Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


5GCITY Report Summary

Project ID: 761508
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 5GCITY (5GCITY)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Delivering on the 5G promise of increased data rates and ubiquitous coverage 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 this commercial massive deployment, and to ensure that such deployment is done in a cost effective way.

To tackle this, 5GCity introduces the concept of a neutral host, where municipalities deploy such infrastructure only once, and make it available to third-parties using cloud-like paradigms, where such parties can run smart city applications near the edge of the network, wherever and whenever it is needed. The main objective of the project is then to design and implement such a neutral host architecture, implement and deploy the platform needed not only to slice, control and manage underlying infrastructure but also to deploy and run third-party applications on top, and to implement a number of use cases using the 5GCity architecture in three cities (Barcelona, Bristol, Lucca) with views towards commercial exploitation.

5GCity has set a number of objectives to achieve its overall abovementioned goal. Keeping in mind city-wide deployments, these objectives include design of a 3 tier architecture which intrinsically considers network sharing, slicing and mobile edge computing features. In order to ensure smooth deployment and execution of services on a multi-tenant edge infrastructure, other objectives target MEC node virtualization platform, network virtualization, scalable edge management & orchestration and guest optimizations. Since 5GCity aims for city-wide pilots in three different cities, another objective targets the challenges faced due to deployment of infrastructure and validations of 5GCity use cases in the cities.

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

In this period, the 5GCity project worked towards the design and implementation of the neutral host concept and platform. In particular, the project defined the Use Cases and elicited functional, non-functional, and business requirements for the neutral host platform. These requirements were fed to the design of overall 5GCity logical architecture, including the definition of its components, interfaces and their workflows. Furthermore, the business modelling aspects of neutral host model were also considered.

An encouraging progress was made in regard to 5GCity virtualization platform. The work performed included i) analyzing the state of the art of VIM architectures/solutions to define the 5GCity EdgeVIM, aiming at providing a solution which combines performance with security and safety features, ii) extending Unikraft, a tool for automatically building efficient and lean specialized images targeted at resource-constrained devices, iii) KVM optimization for ARM platforms, iv) development of virtualized WiFi nodes, and v) first prototype of Edge-NFVI trusted computing.

In terms of overall 5GCity platform, design of the platform that including Dashboard (front-end), Orchestration, Slicing, Control, Monitoring, and security functionalities was completed. Furthermore, apart from detail design of modules and sub-modules to support these functionalities, internal and external interfaces among them were also defined.

Further, the project has already started deploying the actual infrastructure in its three cities, including wired and wireless devices on street lamps and cabinets as well as small and standard-sized servers. In addition, a thorough gap-analysis (in terms of hardware and software) was performed between the infrastructure available in each city and the planned use case demonstrations to identify and minimize real-time deployment and integration issues beforehand. Finally, 5GCity has already started implementing some of its use cases, for instance to do with automated illegal waste detection at the edge, high-definition video delivery and immersive services.

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 ultimate goal of 5GCity is to maximise the return on investment for the whole digital market chain (users, application, cloud providers, i.e., the municipalities themselves, telecom providers, and infrastructure providers) via its neutral host model. 5GCity is also pushing the envelope in terms of allowing third-parties to deploy smart city applications (through 5GCity SDK and Platform) without having to pay the expensive, up-front costs of deploying equipment and renting space in actual cities. Towards this goal the project has and will continue to innovate on lightweight virtualization mechanisms, novel slicing and orchestration frameworks and commercially viable use cases. In addition, the city-wide pilots in three cities (Barcelona, Bristol and Lucca) will directly stimulate the innovation potential of new services within the three targeted domains: telecom, media, and smart cities; since the demonstrations over the city-wide infrastructure will directly attract other industries to 5G ecosystem.

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