O2 is laying the groundwork for 5G adoption in London by installing a series of coverage-boosting ‘small cells’ around the capital.
The UK mobile network has revealed that it is spending £80 million to install 1,400 small cells in collaboration with Cisco across key areas of Greater London by the end of 2017.
It’s expected that the provision of these small cells will enhance the mobile signal, both indoors and outdoors, for businesses and consumers in London. Crucially, it will also pave the way for the rapid deployment of 5G connectivity when it starts to become available to the public from 2020.
Derek McManus, COO of O2, said: “We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale. This is why we’re investing in a range of innovative measures from small cells to macro masts in order to ensure we continue to give customers what they need; reliability and coverage wherever they go.”
Small cells in the big city
As the name suggests, these small cells will be significantly more compact and numerous than the hulking phone masts of the 4G generation and earlier. In fact, they’re small enough to attach to lampposts and onto the sides of buildings.
Around the same time, it was also announced that O2 would be creating a free public Wi-Fi network powered by 4G technology for the City of London area, also known as the Square Mile. This is initially intended to provide enhanced mobile coverage in an area where the presence of tall buildings causes problems for smartphone users.
Once again, though, the long-term aim of this move is to prepare the City for speedy 5G adoption when it arrives.
Bristol’s Zeetta Networks wins EU backing for ambitious 5G optical network proje
Zeetta Networks wins EU backing for ambitious 5G optical network project
A Bristol-based network technology specialist and partners have been awarded €7.78m in EU funding towards a project to investigate a 5G-ready optical network.
The three-year Metro-Haul project will develop and test optical network technologies that will integrate with and support 5G wireless technology.
In particular, the idea is to create a network infrastructure that can support the increase in data traffic when 5G arrives from 2020. 5G is expected to form the basis for the expanding Internet of Things as well as smart cities, autonomous cars, and various other high speed, low-latency applications of the near future.
Following a final demonstration of the Metro-Haul solution some time in 2019, the project will release its software as a public repository, and will then work with the relevant standardisation bodies to promote its solution.
Zeetta Networks is one of 21 partners in the wider Metro-Haul consortium, which includes various members of the European telecoms industry. Led by BT, other partners include Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Ericsson and Nokia, as well as European research hubs such as University of Bristol and Fraunhofer Institute.
Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks said: “We are very proud to have played a key role in this successful EU funding bid and to be collaborating with such a group of leading researchers, Tier 1 telecoms operators, innovative SMEs, and influencers in the 5G space. This three-year project scored very highly with the judging panel recognising its importance and the huge implications it brings to the telecoms industry and the verticals they support.”
Zeetta Networks itself is a spin-out company from the University of Bristol, focusing on the development and marketing of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) solutions.
The company recently put its technology to use by teaming up with Bristol City Football Club to provide its Ashton Gate stadium with a cutting edge High Density Wi-Fi solution. Zeetta’s “Software Defined Networking-enabled ‘bare metal’ technology approach” meant that the Wi-Fi network could cope with the stadium’s large concrete and metal structures, as well as with the huge number of users present within a relatively small area on match days.
Telefónica becomes a member of the 5GAA contributing to the cross industry association efforts to boost developments in the connected and autonomous car arena
Telefónica have annouced its active participation in the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA). The company joins a group of other leading telecommunications and automotive companies with the objective of accelerating the penetration of mobility services such as connected and autonomous car and intelligent road infrastructures.
The association main activities include defining use cases, selecting technology and establishing way ahead, initiating standardization, addressing specific needs of vehicle-to-x in terms of connectivity and leading innovation and development projects. Along with this initiative, Telefónica is also actively participating in the European Automotive-Telecom Alliance (EATA) which objective is to promote the wider deployment of connected and automated driving in Europe.
Dino Flore, General Director of the 5GAA: “We are very excited to have Telefónica as new member of 5GAA. Telefónica expertise and background will greatly benefit the association in its mission to define truly global, end-to-end connected mobility solutions”
Telefónica has been working in the connected car space for several years now and has communications and IoT solutions deployed in a large number of vehicles in several countries around the globe.
Furthermore, the company, in cooperation with Ericsson, presented the world´s first 5G remote driving concept at MWC proving certain aspects of this technology, such as reliability, high speed and low latency, which will transform the automotive industry.
As Vicente Muñoz, Telefonica´s Chief IoT Officer says: “We are delighted to join the 5GAA to bring all our efforts on the 5G technology to the automotive industry. We recently showcased our recent progress in 5G with our connected car demo at MWC in Barcelona and continue to work in this arena to make things move faster”.
GTI focuses on verticals with 5GAA deal – Mobile World Live GTI focuses on verticals with 5GAA deal – Mobile World Live
The Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) took a “concrete” step in its strategy to focus on vertical industries by signing an MoU with the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) at the GTI Summit 2017.
After shaking hands on stage with 5GAA chairperson Christoph Voigt, GTI chairman Craig Ehrlich hailed the agreement as a real change in direction at GTI, which last year launched GTI 2.0 in order to focus on 5G developments as well as the convergence of FDD LTE and TDD LTE globally.
Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group’s chief engineer who also sits on the 5GAA board, further noted that the 5GAA – formed in September 2016 – represented a unique venture.
It had brought together a vertical industry with the telecoms sector for the first time in order to achieve a common objective: to realise the vision of connected cars and autonomous driving using 5G technology. Ibbetson said the association now has more than 30 members, and many more were in the pipeline.
The 5GAA is regarded as a model for how other industries could also work more closely with the telecoms sector to benefit from the potential of 5G to support new business cases for verticals.
However, other participants in the GTI Summit – which took place at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday – also warned that more work is required to ensure that verticals are sufficiently engaged to help realise this more collaborative approach.
Zhijun (Eric) Xu, rotating CEO at Huawei, said one of the challenges to address on the way to 5G was the fact that the desire to support the Internet of Things (IoT) faces insufficient participation from verticals.
“Verticals need to participate or it will not work,” said Xu, who also called for cross-industry regulation and a “globally consistent standard” for 5G.
Innovation City Offers Immersive Experiences from Companies Including AT&T, Cisco Jasper, Huawei, KT Corporation, Sierra Wireless and UNLIMIT by Reliance Communications
The GSMA Innovation City returns to Mobile World Congress, once again inviting visitors to explore a city-like environment and experience immersive demonstrations of the most cutting-edge mobile enabled products and services in the world today. The City will address a wide range of industry topics such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), security and identity, with an increased emphasis on interactive, experiential and immersive installations that illustrate how mobile impacts virtually every aspect of our lives across transport, health, home and retail. The Innovation City, which is one of the key attractions at Mobile World Congress and welcomed nearly 30,000 visitors last year, has been relocated to Hall 4 to accommodate more partners and experiences than ever before.
“The GSMA Innovation City is a living, breathing hub for mobile technology and one of the most popular destinations at Mobile World Congress. This year’s City focuses on experiences that put mobile technology in context to help people understand how it will impact their lives,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to a newer, larger City this year, packed with unusual and engaging demonstrations that showcase the depth and breadth of innovative mobile solutions, from a connected auto-rickshaw with an IoT emergency button to a connected seal that can help monitor climate change.”
The GSMA Innovation City features exhibits from AT&T, Cisco Jasper, Huawei, KT Corporation, Sierra Wireless and UNLIMIT by Reliance Communications. The GSMA will also highlight its key programmes and initiatives including Connected Living, Managed Services, Mobile Connect, Mobile for Development and Network 2020, as well as its work supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Showcasing a Range of New Experiences
The Innovation City will showcase an array of interactive experiences:
AT&T – AT&T will showcase its latest innovations across entertainment, the Internet of Things, 5G, security and more. Visitors will be able to experience:
What it’s like for AT&T mobile customers to take their TV with them virtually anywhere they go data free with the DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW apps.
Live demonstrations on how to achieve speed and precision with flexible, highly secure networking in a software defined world.
How AT&T’s IoT solutions are innovating and accelerating Smart Cities, integrated fleets, connected cars, healthcare and more.
AT&T Digital Life®, an all-digital, fully integrated smart home security, automation and energy management solution.
CISCO JASPER – Cisco Jasper will enable visitors to experience IoT services in a life-like smart city environment. Visitors will see how businesses globally are using the Control Center automated connectivity platform to deliver connected services that enhance their customers’ experiences and create new sources of revenue. Examples will include:
Connected car solutions ranging from electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that eliminate range anxiety, smart parking meters that alert drivers to open parking spaces nearby, to remote performance and vehicle security management.
Health monitoring wearables that give the elderly greater independence while ensuring that they remain connected to loved ones, caregivers and healthcare providers.
Security and automation solutions for industrial and small business applications that contribute to producitvity, efficiency and peace of mind.
City buses that communicate directly with IoT-connected traffic solutions that help reduce traffic and pollution by keeping vehicles moving more smoothly through the city during commute times.
HUAWEI – Huawei X Labs and its partners will demonstrate its innovative explorations in mobile across a number of vertical industries including:
Connected Drone: Experience how mobile broadband enables drone tracking in public safety scenarios, precise positioning in urban areas and battery charging anywhere.
Mobile gaming: Try out the future of gaming with a multi-sensory experience via motion capture and virtual reality.
Mobile video: Experience video of the future with 8K panorama and how networks are meeting the demand of larger formats.
Connected car: Experience how 5G networks manage connected cars.
Connected robotics: See how robotics can perform manual tasks via the mobile network.
KT CORPORATION – KT will demonstrate its global 5G leadership and innovative technologies:
Experience a winter sports luge ride and interact with K-POP stars in the Virtual Reality Zone.
See how an IoT-enabled safety jacket can help keep people safe at sea or in the mountains.
Try out innovative new IoT devices such as NEOFIT, a new health band with health-related services and GiGA Eyes, a cloud-based security camera.
Experience innovative big data solutions including KT-MEG (Micro Energy Grid) Platform and Smart Gate.
SIERRA WIRELESS – Sierra Wireless is building the Internet of Things with intelligent wireless solutions that empower organisations to innovate in the connected world. The Start with Sierra Experience will feature:
A chance to drive the world’s fastest connected car and see what it’s like to move at the speed of sound.
The opportunity to pilot a drone around Barcelona with exclusive simulators that highlight hazards on land and in the sky to enable safe flight on a broad scale.
A live network demonstration of how next-generation LTE-M technology improves cellular coverage for smart water applications.
UNLIMIT POWERED BY RELIANCE – Unlimit, Powered by Reliance, is the first independent IoT business unit launched in India and a gateway for all global companies looking to access the Indian market. It enables companies to set up and grow their IoT business by getting to market faster, scaling quickly with high service reliability and low cost of ownership. Demonstrations will include:
An opportunity to experience a connected Indian auto-rickshaw for the first time.
Unlimit’s new application enablement platform where developers and customers can easily connect, manage and extend IoT deployments.
Unlimit Control, the first Indian cloud based platform which enables you to launch, manage and monetize IoT/M2M services for connected devices.
Partnerships with Cisco Jasper for their world class IoT connectivity platform and Cumulocity, the leading independent Device and Application Management IoT platform.
GSMA INDUSTRY PROGRAMMES
The GSMA programme will also include a number of exhibits and experiences highlighting its key industry programmes:
See how innovative NB-IoT Low Power Wide Area tags are helping to track seals in the wild and monitor climate change.
Experience how Mobile Connect is becoming the identity solution of choice for a new generation of services such as instant age verification and face recognition for airline check-in, amongst others services.
Step inside a Jaguar Land Rover F Pace car to experience the impact of 5G technology.
See how smart cities applications are helping with crowd control, as well as water and traffic management.
Experience how innovative Mobile IoT devices such as connected screwdrivers and connected waste bins utilise pressure and temperature sensors.
Experience how a new messaging platform is helping consumers get closer to brands.
See how innovative LTE Broadcast technology is delivering dynamic advertising and incident information in bus shelters.
See how big data is being used to support our environment and improve the way food get from the farm to the plate.
Learn how the mobile industry is supporting the Sustainable Development Goals through a unique augmented reality-based experience.
See how the GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme is transforming rural communities in emerging markets and offering innovative solutions to weather forecasting, smart irrigation, solar energy, cooking gas, mobile health and mobile money.
Visit the GSMA IMEI Checkpoint to see how delegates can locate and record their device serial number (IMEI) showcasing how, if their phone is lost or stolen, it can be blocked by networks around the world.
Visit the Innovation City in Hall 4, Fira Gran Via
This year the GSMA Innovation City is located in Hall 4, Stand 4A30 in the Fira Gran Via and will be open during Mobile World Congress exhibition hours from Monday, 27 February through Thursday, 2 March. Please note that the City will close at 5:15pm on Tuesday, 28 February for a private reception.
The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre is home to the pioneers of wireless technology who have been researching the next generation of connectivity since 2012, before 4G even hit the scene. Led by Professor Rahim Tafazolli, the centre is working alongside telecom juggernauts to usher in what has been christened the “Internet of Things”, which will see the network capable of things that were once a distant dream.
The researchers at the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) are working on much more than simply improving the speed of our mobile phones, with ambitions of driverless cars and home appliances all controlled via 5G. Partially funded by the UK government, the centre was the first of its kind and has since been joined by the likes of Japan, Taiwan, Russia and South Korea in the 5G race.
Last year, the 5GIC achieved breakthrough connectivity speeds of just one terabit per second and proclaimed it hopes to demonstrate the remarkable technology to the public by 2018. If (like us) you can’t wait that long, we caught up with Professor Tafazolli himself to discuss all things 5G and what exactly we can expect from the Internet of Things.
Professor Rahim Tafazolli
What is the 5G Innovation Centre?
Tesco Mobile: Can you give us a bit of background about the 5G Innovation Centre – when you started, what the objectives are and what you’re working on in general?
Professor Tafazolli: We started in 2012; there was an invitation for research into infrastructure, not specifically 5G, from the UK government and the higher education funding council of England, who provide funding to higher education in England. When we heard about this funding, I was thinking what we could do with it.
Being involved in mobile communications for 2G, 3G, 4G and the history of the UK in radio communications, I thought that it was timely to have the infrastructure to do research into technologies beyond 4G and 5G. So, we put in a bid and in October 2012, it was successful.
I talked to our industry partners, mainly Vodafone, Telefonica, Fujitsu, Samsung and Sony, who were all supportive. We won the bid and were granted £12m by the UK government; then twice that was committed by our industry partners, so all together about £36m.
What work is the 5GIC doing?
PT: The idea is to work on the step change technology that 5G will use. The advanced research evaluates our technology, mathematical modelling, computer simulation, building the technology, prototyping it and testing it in a wide area. Now, we have raw data and 44 base stations.
TM: So, you have basically a 5G network?
PT: Not really. 5G needs to be standardised first. Lots of people are proposing different technologies. It will go through the standardisation process, then we select the technology and start implementing, testing and optimising it, before eventually bringing it to the market. What we have now is an advanced version of 4G. So, we have the infrastructure in place and gradually over time, we’ll change it to 5G technologies.
Looking at the plans, 2018 is the first quota for when we would like to demonstrate full 5G technology. If we achieve this milestone, we will be the first in the world to show 5G technology in a real environment, not in a lab. Our vision is 5G, that’s not just higher speed, unlike many people think, but a system that provides high capacity with at least 100x more users connected.
TM: When you say 100x more users connected, does that mean in a football arena everybody will be able to connect?
PT: Yes, there is enough capacity for everyone to be connected, even in a high-density environment, like a football stadium. In addition to people, we think that 5G will provide connectivity between devices. Everything will be wireless. It’s not only communication. It will be connecting devices together, homes will become smart homes, cities become smart cities, countries become smart countries and continents become smart continents. So, 5G is not only about speed, it’s about connectivity.
But we want the system to be highly secure because of malware and attacks on the network. When we have every aspect of our life connected, then there is a big risk. So, the system must be reliable, and it must be robust.
5G Relay Base Station
These are the major step changes that we think 5G should bring from previous generation systems. 1G was pure voice, 2G was digital voice, 3G was 50/50 voice and data, 4G was mainly data and higher speed. Every generation has had higher and higher speed. With 5G, we don’t think it’s justifiable to have higher speed only. It must provide connectivity of people and devices, and it must be highly reliable
TM: To get rid of latency?
PT: Low latency translates to higher speed. But (…) our objective is not just to achieve speed; if it was speed, we already have the technology that can do 1000x faster than the highest 4G speed, so we could say we’ve finished the 5G project.
But, that’s not our objective. Our objectives are the ones I’ve mentioned – reliability, robustness, security, and latency. We want to support 100x or 1000x more devices on the network. The system must be energy efficient because with current technologies, the energy we use would also be 100x or 1000x more.
TM: If we had 5G on our phones right now and they were running on the 5G network, would it drain the battery dramatically?
PT: With the current technology, yes. That’s why it requires different technology, which is what we are trying to do.
The 5G race
TM: You mentioned the term “5G race” earlier and working with the industry – do you see this process as collaborative?
PT: Yes, it has to be. No single country or company can dictate the global standard. That’s why we have a huge amount of industry partners from China, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Europe and the UK, of course. We all work together and collectively agree on what should be standardised.
But, our plan is not just to do research and testing. We have a 5G centre set-up, a standard group chaired by O2/Telefonica and our partners look at our research and provide input. We believe Wi-Fi is part of the whole story as well.
TM: Within the European Union and the UK in general, when do you think we will have access to 5G technologies?
PT: The first version of 5G technology should be in the market by 2020. Then, it will evolve to meet other objectives. 2020 is the target.
TM: How will it be rolled out within the EU and the UK? Is it going to be something that is universally accessible, because 4G often tends to be more accessible in city centres?
PT: Yes. It is different, not only from a technological point of view, but from the global acceptance of 5G. For 5G to work, it has to work with 4G. The reason we only have 4G in city centres is because of its capacity. As I said, 5G is not just capacity but also connectivity of devices with a very high data rate. We mean to cover buildings, factories and the commercial environment, so it will have more capacity as well as connectivity between devices.
The accessibility of 5G
TM: Obviously, the mobile industry is going to change. With the current price of data, we mentioned that it might be a premium service, do you think it could be widely accessible?
PT: It has to be because it’s not just going to be high-speed data. The business model of the operators will have to change because they have to provide connectivity to utility networks like gas, electricity meters and connecting cars. Eventually, we’ll have driverless cars and 5G technology should evolve to meet these needs; we can’t just come up with a new technology for driverless cars. However, it’s a long way away, not before 2025.
We want this technology to provide economies of scale, so the world can develop different technologies and applications on top of that. Devices of differing capabilities will all be connected, so it will have an impact on the internet architecture – the wired part of the network must change. So, if it was only capacity and speed then 4G is good, but if you want to connect our highway roads, it must be something smarter. Homes become smarter, hospitals become smarter. We have an ageing population and they cannot keep going to their GP and hospital. Remotely you can control that.
We think of the early 90s when we think about mobile communication and beginning to do these sorts of things. Mobile communication has changed our culture, our life, the way we do business, our private lives; it’s all dramatically changed. Now, 5G will change this; it will be a catalyst for all this change in the economy and society. Not only just communication but critical parts of our infrastructure, the services that a nation requires.
So, what we are doing in the 5G centre is trying to come up with this enabling technology, this fundamental technology that will give you this flexibility, robustness, latency and network architecture to come up with those solutions. In 2030, 15 years from now, the world will be very different and we need to have the technology ready.
The future of mobile phones
TM: Obviously, smartphones are changing a lot and we’re seeing an increasing number of smart wearables as well. It feels like they’re going to become a central part of the Internet of Things. I know you’re not working directly with applications, but do you already see the future of mobile phones changing?
PT: I think they will become more intelligent and do more than just communication. We’re focusing on a couple of areas generated from having transformed data into useful applications. So, we have to come up with the artificial intelligence and model the data. Data coming from a smartphone and data coming from a sensor detecting light should have the format to be able to connect to one another.
It must be a model that they can integrate because each individual piece of data is useful, but not when it’s coming from different machines. We have tested it, so all our students – Grad students and Masters students – can come and use the applications. What I would like to do, but I’m not sure if we can do it, is encourage students to hack it, break it down.
TM: To test how safe the network is?
PT: Yes. Then, we learn where the gaps are and fix them. But, I’m not sure whether we can do that or not. That would be fantastic. I’m sure some smart people could bring the network down if they wanted to. We’d probably allocate part of the network for this purpose. Break it down and then tell us how you did it.
The Evolution of Mobile Phones
Setting the standard for 5G
TM: You mentioned smart cars, smart houses, smart cities, smart continents and obviously, the first smart companies like Apple and Google; do you think we could see these major actors becoming more involved in city planning, into home design?
PT: What most of these companies are developing is based on some sort of Wi-Fi system, some sort of proprietary solution, which is good, because people are thinking in this direction. It is encouraging that the industry is taking it seriously and not just the computer industry. However, to make this work on a global scale we need a minimum standard, so everybody builds everything on top of that and the networks talk to each other. If we carry on developing these things, these proprietary solutions, it will stay small.
That’s why I am strongly supportive of a common standard and many people don’t like standards; they say “big boys control everything”. The problem is not having a standard; the problem is perhaps the standards should be regulated and opened to everybody. Because when we talk about new connectivity, a new type of digital economy, we need different regulations.
TM: So, 5G will become the new standard?
PT: The whole idea of the concept, the vision of how we should look at good and bad connectivity, will be very different to the way we have done it for the last 30 years with 1G to 4G. We’re no longer just working within that framework of higher speed.
Many people still don’t know what 5G is because everybody says 5G is going to do more of the same thing, high speed, and that’s where the confusion comes in. That’s why I always say 5G is a special generation. It will be the first generation with full connectivity and then after, 5G will be a second generation of connectivity, then a third generation of connectivity, which is why we’ll not have 6G.
What Professor Tafazolli has made clear is the development of 5G heralds much more than faster data speeds for smartphones. It beckons the Internet of Things, which will see everything connected in our homes, our cities and our countries.
5G is set to transform society as we know it, connecting everything from cars to hospitals, creating a safer and more energy efficient world. What’s more, we won’t have to wait too long to see the first iteration of the network, as the 5G Innovation Centre hopes to introduce it to the world by 2020.
Ericsson , Orange and PSA Group have signed a partnership agreement to conduct a 5G technology pilot project for automotive applications. The “Towards 5G” connected car partnership aims to leverage 4G to 5G technology evolution to address connected vehicle requirements such as intelligent transport systems (ITS), improve road safety, and enable new automotive and in-car services.
The partnership is focused on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) architecture, as well as the technologies required to deploy real-time ITS and connected vehicle services. Initial tests will use an end-to-end architecture system based on LTE technology before evolving to LTE-V and 5G technologies.
The first use cases for Cooperative ITS have been defined and are currently being tested. These include the ability to share images between connected vehicles on a road so that the driver in the following vehicle can “see through” the vehicle ahead; and real-time notification that an emergency vehicle is approaching.
Further testing will be conducted in 2017 as part of this research initiative.
The “Towards 5G” connected car initiative is an important opportunity for the three partners to combine their expertise in connected vehicles to meet the challenges posed by new mobility services and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Ericsson provides the radio and a distributed virtualized core network to enable network slicing capabilities and intelligent geo-messaging service.
Orange provides the cellular network with the associated spectrum on the field trial site and the on-board connectivity integrating vehicular use cases.
PSA Group is in charge of automotive use case requirement definition, embedded architecture integration, user experience and technical validation.
As a result of their collaboration, the partners will develop a comprehensive experience of the requirements for a 5G infrastructure that fits to the needs of the connected vehicles industry. They will also identify the full potential of innovative services and use cases for the benefit of improving road safety and for better quality of services to end users.
“Connected IoT services are a crucial way to enhance the user experience for our customers, who today demand unprecedented levels of comfort and convenience as well as personalised services in their vehicles,” said Carla Gohin, Research, Innovation and Advanced Technologies VP, PSA Group.
“Connected vehicles are part of our IoT strategic vision along with home, smart cities, e-health and Industry 4.0. Vehicle manufacturers expect us to provide the connectivity they need for remote maintenance management, for example, or to keep on-board systems software permanently up-to-date. By teaming with Ericsson and PSA Group, we are combining our capabilities to drive 5G development for innovative services with the perspective of the availability of 5G by 2020,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Marketing and Technologies, Orange.
“5G technology will play a key role in the transport system of tomorrow. Ericsson is bringing Networks, IT and specific innovative solutions to the automotive industry. Along with key players like PSA and Orange, we will ensure the required levels of safety and security as well as contributing to a more sustainable and smart society,” said Charlotta Sund, Vice President and Head of Customer Group Industry & Society, Ericsson.
Ericsson, BMW Group, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland, Vodafone, the TU Dresden 5G Lab Germany, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and the Federal Regulatory Agency (BNetzA) are founding members of the consortium
Project supported by The Federal Ministry of Transport & Digital Infrastructure and The Bavarian Road Construction Administration
Federal Minister Dobrindt: 5G is a key-technology for automated and connected driving
Dedicated 5G test network in the 700-MHz band along the A9 motorway and the high speed rail track between Nuremberg and Greding
Ericsson has today announced the formation of a cross-industry consortium to strengthen 5G research and development in Germany. Members of the “5G-ConnectedMobility” consortium are Ericsson, BMW Group, Deutsche Bahn, all three German mobile network operators -Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone, the TU Dresden 5G Lab Germany, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and the Federal Regulatory Agency (BNetzA). The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Bavarian Road Construction Administration support the project.
“5G-ConnectedMobility” creates an infrastructure and a real application environment on a “Digital Test Field Motorway”, above all to carry out tests in the area of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, digitalization of the railway infrastructure and other applications using 5G technology.
For this purpose, “5G-ConnectedMobility” operates within an independent infrastructure, and is not dependent on any commercial network. This means that 5G prototype applications can be installed and tested regularly, in various network configurations, at any time, without restrictions. The dedicated Ericsson 5G mobile network allows live tests of real time applications, even under extreme network loads, and with very high travel speeds at the same time. Test conditions, which are hardly ever found in commercially operated live networks, can be created. In this context, Ericsson has received permission from the the Federal Regulatory Agency to use frequencies from the 700-MHz band, for the area of Nuremberg-Feucht to Greding, and will act as a network operator.
Foto: mc-quadrat OHG Berlin | Paula G. Vidal
Stefan Koetz, Chairman of the management board of Ericsson GmbH: “I am pleased that it has been possible to form such a wide cross industry consortium with “5G-ConnectedMobility”. With the members of the telecommunications industry, and the application industry, it will be possible to accelerate 5G research and development beyond Germany, and bring the specific requirements of the various industries in Germany into international 5G standardization activities. This will make Germany stronger in this area.”
Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transport: “With the next mobile network standard 5G, we are firing the starting shot for the digital real time era. 5G is a key technology for automated and connected driving, enabling direct data communication between vehicles and infrastructure. “5G-ConnectedMobility” will drive forward technology on the digital test field of motorway. Alongside the high precision radar sensors, which we have installed on the test field, the 5G project is a further milestone on the way to the first fully digitalized and fully networked road.”
Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO of Deutsche Telekom AG: “More than with any other previous technology, with 5G, the requirements and concrete use cases of the industry influence the development. The cross-sector collaboration within “5G-ConnectedMobility” will help us to translate the potential regarding extremely short latencies of under a millisecond, high data throughput of more than a Gigabit per second, or the network availability for billions of devices into tailor made offers for our customers.”
Cayetano Carbajo, CTO of Telefónica Deutschland: “This project represents a common effort of distinguished members of the industry to harmonize the requirements of future communications networks with the needs of the automotive industry. Telefónica is supporting this effort, which represents a remarkable opportunity for identifying and developing future applications of both technologies.”
Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Vodafone Deutschland: “With our high performance networks, we are the leading force for the Internet of Things. Together with the experts from Ericsson and the partners involved, we drive forward the development of new 5G technologies in the newly founded consortium, and bring networked and fully automated cars from the laboratory onto the road.”
Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Frank H. P. Fitzek, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks, 5G Lab Germany, TU Dresden: “The TU Dresden sees a great opportunity in this project, to test the previously developed technologies of the 5G Lab Germany, with important partners in the field. Connected cars will significantly increase safety in traffic but also require new technologies for the dynamic networks of the future. Due to the existing excellent cooperation with Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, we are confident of being able to provide the first practical results soon.”
The test track consists of several construction sections on the “Digital Test Field Motorway” in an area of around 30 km between the junctions of Nuremberg-Feucht and Greding, in which the A9 federal motorway and the high speed train route Nuremberg-Ingolstadt-Munich run in parallel, and are covered by the built up test network at the same time. The infrastructure is already completed in the first partial sections, meaning that live tests can begin immediately.
For the mobile network infrastructure, sites of the Motorway Directorate North Bavaria (ABDN) being the local roads authority, Deutsche Bahn and the mobile network operators – Telefónica Deutschland and Deutsche Telekom are being used. The connection occurs via a glass fibre infrastructure of the local roads authority and Deutsche Bahn. The concentration point of the network is located in an equipment container equipped by Ericsson, which has been installed on the premises of the motorway maintenance agency in Greding. The core network will be operated from Ericsson’s ICT Development Center Eurolab near Aachen, which supervises Ericsson’s “5G for Germany” program amongst other things. The connection to this core network will be carried out via Vodafone’s “Interconnect Access” of the ABDN.
The intention is to discuss the knowledge, perspectives and recommendations gained from this partnership and the technology, services and operating suggestions from the technical work packages of the project in an “Alignment Forum” of the members involved, and further develop them with the focus being on integration into international 5G standardization activities. In this context, the various project participants will draw on their membership in international bodies.
Within the scope of “5G-ConnectedMobility” in particular, use cases of associated vehicle applications, for vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, for new methods of traffic information provision in real time and cross manufacturer traffic control for automated vehicles, are currently planned.
The “Digital Test Field Motorway” was set up by the The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, together with the Free State of Bavaria, the German Association of the Automotive Industry and the Federal Association of Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom) on the A9 motorway in Bavaria where the automotive sector, digital economy and research institutions can test out pioneering systems and technologies under real conditions.
World first initiative will lay groundwork for a hyper-connected Britain. Ordnance Survey to create UK’s digital twin – a smart map for a smart future. Project will cement UK’s position as a global digital leader.
Ordnance Survey (OS) has been chosen by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to develop a groundbreaking planning and mapping tool that will be instrumental for the national rollout of 5G technology – the next generation of wireless communications needed to bring Internet-connected devices into everyday life.
3D viewshed analysis of Bournemouth
OS will lead a consortium that includes the 5G Innovation Centre and the Met Office, and together they will be building a ‘digital twin’ of the real world, which will be used to determine the prime locations to place the radio antennae (access points) necessary to enable a 5G network. The planning and mapping tool will be trialled first in Bournemouth, and if successful the tool has the potential to be scaled up to cover the rest of the UK, and shared with other countries as they develop their own 5G networks.
Surveying for parts of Bournemouth, which is a test bed for the national rollout of 5G, is already underway and will be used to generate the new model. The intelligent mapping tool trial will support the town’s aim to build on its success as Digital Council of the Year 2015 by becoming one of the first places in Britain to have 5G coverage.
Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock says: “Our ambition is to be a world leader in 5G technology, which is why we are investing in research and demonstration initiatives like this groundbreaking 5G mapping pilot. It is projects such as this which will make sure the UK can harness the potential of this exciting technology and help build the hyper-connected Britain we all want to see.”
OS Commercial Director, Andrew Loveless, says: “The purpose is to deploy 5G quickly and efficiently. Linking OS data to spectrum information and meteorological data will deliver faster speeds and better coverage to connected devices, all the while helping keep rollout costs to a minimum. In creating a highly accurate digital model of the real world, with added in attributes and intelligence, OS is taking mapping and data visualisation to unprecedented new levels with what can be achieved, complementing the government’s Digital Britain strategy. It is a Smart map for a Smart future. We are delighted to be assisting Bournemouth, 2015’s fastest growing digital economy and one of this year’s Top 3 clusters for employment growth, in getting the town 5G ready.”
Networked sensors and beacons will depend on seamless access to the 5G network. The higher frequencies offered by 5G deliver significant increases in bandwidth that these devices will demand. Higher frequencies have a shorter range, and so a huge amount of equipment is needed to support the network and make it robust. Industry sources have suggested thousands of sites will be needed with higher frequencies to assure widespread national 5G coverage.
Higher frequencies also mean much larger amounts of data can be sent and received than at current mobile frequencies. This ability to transfer large amounts of data is important for meeting the increasing demand for bandwidth brought about by the growth of the Internet, and it is vital to the future success of new tech concepts, including Smart Cities, the Internet of Things (IoT) and driverless vehicles.
One issue with the rollout of a 5G network is that details such as different construction materials can markedly reduce the capability for radio signals to travel, and at very high frequencies even raindrops and the leaves of a tree can interfere with the radio signals. To make 5G a success, access points and network equipment must be deployed where the impact of the built and natural environment has minimal effect.
Discovering where to best place the large amount of equipment required for a national 5G network would be a very time consuming and costly exercise of trial and error, but with the data visualisation tool OS will create, the vast majority of the work could be done from a desk. Network planners can open the accurate digital environment and simply place an access point, allowing them to immediately see what inhibits the technology from being able to communicate. This enables the planners to construct a virtual network in minutes. Included in the model’s intelligence are weather conditions, tree foliage and the lifecycles of vegetation, and details of future building projects, all of which gives planners the opportunity to test broadcast range and reliability throughout the seasons and over the coming years.
Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, said, “The consortium has world class and highly complementary expertise. We are looking forward to this collaboration immensely in developing a state-of–the-art planning tool that enable fast and cost-effective deployment of 5G network by industry.”
Dr Dave Jones, Head of Observations R&D at the Met Office, said: “Weather elements such as rain have the potential to degrade the performance of communications networks at these new higher frequency bands. With our expertise in both numerical weather prediction and the remote sensing of the atmosphere (e.g. weather satellites and radar), the Met Office is well-placed to contribute realistic high-resolution weather scenarios and the associated impacts on signal transmission to our project partners. We are delighted to be working with OS and 5GIC, because of our complementary expertise in this area.”
Huawei announces that working with Vodafone it has successfully tested 5G mobile connectivity using high and low frequency bands. The companies have demonstrated 1.5 kilometers cell coverage in the lower C-Band and 5Gbps peak throughput for a single user in the high band. It is the world’s first 5G large scale mobility field test of macro coverage in dense urban city scenarios.
The support of mobility capability plays a key role in the adoption of 5G applications such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). It is believed that these applications could require more than 100Mbps average data rates and gigabit speeds for multiusers in hotspot areas. The performance achieved in this realistic environment study is an important reference for next generation mobile network (NGMN) and European trial initiatives to develop and verify solutions for a future 5G commercial launch plan.
Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei 5G Product Line, said: “Huawei and Vodafone are strategic partners and we are now expanding our collaboration. As a leading operator in Europe and many other regions of the world, Vodafone has played a leading role in driving innovation. I am confident that the breakthrough we achieved today is just the beginning, and we expect more exciting results in the future.”
Luke Ibbetson, Head of Vodafone Group Research and Development, said, “The results of these tests are an important development and help further our understanding of how 5G mobile connectivity performs in high and low frequency bands. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Huawei to test and evaluate emerging 5G technologies.”
In the joint research of 5G New Radio (NR) candidate technologies, it is demonstrated that Filtered-OFDM, Sparse Coding Multiple Access (SCMA) and Polar Code works stably with the massive Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology, and the spectrum efficiency is improved approximately three times when compared with LTE. According to the field test, the peak cell throughput of 18Gbps under 200MHz bandwidth in the Sub6GHz band, and air interface latency of 0.5ms in the 5G New Radio user plane were achieved.
5G will be the next generation of mobile technology set to be available by 2020. Huawei and Vodafone signed a 5G strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2015 and a 5G Technologies Acceleration MoU in 2016.