A new project has been launched with the aim of developing a flexible air interface for 5G in frequency bands below 6GHz. A group of 16 leading telecommunications players will work on the “FANTASTIC-5G” (Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation) project.
The aim is to develop a solution which will boost capacity, increase flexibility and improve the energy efficiency of the next generation of mobile networks.
Future mobile networks need to become even more flexible and efficient than 4G, 3G and 2G networks to cope with the ever-growing demands being placed on them. As consumer smartphone and tablet devices become more diverse, and as the Internet of Things brings with it a huge increase in the amount of sensor-related traffic, a new air interface – which connects a user´s device to the mobile network and defines the way information is transmitted to and from the device – for 5G is required.
The aim of the 2-year FANTASTIC-5G project is to develop a new multi-service air interface that operates below 6GHz frequency for 5G networks, and is:
• Highly flexible, to support different types of data traffic.
• Scalable, to support an ever-growing number of networked devices.
• Versatile, to support diverse device types and traffic/transmission characteristics.
• Energy- and resource-efficient, to better use the available spectrum.
• Future-proofed, enabling easy upgrades to future software releases.
FANTASTIC-5G has received €8 million of funding by the European Commission under the EU´s Horizon 2020 initiative aiming to advance digital Europe.
The members of FANTASTIC-5G include:
Service providers: Orange, Telecom Italia
Component and infrastructure vendors: Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sequans Communications, Wings ICT Solutions),
Universities: Aalborg University, Politecnico di Bari, Institut Mines-Telecom/Telecom Bretagne, University of Bremen
Research institutes: Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives - Laboratoire d’électronique et de technologie de l’information (CEA-Leti), Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institut (HHI)) from Europe.
“FANTASTIC-5G is of key importance, as the multi-service air interface concepts being developed in the project will be evaluated and validated by the partners. This helps to build up consensus and to facilitate the standardization process of 5G”, said Frank Schaich from Alcatel-Lucent´s Bell Labs, who is leading the FANTASTIC-5G project.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract.
It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. FANTASTIC-5G is one of several research projects in the area of 5G research. The others are:
• METIS-II: Mobile and wireless communications enablers for twenty-twenty (2020) information society–II
• mmMAGIC: Millimetre-wave based mobile radio access networks for the fifth generation integrated communications
• 5G-Xhaul: Dynamic reconfigurable optical-wireless backhaul/fronthaul with cognitive control plane for small cells and cloud-RANs
• 5Gex: 5G Exchange, Multi-Domain Orchestration for Software Defined Infrastructures.