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5G European Validation platform for Extensive trials

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 5G EVE (5G European Validation platform for Extensive trials)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-06-30

The “eve” of a new era in the communications systems is often associated to the introduction of 5G all over the world, and this is more and more true now that we are at the start of the first commercial services related to 5G. The project “5G EVE” has this mood in the name itself, and the aspiration to create the foundations for a pervasive roll-out of end-to-end 5G networks in Europe.
5G-EVE supports this 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 to influence the design of the end-to-end 5G services from the beginning of this transition.
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.
Industrial verticals will be facilitated in the specification and the analysis of experiments through: (a) intent-based, and other high-level, interfaces; (b) means for advanced 5G testing, i.e. for KPI analysis, technology benchmarking, performance diagnosis. Moreover, 5G-EVE has the potential for ensuring the sustainability of the facility beyond the project lifetime.
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 identified as those to be developed internally to 5G-EVE are Smart Transport, Smart Tourism, Industry 4.0 Smart Energy, Smart Cities and Media & Entertainment; they cover almost all the aspects relevant for 5G and they started already in the first months. Requirements and KPIs for these use cases have been identified in the first year (an example is reported in the Figure 1). How to integrate them into a comprehensive architecture is another part of the activity performed (jointly with the 5GPPP Working Group “Architecture”).
The use cases are implemented in the Site Facilities managed in WP2. Currently the site facilities components and the corresponding roadmaps are defined. The main components are given, especially for: RAN, CORE, Orchestration, HW/SW resources provisioning, Interfaces, technologies, frequency bands, testing and KPI assessment tools. The roadmap is reviewed frequently to anticipate some risks in components/equipment provisioning. These actions are related to Milestones 5 and 6, to provide an “initial access” to the 5G-EVE verticals to the platforms. In Figure 2 a description of the French site facility.
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 context, the interworking capabilities definition, and the reference model and high-level architecture definition have been defined (see Figure 3). WP3 proposes a modular architecture that can deal with a multi-vendor technology used in each 5G-EVE site and provides a framework that hides the underlying complexity to its users. Gaps with respect to the site facilities and interfaces to operate the interworking are main findings in the first year.
The tools definition to inter-operate the facilities and a portal to check and manage them is the focus of the WP4. These will be the main entry point of verticals to run their experiments are the objectives pursued in these months. The first version of the intent-based tool, monitoring tool and ticketing system in the portal, as well as the first version of the 5G-EVE catalogue have been prepared. Figure4 presents a draft of the portal architecture.
“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 are feasible from a testing standpoint (Figure5). The design, development and delivery of tools supporting testing and validation of experiments at the different sites, a performance diagnosis mechanism based on KPI collection framework have been performed.
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, Valencia 5GGE and EuCNC).
The work performed prepares 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 is not only oriented towards testing technologies, but also towards widely understanding the 5G networks and services potential to transform the existing industrial and socioeconomic European environment.
The impact analysis started so far has some directions:
• The ways 5G EVE services will impact the quality of life of European citizens
• The ways they will impact energy saving and environmental safeguards
• Emerging needs for 5G services among SMEs and citizens
• The drivers of and constrains to the adoption and use of the 5G EVE platform.
This year has been spent to prepare all the tools, the facilities and the availabilities to be ready to provide the platform to the internal vertical stakeholders first, and in a later stage to the external verticals from other H2020 projects. In this way, the project prepared the ground for future experiments, and to validate the decisions against users that are willing to use the platform themselves.
Moreover, the platform is natively conceived to be able to inter-operate among four site facilities, which is a challenge with few precedents in the technological arena. That availability is complemented by the web portal, where a future customer of the 5G-EVE platform will be given every tool to run its own tests. The first version of the 5G-EVE platform for external users is foreseen in the next months with the objective to provide the new projects with an easy-to-use and complete platform to implement their own use cases.
The joint effort of these projects is deemed to give Europe a big opportunity to demonstrate easily the importance of this new “eve” of the telecommunications systems, paving the way to solutions and applications that the ongoing and concurrent commercial deployments in the various countries won’t be able to offer so quickly.
Finally, 5G-EVE will continue in the next months its cooperation with the other players in the 5G PPP framework, especially to ensure a coordinated impact in terms of dissemination, standardization and joint exploitation of the results (International Stakeholder group, Training sessions, SMEs funding).