5G infrastructure to be examined by €7.3m 5G-XHaul Project

An ambitious, pan-European project will evaluate the infrastructure that will form the next generation of communications networks and services. The project partners include industrial companies, research institutes and universities from four European countries.

The goal of the project is to find solutions to the rapidly growing demand for broadband connections, which require new, powerful, cost-effective networks in order to connect the access points. A particular focus will be on establishing dynamically adaptive communication for transport hubs including railway stations and airports and at major events.

5G-XHaul is part of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP). This joint initiative between the European information and communications industry and the European Commission will examine the current infrastructure and its limitations and specify requirements for the next generation of communications networks and services. Based on the findings of this study technical solutions will be investigated and tested.

The project will be co-ordinated by Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP). Dr. Eckhard Grass of the IHP, said, “5G-XHaul will help to ensure that every smart phone owner can rely on an uninterrupted network connection with a high data rate”. He added, “5G-XHaul proposes a converged optical and wireless network solution able to flexibly connect Small Cells to the core network. Exploiting user mobility, our solution allows the dynamic allocation of network resources to predicted and actual hotspots. Due to the dynamic allocation of network resources we can serve the needs of the users”.

Field trials are already underway. The Bristol is Open project is a joint venture between the council and university to provide three new fast networks in the centre of Bristol. 5G mm wave company Blu Wireless Technology, is trialling its 60GHz ‘Lightning’ Modules to provide wireless backhaul to the project. Mark Barrett, CMO of Blu Wireless Technology, said of the project, “5G-XHaul is an exciting collaboration set up to establish the ways that networks of the future will operate. For Bristol is Open, Blu Wireless is deploying its mm wave technology to extend the fibre network.  Millimetre wave wireless technology will form a key aspect of 5G and we are very pleased to be involved with this important project”.

5G-XHaul is funded by the EU communication program Horizon 2020 at a estimated cost of 7.3 million euros. It will run for three years, until June 2018.

Partners in the project include: Huawei, Telefonica I+D, i2CAT, Blu Wireless Technology, ADVA Optical Networking, COSMOTE, Airrays, TES Electronic Solutions as well as University of Bristol, TU Dresden, University of Thessalias and IHP.