Real Wireless joins prestigious consortium to assess the socioeconomic benefits of 5G Network Architectures

Today we’re excited to announce that Real Wireless is part of the ‘5G NORMA’ (Novel Radio Multi service adaptive network Architecture) project, joining a consortium of leading companies and academic groups as part of the 5GPP initiative to help define 5G and its potential benefits.

The overall aim of the 30-month project is to propose an end-to-end architecture taking into account both the radio access network (RAN) and core networks. As independent wireless experts with experience in delivering 3G and 4G networks and the economics, regulation and standards behind them, Real Wireless has a lot to offer.

The project partners, spread across six countries, include leading mobile operators (Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica), network vendors and IT companies (Nokia Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, ATOS), SMEs (Nomor Research, Azcom Technology) and Universities (King’s College London, , Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Univerdidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Our role in this project is to look at the socioeconomic benefits that 5G could bring and what some of the market drivers might be. We’ve seen a lot of talk already on what technologies might be a part of 5G, but the business case is crucial and needs to be carefully considered.

This is the area where we specialise — bridging the gap between the technical and the commercial.

As such we’ll be looking at a wide range of industries that could benefit from 5G, including transportation, energy and public safety. For each of these, Real Wireless will assess the potential use cases for 5G services and the challenges in delivering them, both with current 4G networks as well as predicting future demand.

There’s a lot still to iron out for 5G, but as more and more industries rely on wireless and as consumer demands increase, clearly something needs to happen. The work of the 5G NORMA group will be key in defining the technical specifications and the all-important business case that will be essential in generating investment for 5G development.

The 5G NORMA project starts now and will continue for the next 30 months. For more information on the project, see the formal press announcement or contact us here.

 

Telecom industry and European academia join forces to develop a multiservice mobile network architecture for the 5G era

 

  • 5G NORMA project, part of the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5GPPP) initiative, will define the overall 5G mobile network architecture, including radio and core networks, to meet the demanding 5G multiservice requirements
  • Consortium composed of 13 partners among leading industry vendors, operators, IT companies, small- and medium-sized enterprises and academic institutions

Industry vendors, operators, IT companies, small- to medium-sized enterprises and academia in Europe have joined forces to develop a novel, adaptive and futureproof mobile network architecture for the 5G era. As part of the 5GPPP initiative, 5G NORMA (5G Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture) will propose an end-to-end architecture that takes into consideration radio access network (RAN) and core network aspects. The consortium will be working over a period of 30 months, beginning in July 2015, to meet the key objectives of creating and disseminating innovative concepts on the mobile network architecture for the 5G era.

Real Wireless is responsible for the socioeconomic assessment of 5G NORMA innovations, translating technical KPIs into business KPIs that hold relevance to each sector.

Real Wireless will identify changing market drivers in a range of industries from public safety (PPDR), to transportation, energy generation and distribution. Its work will also assess shortcomings in the expected capabilities of 4G LTE by 2020, based on the requirements of the expected future service demands.

Professor Simon Saunders, director of technology at Real Wireless, said: “Our work will bridge the technical, social and commercial domains, enabling the consortium to identify the relative value of each planned 5G NORMA innovation. This will in turn direct the technical work to focus on the innovations with the most opportunity to create overall value.”

5G networks need to meet a wide array of diverse and extreme requirements

There will be a need for super-fast and reliable connectivity with virtually zero latency for use cases such as remote control robots, and support for billions of sensors and things. 5G will also need to provide consistent and high-quality connectivity for people and things. In addition, 5G networks will combine revolutionary technologies and existing mobile radio generations, as well as Wi-Fi, into a new system. A new mobile network architecture is required to manage these complex multi-layer and multi-technology networks, and to build in flexibility even for applications that are yet to be envisioned.

5G NORMA: a novel, multiservice mobile network architecture

With the 5G NORMA project, leading players in the mobile ecosystem aim to underpin Europe’s leadership position in 5G. The NORMA approach breaks away from the rigid legacy network paradigm. It will on-demand adapt the use of the mobile network (RAN and core network) resources to the service requirements, the variations of the traffic demands over time and location, and the network topology, which include the available front/backhaul capacity.

The consortium envisions the architecture will enable unprecedented levels of network customisability to ensure that stringent performance, security, cost and energy requirements are met. It will also provide an API-driven architectural openness, fueling economic growth through over-the-top innovation.

The technical approach is based on the innovative concept of adaptive (de)composition and allocation of network functions, which flexibly decomposes the network functions and places the resulting functions in the most appropriate location. By doing so, access and core functions may no longer reside in different locations, which is exploited to jointly optimise their operation whenever possible. The adaptability of the architecture is further strengthened by the innovative software-defined mobile network control and mobile multi-tenancy concepts and underpinned by corroborating demonstrations.

A socioeconomic analysis of the benefits of 5G NORMA innovations will also be conducted. This will determine the value to the wireless industry, the users in society and the public sphere of enhanced services enabled by the proposed architecture.

Dr. Werner Mohr, Chairman of the 5GPPP Association, said: “5G is not only about new radio access technology — network architecture will play an important role as well. 5G networks will have to be programmable, software driven and managed holistically to enable a diverse range of services in a profitable way. With 5G NORMA, the consortium aims to ensure economic sustainability of the network operation and open opportunities for new players, while leveraging a futureproof architecture in a cost- and energy-effective way.”

5G NORMA deliverables

The consortium will be working over a period of 30 months, beginning in July 2015. Key objectives include the creation and dissemination of innovative concepts on the 5G mobile network architecture for the 5G era. Some of these may be captured in products or patents, while others may emerge from the process and working engagements. Emphasis will also be placed on commercialisation, including partnerships and start-up creation.

 

Industry players included in the consortium

Vendors and IT: Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, Nokia Networks, ATOS

Operators: Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica

Small to medium-sized enterprises: Azcom Technology, Nomor Research, Real Wireless

Academia: University Kaiserslautern in Germany, Kings College London, University Carlos III Madrid

How Real Wireless is shaping the future of wireless connectivity with 5G

Whilst 4G might only just have started to be appreciated by personal and business users, the wireless industry is already awash with discussions about 5G. Whilst Boris Johnson’s prediction that London will have 5G by 2020 is ambitious, it’s a solid bet to say it will start to be rolled out – in some form – in the early part of the 2020s, with a few non-standard networks trialling it before this (at the Tokyo Olympics, for example).

But at the same time, the reality is that the 5G technology isn’t actually defined yet. To make matters more complicated, there’s little appetite for rolling out an expensive new generation of cellular technology that only offers the “usual” higher speeds and bigger capacity benefits we have come to expect.

Instead, 5G is aiming to be the first wireless generation that is designed to explicitly cater to the needs of specific vertical industries. These could be anything from the emergency services, to broadcasting, smart highways, and utility networks.

As a result, the industry is fully aware that the end technology will need to be hugely flexible, capable of providing wide range connectivity to wireless sensors in remote locations, through to the short delay communications required to meet the needs of M2M. There are also niche use cases, such as in hyperdense venues like stadiums, where it needs be capable of handling tens of gigabits per second of data.

This in turn requires new, more flexible network architectures at all levels. The core network needs to be able to route traffic quickly and efficiently, adapting to suit the current application and available transport networks. The radio network needs to be flexible enough to suit the various needs of immensely different applications, some of which could be decades of battery life, gigabits of speeds, and milliseconds of latency…

…fingers crossed it’s not having to provide all of those at the same time!

To meet this need, and to ensure that 5G becomes a timely reality, Real Wireless is playing a key role in the research it first requires via initiatives, which include:

1. The EC socio-economic analysis – Catering to all these needs could prove immensely expensive, it’s therefore particularly important we closely examine the business case of the new business models it could enable – and the associated social and economic benefits these in turn could provide.

In May, the European Commission launched a 12-month study into the socioeconomic benefits of 5G. The study will help provide a better understanding of the potential impact that 5G will have in a variety of industries including health and travel.

After working with the European Commission on several other projects, Real Wireless was selected, along with three other key independent project stakeholders, to perform the analysis for this assessment.

The study will include a series of stakeholder hearings starting on 22nd September and a workshop on 19th October.

2. 5G Architecture research – The technological elements of 5G are – and will continue to be – the subject of intensive international research over the next few years. Real Wireless is contributing to this research, some of which is being funded by the EU – to the tune of €700million, no less – including as part of its 5GPP programme.

A great example of our involvement in this work is our recently announced 5G NORMA project. In this piece of work, we are working to identify the optimum architectures for 5G – you can find more details on this here.

3. Membership of research centres – The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey is the UK’s only research centre dedicated to the next generation of mobile communications.

Real Wireless is now a pioneering SME member of the centre and will advise it on regulatory, technical and business challenges — driving the delivery of a mobile communications network capable of meeting the tomorrow’s needs.

We have also been contributing to the work of the world-renowned CONNECT research centre at Trinity College Dublin.

With the upward trend in mobile device adoption levels, 5G will become the crucial network underpinning almost every application, so the work we do now is crucial to ensure the infrastructure is ready when the world needs it.

It’s therefore important to us that we continue to play a key role in the development of the technology – both from an economic and technological standpoint.

Our work is also not without direct benefits for Real Wireless customers. Our insight in to the development process allows us to provide truly informed advice to both wireless industry players who wish to establish a position towards 5G, and to our wireless user customers who want to be sure that they are best placed to make the most of 5G’s potential to address their particular needs – at a time which is right for them.

Fools rush in….

Newcastle City Council today announced that they have struck a deal with GOWEX to install free Wi-Fi across key public areas.

Real Wireless were contracted to act as expert advisors in the process, assessing what the requirements for the tender process should be, comparing bids and, assisting in the assessment of bids against the requirements.

Part of Go Digital Newcastle, the scheme received Government funding via Broadband Delivery UK, and aims to deliver superfast broadband to 97% of the city by summer 2015. 

A key objective of our work with the council was to ensure that the chosen solution provided the best return for this money. After all, local councils are not experts in wireless technology and solutions and nor should they be expected to be. 

However many will still go ahead with implementing their own solution, despite the obvious technical and financial risks involved.

With the Go Digital Newcastle scheme operating on such a tight timeframe, Newcastle Council needed to take a more considered approach to ensure the best return for their money – hence seeking out Real Wireless for independent, expert advice. 

After considering all the bids, Newcastle City Council decided on the solution proposed by GOWEX.

Based around the use of small cells mounted on existing public assets, it meant Newcastle council could minimise installation costs, whilst ensuring the maximum coverage possible.

As mobile data continues to boom, it is no surprise that more congested urban regions are starting to look to Wi-Fi offload as a solution to their worries. The reality is that, whilst it offers some respite, it is not the quick-fix panacea that they are looking for. Rushing to install a new solution without consulting any kind of industry expert could prove to be an increasingly expensive white elephant.

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