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FANTASTIC-5G Report Summary

Project ID: 671660
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FANTASTIC-5G (Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

5G will have to cope with a high degree of heterogeneity in terms of:
(a) services (mobile broadband, massive machine and mission critical communications, broad-/multicast services and vehicular communications);
(b) device classes (low-end sensors to high-end tablets);
(c) deployment types (macro and small cells);
(d) environments (low-density to ultra-dense urban);
(e) mobility levels (static to high-speed transport).
Consequently, diverse and often contradicting key performance indicators need to be supported, such as high capacity/user-rates, low latency, high reliability, ubiquitous coverage, high mobility, massive number of devices, low cost/energy consumption. 4G is not designed to meet such a high degree of heterogeneity efficiently. Moreover, having multiple radio access technologies for multi-service support below 6GHz will be too costly. FANTASTIC-5G is developing a new multi-service Air Interface (AI) for below 6 GHz through a modular design. To allow the system to adapt to the anticipated heterogeneity, the pursued properties are: flexibility, scalability, versatility, efficiency, future-proofness. To this end, we are developing the technical AI components (e.g. flexible waveform and frame design, scalable multiple access procedures, adaptive retransmission schemes, enhanced multi-antenna schemes with/without cooperation, advanced multi-user detection, interference coordination, support for ultra-dense cell layouts, multi-cell radio resource management, device-to-device) and integrate them into an overall AI framework where adaptation to the above described sources of heterogeneity will be accomplished. Our work also comprises intense validation and system level simulations.
Wireless communications in general and 5G in particular are (and will be) essential drivers for upswing and progress in both societal and commercial areas. In this respect FANTASTIC-5G concentrates on mechanisms and algorithms related to the air interface of 5G. The development of a new standard (5G) is a challenge requiring global cooperation and consent. So, projects like FANTASTIC-5G are essential means to set up and define crucial corner stones standardization can built upon to be efficient.

The overall objectives of the project are as follows:
Objective 1: To develop a highly flexible, versatile and scalable air interface to enable the in-band coexistence of highly differing services, device types and traffic/transmission characteristics.
Objective 2: To design an air interface enabling ubiquitous coverage and high capacity where and when required.
Objective 3: To develop an air interface being highly efficient in terms of energy and resource consumption.
Objective 4: To render 5G more future-proof than former generations through easier introduction of new features.
Objective 5: To evaluate and validate the developed concepts by means of system level simulations and hardware proof of concepts for selected components.
Objective 6: To build up consensus on reasonable options for 5G standardization among the major industrial partners of the project that are also voting members in 3GPP3 and to push the innovations of the project for standardization (through study items).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Work package 1 is covering the management activities of the project. Both the project manager 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).
Work package 2 (WP2) is focusing 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. This way all partners are working in a coherent manner and the outcomes of the project are more than just an accumulation of unrelated items. This framework consists of a set of use cases describing the anticipated landscape 5G will face. For each use case the partners have agreed on the set of requirements and KPIs to be satisfied. Another major work item of WP2 is to integrate 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. This activity has recently started and will continue in the next period. Finally, WP2 is covering the project efforts related to system level simulations. System level simulations are crucial to assess the gains given mechanisms/algorithms are providing, if embedded into the overall cellular system (in contrast to isolated inspections as e.g. done with the help of link level simulations). For this the respective partners have calibrated their simulation tools towards 3GPP specifications for the results to be relevant and internationally accepted. The extension of the simulators with technical components being proposed by the other work packages has started and will continue in the next period.
Work package 3 (WP3) and work package 4 (WP4) are dealing with the investigation (both analytically and with the help of simulations) and concept design of technology options related to the link setup of the air interface (such as waveform candidates, channel coding, transceiver design for SISO and MIMO, adaptive modulation and coding schemes, frame and control channel design, enhancements related to multiple access and reference symbol design) and the networking aspects (such as MIMO with/without cooperation, advanced multiuser detection, adaptive mode switching between different MIMO transmission modes with/without cooperation, a rigorous analysis of interference characteristics for different settings, multi-service enhancements for radio resource control and protocols for massive access). The partners in both work packages have provided a tremendous amount of novel research results being presented in the respective deliverables and publications. These activities will be followed up in the next reporting period.
Work package 5 (WP5) covers the activities of the project related to hardware demonstrations and PoCs (proof of concept). In this reporting period the partners in WP5 have identified the relevant scenarios to be tackled. Suitable architectures have been chosen and relevant inputs from other work packages have been analysed and applied. The KPIs to be measured/demonstrated have been selected. Recently, the partners in WP5 have started the implementation.
Work package 6 (WP6) covers the activities of the project related to standardization, exploitation and dissemination. 29 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. The partners have produced more than 40 publications (both for international conferences and for print-media). The project has organized several workshops and special sessions both on its own and in cooperation with other 5GPPP projects.

In a nutshell the work performed in the projects has been constituted by actual research activities (by far the biggest share), intra- and inter-project activities (for collaboration purposes), transcription of the outcomes (both related to publications and project deliverables), means to exploit the outcomes of the project (e.g. generation of IPR) and organizational matters required for the project targets to be achieved.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The most relevant state of the art for the project is 4G (LTE, LTE advanced). The original design of 4G has been aligned to optimally support mobile broadband services (e.g. web browsing and video streaming via high-end devices). It is anticipated that the landscape of services and the respective devices to be supported in the upcoming years will become much more heterogeneous (e.g. a high number of sensor elements – low-end devices - being placed in the landscape transmitting environmental measurements in a sporadic manner). 3GPP is currently evolving 4G to support this, however, having the strong constraint of backwards compatibility. Any change being made must not trouble legacy devices to access the system. This strongly restricts the set of options. Therefore, 3GPP has started to discuss the introduction of a new generation of wireless networking (5G new radio) not having this restriction. This activity is the environment FANTASTIC-5G is targeting to.
On component level FANTASTIC-5G contributes to evolve specific functionalities of wireless communication systems beyond the state of the art (e.g. related to waveform design, radio resource management) by investigating a multitude of technology options being related to the air interface enabling 5G to be highly flexible to efficiently support different kinds of services and device types. On system level FANTASTIC-5G contributes to the progress beyond the state of the art of wireless communications (i.e. 5G) in general by proposing an integrated air interface design both by project internal collaboration and in cooperation with other 5GPPP projects.
The most important impacts the project can have are both towards 3GPP (related to the design of 5G) and towards the overall research community (related to advances in wireless communications in general). Already within the first period of the project FANTASTIC-5G was very successful related to this. Both the number of contributions towards 3GPP (29 Tdocs are submitted to the RAN meetings of 3GPP from the industrial partner of FANTASTIC-5G being strongly related to the work being performed in this period) and the number of publications in major international conferences and print-media is excellent (>40).
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.

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