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  • 5G research activities in Europe (part 2 – H2020 projects)

    5G research activities in Europe (part 2 – H2020 projects)

    Date: 10.03.2016

    Category: 5G, Mobile Networks

    Towards 5G research

    This article presents the currently ongoing activities in the area of 5G research under the umbrella of Horizon-2020 EU-funded projects. It is the second part of the “research activities in Europe“, following the previous article focused on FP7 projects, namely Towards 5G – research activities in Europe (part 1 – FP7 projects).

    Overview of the 5G related Horizon-2020 EU projects

    For the next stage of 5G research within European industry is provided under the umbrella of 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G-PPP,, which was formed initiated by European Commission and European ICT industry to strengthen the European’s role in communications. 5G-PPP is to have 3 phases[1]:

    • Phase I projects: 2015-2017
    • Phase II projects: 2017-2019
    • Phase III projects: 2019-2021

    Majority of the Phase I Research and Innovation (R&I) projects started in July 2015. They are summarized below:

    • Flex5GwareFlexible and efficient hardware/software platforms for 5G network elements and devices (, 07.2015 – 06.2017): design of reconfigurable HW platforms for network elements and devices to support massive MIMO, mmWave, full-duplex communications, FBMC, and LDPC. This will be accompanied with HW-agnostic software platform to decide on optimal splitting of functionality between HW and SW. (HW and SW platforms for radio interface)
    • 5G NORMA5G Novel Radio Multiservice Adaptive Network Architecture (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): design of an adaptive networking architecture with flexible and context-aware network functions deployment in a multi-tenant scenario utilizing the following concepts: software defined network control, joint optimization of access and core network functions, and adaptive decomposition and allocation of network functions. (flexible SDN/NFV based architecture)
    • METIS-IIMobile and Wireless Communications Enablers for the 2020 Information Society-II (, 07.2015 – 06.2017): design of the overall, holistic RAN for 5G with an approach to enable efficient integration of legacy and novel radio access into a single system utilizing the following concepts: holistic spectrum management architecture, agile resource management framework, common control and user plane framework, cross-layer and cross-air-interface and mobility framework, etc. (overall RAN design)
    • 5G-XHAULDynamically Reconfigurable Optical-Wireless Backhaul/Fronthaul with Cognitive Control Plane for Small Cells and Cloud-RANs (, 07.2015 – 06.2018): design of a SDN-based programmable, converged optical-wireless solution to support future RAN, consisting of Small Cells, with flexible backhaul and fronthaul networks, where the optical fiber is accompanied with mmWave technologies. (dynamic backhaul/fronthaul)
    • 5G ENSURE5G Enablers for Network and System Security and Resilience (, 11.2015 – 10.2017): design of the overall security architecture including: authentication, authorization and accounting, privacy, trust, security monitoring, and network management and virtualization isolation. (overall security architecture)
    • CHARISMAConverged Heterogeneous Advanced 5G Cloud-RAN Architecture for Intelligent and Secure Media Access (, 07.2015 – 06.2017): design of a hierarchical routing and virtualized network combining data-centric traffic management (utilizing QoS queuing, hierarchical IPv6 routing, routers with subscriber-controlled QoS, etc.) and end-to-end security service chain (utilizing PHY layer security, DPI, network coding and software security). (converged transport network)
    • SESAME – Small Cells Coordination for Multi-tenancy and Edge Services (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): design of Small-Cell platform integrating the following concepts: evolution of Small Cells, consolidation of multi-tenancy and NFV with orchestration mechanisms, to allow several service providers to utilize new sharing models. (SC evolution)
    • SELFNETA Framework for Self-Organized Network Management in Virtualized and Software Defined Networks (, 07.2015 – 06.2018): design of an autonomic network management framework targeting integration of SDN, NFV, SON, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Quality-of-Experience, to address the following SON families: self-protection (features to prevent distributed cyber-attacks), self-healing (features to help with network failures) and self-optimization (to improve the QoE and network performance), and SON orchestration and virtual infrastructure management. (SON-evolution)
    • CogNetCognitive Networks (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): development of a real time network management platform utilizing the following concepts: Big-Data, machine-learning, and autonomic network management. (SON-evolution)
    • 5GEx – 5G Exchange (, 10.2015 – 03.2018): design of architecture and mechanisms for automated and fast provisioning of infrastructure services in a multi-domain/multi-operator environment using multi-domain orchestrator for the following example use-cases: network creation, network slicing, network sharing, multi-domain backhauling. (Management and Orchestration)
    • FANTASTIC-5GFlexible Air Interface for Scalable Service Delivery within Wireless Communication Networks of the 5th Generation (, 07.2015 – 06.2017): design of a flexible and scalable air interface to holistically support various (and sometimes contradicting requirements) core services including MBB, mission critical communications, massive machine communications, broadcast and multicast services, and V2X services. The technical components to be developed during the course of the project include: flexible waveform and frame design, multiple access procedures, retransmission schemes, multi-antenna schemes, multi-user detection, multi-cell RRM and D2D transmission. (air interface design)
    • COHERENTCoordinated control and spectrum management for 5G heterogeneous radio access networks (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): design of a programmable unified management framework for heterogeneous 5G RAN utilizing: flexible spectrum management, radio resources coordination and modelling, and RAN sharing. (RAN coordination)
    • Superfluidity – A Super-fluid, Cloud-native, Converged Edge System (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): design of a converged cloud-based system to be able to instantiate services on-the-fly, run them anywhere in the network and shift them to different locations, utilizing the following concepts: decomposition of network components, cloud-based architecture, virtualization of radio and network processing tasks, platform independent abstractions, software accelerations etc. (end-to-end cloud-based network)
    • 5G-Crosshaul (XHAUL)The 5G Integrated Fronthaul/Backhaul Transport Network (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): design of transport network with high capacity switches and heterogeneous transmission links that interconnects RRHs, macro and small-cells, cloud processing units and points-of-presence, provided through the following elements: control infrastructure using a unified abstract network model, unified data plane and novel deterministic-latency switch architectures for a multi-tenant and service oriented environment. (transport network)
    • mmMAGICMillimetre-Wave Based Mobile Radio Access Network for Fifth Generation Integrated Communications (, 07.2015 – 06.2017): developments addressing mmWave communications including waveform, frame structure, numerology, cooperative beamforming and tracking techniques, channel models for 6-100GHz range. Additionally, architectural components and network functions will be developed to enable flexible integration with other radio interfaces. (mmWave air interface)
    • Speed 5GQuality of Service Provision and Capacity Expansion Through Extended-DSA for 5G (, 07.2015 – 12.2017): development of optimization mechanisms for spectrum utilization jointly managing UDN, new spectrum bands and resources from multiple access technologies in a Heterogeneous environment to support QoE requirements. (spectrum management)


    The presented project landscape of 5G research covers the overall mobile system including: overall architecture, RAN design, transport network design, air interface, end-to-end networking aspects, security issues and network management. As the activities are in their early phases we can expect more concrete solutions and proposals shaping the 5G reality in the near future. On the other hand, by looking closer to the presented 5G research projects (accompanied with recent 3GPP developments, and industry elaborations), 5G trends can already be extracted to some extent. This is subject to a separate article in this blog under this post: “5G trends – buzzwords reviewed”.

    [1] A rough timeline for 5G-PPP phases together with 5G vision can be found here.


    Marcin Dryjanski, Ph.D.

    Marcin Dryjanski received his Ph.D. in telecommunications from the Poznan University of Technology in September 2019. During the past 15 years, Marcin has served as R&D Engineer, Lead Researcher, R&D Consultant, Technical Trainer, Technical Leader and Board Member. He has been providing expert-level courses in the area of 5G/LTE/LTE-Advanced for leading mobile operators and vendors. In addition to that, Marcin was a work-package leader in EU-funded research projects aiming at radio interface design for 5G including FP-7 5GNOW and FP-7 SOLDER. He co-authored a number of research papers targeting 5G radio interface design and a book "From LTE to LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G" published by Artech House. Marcin is co-founder of Grandmetric and co-founder and CEO at Rimedo Labs, currently focusing on Open RAN systems.


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