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Project description

Empowering cities and telecom providers for the 5G revolution

Delivering on the promise of 5G’s increased data rates and widespread coverage is challenging for traditional telecom operators. The deployment of Small Cells, crucial for realising the potential of 5G, requires suitable urban spaces with backhaul and energy availability. To unlock massive commercial deployments, network sharing becomes essential. Enter the 5GCITY project, which aims to develop a distributed cloud and radio platform for municipalities and infrastructure owners acting as 5G neutral hosts. By leveraging common smart city infrastructure and resource sharing, the project will extend the cloud model to the extreme edge of the network. With Barcelona, Bristol and Lucca as demonstration cities, 5GCITY will have a significant impact on telecom providers, municipalities, and various vertical sectors using city infrastructure.


Delivering on the 5G promise of increased data rates, and ubiquitous coverages, poses stringent requirements on traditional vertically integrated operators. In particular, telecom operators are expected to massively roll out Small Cells, which requires finding appropriate urban spaces with both backhaul and energy availability. Network sharing becomes essential to unlock those commercial massive deployments. The open access model, or neutral host, will come to play a key role on the deployment of 5G networks, especially in urban scenarios where very dense Small Cell deploymens are required.
In parallel recent trends are paving the way towards the development of new, heterogeneous and distributed cloud paradigms that significantly differ from today’s established cloud model: with edge computing, cloud architectures are pushed all the way to the edge of the network, close to the devices that produce and act on data. We posit that there are two sets of players perfectly poised to take advantage of both trends since they already own the infrastructure needed to build edge deployments: telecommunication providers and municipalities. 5GCity focuses on how common smart city infrastructure (i.e.,small cells and processing power at the very edge of networks) can bring benefit to both players based on resource sharing and end-to-end virtualization, pushing the cloud model to the extreme edge.
5GCity will design, develop, deploy and demonstrate a distributed cloud and radio platform for municipalities and infrastructure owners acting as 5G neutral hosts. 5GCity’s main aim is to build and deploy a common, multi-tenant, open platform that extends the (centralized) cloud model to the extreme edge of the network, with a demonstration in three different cities (Barcelona, Bristol and Lucca). 5GCity will directly impact a large and varied range of actors: (i) telecom providers; (ii) municipalities; and (iii) a number of different vertical sectors utilizing the city infrastructure

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 775 770,49
Calle gran capita 2-4, edifici nexus i
08034 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (20)