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5G European Validation platform for Extensive trials

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - 5G EVE (5G European Validation platform for Extensive trials)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2021-06-30

When the project started the new era in the communications systems was associated to the introduction of 5G all over the world, and the project “5G EVE” had the aspiration to create the foundations for a pervasive roll-out of end-to-end 5G networks in Europe. Hence, 5G-EVE supported the fundamental transition by offering to vertical industries suitable facilities to validate their network KPIs and their services. Some vertical industries have been directly involved as partners of 5G-EVE and many others joined as representatives of other (ICT-19/22) projects.
The 5G-EVE end-to-end facility consists of the interconnection of four 5G-site-facilities (France, Spain, Italy, Greece). The 5G-EVE facility will enable experiments with: (a) heterogeneous access, including New Radio (NR), licensed/unlicensed spectrum, advanced spectrum management; (b) Multi-Access Edge Computing, backhaul, core/service technologies; (c) means for site-interworking and multi-site/domain/technology slicing/orchestration.
The initial objectives (listed and commented in the Part B) have been achieved. The four sites have run the site-specific experiments and at the same time the multi-site facility has been implemented through an Inter-Working Layer (located in Turin, Italy, as a central location for all the four sites). The overall facilities will be maintained also after the project end, thanks to the commitment of the four sites leading partners.
The most impacting issue during the project was the Covid pandemic; nevertheless, the project succeeded to overcome that issue, despite the critical situation overall in Europe, with no delays in the objectives’ fulfillment.
The activity of the project is based on Work Packages. The Work Packages 1 and 2 play a driving role, defining the architecture and the use cases and managing the set-up, the roadmap and the management of the site facilities. The use cases have been conducted both with players that were already in the consortium, as explained in the report for the first year, and with external players from ICT-19/22 projects which adopted the 5G EVE platform to run their foreseen tests (see Figure 1 for an example).
The use cases are implemented in the Site Facilities managed in WP2. In this Work Package all the site facilities have been implemented and the corresponding use cases, both for internal and external players, managed. An Inter-Working Layer facility has been as well set-up in Italy allowing to perform multi-site experiments. In Figure 2 a description of overall layout of the network.
5G EVE goal is also to create a platform with interworking among the four site facilities. WP3 aims at ensuring the interworking and the orchestration, including multi-x slicing, among site facilities. In this final period, WP3 successfully implemented the inter-working layer, as a fundamental cornerstone of the whole project platform. In its final version, the IWL implements a distributed transaction logic in order to perform the deployment of a multi-site experiment (see Figure 3).
The tools definition to inter-operate the facilities and a portal to check and manage them is the focus of the WP4. The final version of the portal has been completed in the latest months and manages all services originally included in the 5G EVE project proposal, and some services requested during the project lifetime. Among the new functionalities delivered there is the full REST API to access all available services, as well as the extensions implemented on the graphical user interface to perform all experimentation phases (Figure 4).
“Model Based Testing Methodology” (WP5) aimed to have a template to be filled in by the verticals for requirements and to check if their work with the platform is feasible from a testing standpoint. In this context the final version of the 5G EVE testing and validation platform has been implemented (Figure 5), focusing on the execution of the experiment, the analysis of the collected metrics, the validation of the generated KPIs and the generation of the final reports provided to the experimenters for the use case data analysis.
The technical activities have been complemented by the business analysis, the standardization and the exploitation of the achievements (WP6), and by the international footprint (WP7).
The work performed has implemented a European platform to test, validate and deploy advanced use cases and applications for the success of the European 5G approach. The deployment of pilot activities has not only been oriented towards testing technologies, but also towards widely understanding the 5G networks and services potential to transform the existing industrial and socioeconomic European environment.
This platform has to be considered a significant step forward with respect to the State of the Art, especially with respect to the starting conditions of the project. After three years Europe has a validation platform for the most advanced 5G and 5G evolutionary use cases. The platform will keep to be available with the full support of the leading partners in the next months, allowing existing or even new players to check the effectiveness of the 5G offered solutions for improving the way of life of the European citizens.
Participation in the 5G EVE project led to the following main impact outcome for the participating partners:
• to implement a new workplace culture that fully embraces continuous learning as a key strategic imperative, with the goal of significantly improving the organizations’ ability to collaborate with many partners and different vertical stakeholders and to recruit and retain ICT talent
• to extend partnerships and alliances with vertical partners and R&D centers with the goal of enabling new business models to take advantage of collaboration with a larger number of partners, to encourage innovation and experimentation, to identify ways of providing new business value, and to support change with minimal time and resource investments
• to create new value by developing 5G site facilities and digital platforms as enablers of competitive advantage and new revenue sources, including testing new services in advance and gauging market responses to new services.
Collecting information about Foreground has been a continuous process throughout the time, aiming to identify those most important innovations that characterized the whole project. Resulting from that, they have been structured into five main groups:
• Requirements, architecture and KPI collection (developed in WP1)
• Open Framework (developed in WP2)
• Interworking framework (developed in WP3)
• Intent-based APIs (developed in WP4)
• The advanced KPI framework (developed in WP5)
Regarding standardization 5G EVE has contributed to the industry from two main perspectives: (1) the experimental one, by contributing on methodologies and testing approaches; and (2) the technological one, by moving into the industry novelties developed as part of the development of the 5G EVE platform itself, which has faced a number of challenges not previously met.
5G-EVE partners have also participated actively in a number of 5G PPP Working Groups since the starting of the project. This participation has allowed to promote and disseminate standardization outcomes of the project, socializing the project results with the rest of the 5G-PPP community.
Example of Capabilities and Requirements scenarios for Media & Entertainment use case
5G EVE testing and validation framework architecture
Experience lifecycle management in the portal
The overall 5G EVE facilities architecture
The Interworking Framework of 5G EVE.