javascript hit counter

5G in Europe

Past research efforts in Europe have delivered many advances in mobile communications we take for granted today. These include the 2G GSM standard (used today by 80% of the world’s mobile networks) and the technologies used in the 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and the 4G LTE standards. Timely development of the 5G technology is now of paramount importance for Europe to drive the economy, strengthen the industry’s competi- tiveness, and create new job opportunities.

Leading the development of 5G technology is critically important for the European Union (EU), primarily because of its vital role in economic growth. As a whole, the ICT sector rep- resents approximately 5% of EU GDP, with an annual value of €660 billion. It generates 25% of total business expenditure in Research and Development (R&D), and investments in ICT account for 50% of all European productivity growth.

Second, pioneering 5G is vitally important because this technology will play a key role in securing Europe’s leadership in the global mobile industry. Historically, the European telecom industry was at the forefront of global competition from the early days of GSM technology to the UMTS and LTE technologies. It still represented approximately 40% of the worldwide telecom market of nearly €200 billion in 2012 in terms of network infrastructure supply. However, Europe is now falling behind its competitors and wants to catch up by leading the 5G technology.

Last but not least, leading 5G technology is of great importance for the EU as it can bring new job opportunities to Europe. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes announced during the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona: ‘I want 5G to be pioneered by European industry, based on European research and creating jobs in Europe’.

However, the emergence of new eastern competitors such as China and South Korea may challenge these key ambitions.

1-Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

Europeans use ‘Framework Programmes’ as financial instruments to coordinate and fund their future research and innovation. They have successfully exercised this model by developing 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE) standards; now they intend to use the same model for 5G.

The Framework Programme (FP) succeeding FP7 was supposed to be FP8, but the naming has been changed and instead it is called Horizon 2020. Running over a seven‐year period from 2014 to 2020, Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU FP ever with nearly €80 billion funding (a significant increase on around €50 billion funding in FP7), in addition to the private invest- ment that this money will attract. It intends to fuel and shape future research and innovation in Europe from basic research in labs to the uptake of innovative ideas in the market.

However, the EU has already adopted a proactive stance towards the 5G era by targeting core topics such ultra‐high‐speed broadband and MTC using energy‐efficient techniques in the FP7 framework. Overall, from 2007 to 2013, EU investments through FP7 amounted to more than €700 million for research on future networks, half of which was allocated to wire- less technologies, contributing to development of 4G/B4G. METIS [15], 5GNOW [16], iJOIN [17], TROPIC [18], Mobile Cloud Networking (MCN) [19], COMBO [20], MOTO [21], PHYLAWS [22], E3NETWORK [23], and MiWEBA [24] are some of the latest EU projects addressing the architecture and functionality needs of B4G/5G networks. Table 1.4 summa- rises some of these projects, classifying them in terms of the key 5G technology enablers they address, including small cells, virtualisation, mmWave and MTC.

2-5G Infrastructure PPP

5G Infrastructure PPP is a public‐private partnership to formulate the research and innovation priorities in Horizon 2020 for developing the next generation of mobile communications infrastructure beyond 2020. Bringing together stakeholders from the entire value chain includ- ing industries, operators and regulatory and standardisation bodies, as well as academia and automotive industries, 5G Infrastructure PPP will create a shared vision of the 5G cellular system, a multi‐annual strategic roadmap for research and innovation that will be updated yearly until 2020. The 5G Infrastructure PPP will become operational at the beginning of 2014 and will benefit from the activities of the existing Net!Works European Technology Platform (ETP), the think tank that was instrumental in creating and structuring the European commu- nications technology community, ensuring close cooperation between industry and the research and academia sectors.

The 5G Infrastructure PPP will deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the ubiquitous next‐generation communication infrastructures of the coming decade. Specifically, it will provide such advancements as a 1000x increase in wireless capacity serv- ing over 7 billion people (while connecting 7 trillion ‘things’), save 90% of energy per service provided, and create a secure, reliable and dependable Internet with zero perceived downtime for services [25].

The total budget devoted by the public side to the 5G Infrastructure PPP is expected to be around €700 million in Horizon 2020, which is mirrored by around €700 million committed by the private side. In addition, the telecom industry will invest outside the partnership five to 10 times this amount in activities contributing to the objectives of the PPP. The budget for the first call is €125 million.

In 5G Infrastructure PPP, while the private side (representing more than 800 different com- panies and institutions), under the leadership of the industry, sets the strategic research and innovation agenda for Horizon 2020, the responsibility for implementation remains with the European Commission (as the public side), following the rules of Horizon 2020 in terms of calls, selection, negotiation and contracting of project proposals, as well as monitoring and payments of funded projects.

3-METIS Project

METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty‐twenty Information Society) is an exploratory FP7 research project on 5G with a total cost of around €28.7 million. It has a consortium of 29 partners, spanning from telecom manufacturers and network operators to the automotive industry and academia, coordinated by Ericsson.

The project aims at developing a system concept that delivers the necessary efficiency, versatility and scalability, investigating key technology components to support the system and evaluating and demonstrating key functionalities. The conceptual architecture of the project is illustrated in Figure 1.5. The project also intends to lead the European‐level development of future mobile and wireless communications systems and ensure an early global consensus on these systems by laying the foundation for 5G, through providing a system concept that can


• 1000x higher area capacity
• 10 to 100x higher number of connected devices
• 10 to 100x higher typical user data rate
• 10x longer battery life for low power MTC
• 5x reduced end‐to‐end latency, compared to LTE‐A.

4-5G Innovation Centre

In October 2012, the University of Surrey received £35 million from mobile operators, infra- structure providers and the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund to create the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) and install lamppost BSs around the university campus to create a network to test future technologies. Professor Rahim Tafazolli, director of Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR) at the University of Surrey, told the BBC [27]: ‘The boundaries between mobile communication and the Internet are blurring, so the fifth generation is Internet on the move’. The 5GIC will be operational at the beginning of 2015, employing 130 researchers and about 90 PhD students, to spearhead the search for a successor to 4G technology.

5-Visions of Companies

In the following, we summarise the 5G visions of European telecom companies Alcatel‐ Lucent, Ericsson and NSN.

Alcatel‐Lucent: 5G is about communication services that adapt to the consumer, rather than the consumer adapting to the communication service [28]. Network technology with 5G will remain stable and operational while handling billions of connected devices. Since the number of mobile devices that networks address is set to explode in the coming years, the main issue will be delivering connectivity smartly, with low latency. Bell Labs predicts that cloud processing will ‘completely dominate’ in the network, not only in terms of applications, but regarding operations as well [29]. Widespread M2M communications are also seen as one of the 5G drivers, and Bell Labs is working on a new 5G air interface that can support shorter packets for M2M communications.

Ericsson: 5G will enable a sustainable ‘Networked Society’ and realise the vision of unlim- ited access to information and sharing of data anywhere and anytime to anyone and anything. Everything that can benefit from being connected will be connected. This vision will be achieved by seamlessly integrating a combination of evolved RATs, including HSPA, LTE and WiFi, and complementary new RATs for specific use cases, and not by replacing existing RATs with a ‘one technology fits all’ solution [7]. Ericsson is now developing the fundamental concepts of the 5G system and aligning industry views through the METIS project. These concepts will hopefully reach standardisation phase within a few years.

NSN: Communications beyond 2020 will involve a combination of the evolving systems, like LTE‐A and WiFi, with new revolutionary technologies designed to meet new require- ments, such as virtually zero latency to support new applications such as real‐time control or

augmented reality. 5G is not just yet another technology but the integration of what we already know with new blocks designed for the most challenging use cases. NSN envisions that the 1000x traffic surge will be addressed by a 10x increase in the available spectrum, a 10x increase in the number of BSs through small‐cell deployments and WiFi offloading, and a 10x improvement in the SE of the RATs

Add Comment