for bilateral project twinning with the National Science and Technology Major Project (NSTMP) ""mirror project"" launched by China in 2018. Proposals shall foresee all the mechanisms, including budget provisions, to enable close collaboration with the ""5G Major Project"" that will be funded by China. The two twining projects (EU/China) will be requested to define and use unified trial specifications, unified trial frequency bands and to share data. Joint deliverables, like joint tests reports, white papers, publications and standard contributions, will also be expected. In addition, the 5G trials' infrastructures shall be deployed in one or more cities in each region (EU/China).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 6 million for a period between 24 and 36 months would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals with a different budget or duration.

The next phase of 5G activities running during the 2018-20 period is expected to cover, both in EU and in China, technologies and systems demonstrations and trials. The challenge is hence to demonstrate technologies and system interoperability for a number of core applications of interest in the two regions.

- Holistic 5G networks implementations based on the latest 5G innovations and evaluated in the two prominent usage scenarios.

- 5G RAN for the specified bands validated in real world environments.

- Global interoperability demonstrations for 5G networks.

- Joint contributions to global 5G standards specifications in relevant organisations (e.g. 3GPP, ITU-R), especially in view of 5G phase 2 standardisation (beyond eMBB), and to harmonized spectrum bands.

- Successful showcasing events with, ideally, joint demonstration across regions.

- New or reinforced cooperation between 5G R&I stakeholders from EU and China, with a focus on private companies (industry, telecom operators, SMEs).