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5G integrated Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies for high-density SDN-programmable network architectures

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 5G-PHOS (5G integrated Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies for high-density SDN-programmable network architectures)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-10-31

5G-PHOS aims to develop novel 5th Generation (5G) broadband fronthaul architectures and evaluate them for Dense, Ultra-Dense and Hot-Spot areas exploiting the recent advances in optical technologies towards producing a powerful photonic integrated circuit technology toolkit. It aims to capitalize on novelties in Indium Phosphide (InP) transceiver, Triplex optical beamformers and multi-bitrate optical communications into next generation fronthaul in order to migrate from Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI)-based to integrated Fiber-Wireless (FiWi) packetized Centralized-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) fronthaul supporting Millimeter Wave (mmWave) massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (mMIMO) communications.

5G-PHOS expects to release a seamless, interoperable, Radio Access Technology (RAT)-agnostic and Software Defined Networking (SDN)-programmable FiWi 5th Generation (5G) network that supports 64x64 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas in the V-band and offers a) up to 400 Gb/s wireless peak data rate in ultra-dense networks, adopting optical Spatial-Division-Multiplexed solutions on top of the emerging 25 Gb/s Passive Optical Network (PON) infrastructures, delivering a packetized integrated FiWi fronthaul network and b) 100 Gb/s wireless peak data rate in Hot-Spot areas, showcasing the benefits of Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technology and packetized fronthauling in private C-RAN solutions. These blocks will be integrated towards architecting 5G networks for Ultra-Dense and Hot-Spot use cases, evaluating their performance in lab and field experiments at the Orange Labs in Lannion, France, the deployed network of Telecom Italia and Cosmote Greece, and at the stadium of P.A.O.K. F.C. in Thessaloniki, Greece.
5G-PHOS project has made significant progress during Period 1 and has achieved its set of objectives on-time both with respect to its overall system architecture as well as to its constituent technology blocks. An overall summary of the 5G-PHOS progress is provided below:
Architecture, topologies, use-cases and KPIs: The 5G-PHOS architecture and network layouts/topologies for the three use cases (UCs) under study have been designed, while an innovative methodology for UCs description and traffic modeling has been proposed. The end-user and system KPIs (functional and non-functional ones) have been identified.
Flexbox and RRH prototypes: The integration process flow for the assembly of the Flexbox and RRH prototypes has been set. The specifications and the functionality of each prototype have been redefined according to the revised demonstration concepts. For the Flexbox prototype, the complete set of the required components as well as the respective interfaces have been specified. As for the RRH prototypes, the final topology has been decided. The aRoF and the FiWi fronthaul have been experimentally validated. 5G-PHOS also arrived at a highly flexible architecture for the RRH, which simplifies mechanical and electronic integration. Solution components have been prototyped. Basic steps for assembly process flow have been also defined.
Optical components: The first generation of TriPleX chips has been designed and fabricated. Mini-ROADMs in TriPleX have been also fabricated and packaged. The first generation of InP chips has been designed while fabrication is in progress.
Resource allocation algorithms: Offline algorithms for the synchronization of DSP blocks have been defined and tested, while the DSP-enabled IFoF FiWI has been experimentally evaluated. A novel Quality of Service (QoS)-aware MT-DBA protocol with fixed superframe size has been designed modeled and evaluated. Moreover, a Coordinated MultiPoint (CoMP)-Cooperative Beamforming algorithm for the dense use case has been modeled and constructed. A gated service MT-DBA protocol (gMT-DBA) has been also proposed and verified through analytical modeling and simulations, being able to meet even the most challenging requirements of 5G services in terms of delay and throughput.
SDN functionality: Requirements and specifications for SDN operations over the aRoF FiWI 5G-PHOS architecture have been finalized. The first release of SDN controller as well as the Network Planning and Operation (NPO) tool have also been produced.
Demonstration Experiments: After the feedback acquired by the Interim Review Meeting, the final demonstrators have been redesigned to meet the requirements set up by the Reviewers. In particular, three main demonstrators have been defined, focusing to better showcase the capability of the 5G-PHOS architecture to abide by the 5G capacity and latency specifications in three modern and critical 5G use cases, i.e. Dense, Ultra-dense and Hot-Spot.
Project exploitation planning and dissemination: 5G-PHOS website and its social media accounts in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are up and running since the beginning of the project. One video launched through Youtube has been produced promoting to the general public the work envisaged within the project. Two press releases have been published and distributed by the beneficiaries and a project brochure has been prepared and distributed in venues (e.g. MWC 2018), conferences (e.g. EuCNC 2018, OFC 2018 etc.), exhibitions and open public events. During the first 14 months, more than 30 papers have been accepted in scientific journals, magazines, international conferences and workshops. Moreover, 5G-PHOS Consortium has participated in standardization bodies as well as in many events, workshops and expositions promoting the outcomes of the project. In addition, 5G-PHOS has closely collaborated with other European projects, e.g. BlueSpace, 5G-PICTURE and 5G-ESSENCE. Also, the 5G-PHOS Consortium has been actively participating in the 5G-PPP SB and TB meetings and calls, as well as all active 5G-PPP working groups. The Consortium has been constantly monitoring the relevant IPR and the evolution in standards and the detailed exploitation outcomes and exploitation pathways per partner have been updated. A patent application has been also filed by our partner LioniX to protect the ROADM with low power consumption developed within the project.
The expected impact of 5G-PHOS can be summarized in the following:
• To release high-capacity FiWi 5G C-RAN solutions for Dense, Ultra-Dense and Hot-Spot scenarios, able to offer data rates up to 400 Gb/s.
• To improve cost-efficiency by investing in cutting-edge Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technologies and exploiting Analog Radio-over-Fiber (aRoF) transmission.
• To release and exploit mMIMO enabled mmWave Remote Radio Heads (RRHs).
• To offer an energy-efficient solution by reducing energy consumption by a factor of 10.
• To provide an SDN-enabled solution for efficient network management.
• To deploy latency-optimized converged Optical/Wireless Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols for analog 5G FiWi Hot-Spots that can achieve the <4 and <1 msec delay marks specified for eMBB and URLLC applications.