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Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FANTASTIC-5G (Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-06-30

5G will have to cope with a high degree of heterogeneity in terms of services, device classes, deployment types, environments and mobility levels. So, diverse and often contradicting KPIs need to be supported. To this end, we are developing the technical AI components and integrate them into an overall AI framework where adaptation to the above described sources of heterogeneity will be accomplished.

Wireless communications in general and 5G in particular are (and will be) essential drivers for upswing and progress in both societal and commercial areas. FANTASTIC-5G has developed mechanisms and algorithms related to the air interface of 5G supporting the development of a new standard (5G) to make this a reality.

The overall objectives of the project are (condensed):
- To develop a flexible and scalable multi-service air interface
- with ubiquitous coverage and high capacity where and when needed
- being highly efficient in terms of energy and resource consumption.
- being future-proof and allowing for sustainable delivery of wireless services far beyond 2020.
- To evaluate and validate the developed concepts
- and build up consensus on reasonable options for 5G standardization.

We have successfully identified/developed/analyzed the relevant technical enablers for the lower layers of 5G both for the support of specific services per se and for them to be efficiently multiplexed. Some examples:
- system level integration of massive MIMO (to meet the high data rate requirements of eMBB and to achieve full coverage);
- massive access protocols and an enhanced state model (to allow low-end mMTC devices to access the system efficiently);
- frame design and scheduler related enablers (to achieve the stringent requirements of URLLC);

The project has succeeded in developing a highly flexible and scalable air interface to enable the in-band coexistence of highly differing services, device types and traffic/transmission characteristics while enabling ubiquitous coverage and high capacity where and when needed. It is possible to have those services to share the available spectrum making the Multi-Service Air Interface a reality. As the system is able to dynamically trade resources between the different use cases energy and resource consumption is minimized.
Dedicated technologies have been proposed rendering 5G to be future-proof such as
- in-resource control channels
- a flexible scheduling framework including the respective adaptable frame design.

The project has evaluated and validated the developed concepts both with the help of simulations and for selected technologies with the help of proof of concepts.
The industrial partners in the project have developed consensus on selected areas and have had major impacts towards 3GPP by the submission of more than 70 Tdocs.
WP1 is covering the management activities of the project. Both the project and the technical manager have worked on different means related to organizational (e.g. the organization of face-to-face meetings, interfacing the European Commission) and technical matters (e.g. coordination of the technical work, monitoring of the technical progress).

WP2 has focused on aspects being relevant for the other technical work packages such as setting up the framework each partner can rely on for his respective investigations (use case selection, requirements/KPIs to be satisfied) allowing all partners to work in a coherent manner. WP2 has integrated the technical solutions being proposed by the other work packages into a single air interface proposal being capable of supporting the set of use cases mentioned above. For each technical enabler the WPs have worked on, WP2 has provided the respective context related to e.g. dependencies between the various technologies, their relevance for the various services and their contribution to the functionality of the overall air interface. WP2 has covered the project efforts related to system level simulations. The respective partners have calibrated their simulation tools towards 3GPP specifications for the results to be relevant and internationally accepted. Several simulation campaigns have been conducted.

WP3 and WP4 have dealt with technical enablers related to setting up the links between devices and basestation and related to aspects of multi-node, multi-user and multi-antenna processing. WP3 and WP4 have developed the respective concepts (e.g. related to waveforms, channel coding, frame design, HARQ, RRC state machinery, dynamic resource allocation, efficient massive access protocols, system level integration of massive MIMO, network based interference coordination, etc.) and have evaluated those with various means (analytically, simulative, inspection). The partners in WP3 and WP4 have provided a tremendous amount of novel research results being presented in the respective deliverables and publications. Additionally, the industrial partners have pushed those towards 3GPP in numerous RAN contributions.

WP5 has covered the activities of the project related to hardware demonstrations and PoCs (proof of concept). During this period the partners have performed the required implementations of the PoC elements, integrated those into the platforms and conducted the respective investigations/measurements. Additionally, the partners in WP5 have conducted a high number of public demonstrations.

WP6 covers the activities of the project related to standardization, exploitation and dissemination. More than 70 contributions (Tdocs) have been submitted to the regular RAN meetings of 3GPP (Tdocs) by the industrial partners being highly related to the work of the project. More than 70 publications have been published. The project has organized more than ten workshops, special sessions and major 5G demo events both on its own and in cooperation with other 5GPPP projects all co-located with the international ICT flagship conferences. A very high number of these (Bachelor, Master, PhD) and university courses have been fed by the project.
The most relevant state of the art for the project is 4G. It is anticipated that the landscape of services and the respective devices to be supported in the upcoming years will become to diverse for 4G to be able to efficiently support those. So, 3GPP has started to discuss the introduction of a new generation of wireless networking (5G new radio). This activity is the environment FANTASTIC-5G is targeting to.
FANTASTIC-5G has contributed to evolve specific functionalities of the air interface beyond the state of the art by investigating various technology options for both the introduction of novel services into the system and the concurrent support of various services with partly contradicting characteristics.
The most relevant impact the project is to achieve targets 3GPP and the overall research community. Both the number of contributions towards 3GPP (>70 Tdocs) and the number of publications in major international conferences and print-media is excellent (>70) showing the tremendous impact the project had.
Wireless communications in general and 5G new radio in particular is (and will be) essential drivers for upswing and progress in both societal and commercial areas. So, by contributing to the development of 5G, FANTASTIC-5G has significant socio-economic impact, e.g. by having impact to the activities of 3GPP, to the research community in general and to the different groups within the partners of the project.