The 5G-XHaul project, in which i2CAT Foundation participated as a partner, finished at the end of June 2018 with the last demonstration hosted by the University of Bristol. This project had a consortium formed by relevant technology companies (Huawei, Blu Wireless Technology, Airrays, TES Electronic Solutions), telecommunication enterprises (Telefónica, ADVA, COSMOTE), research centres (IHP, i2CAT) and universities (University of Thessaly, University of Bristol, Technische Universität Dresden).
Small Cells, Cloud-Radio Access Networks (C-RAN), Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NVF) are key enablers to address the demand for broadband connectivity with low cost and flexible implementations. Small Cells, in conjunction with the other elements enlisted, pose very stringent requirements on the transport network. Here flexible wireless solutions are required for dynamic backhaul and fronthaul architectures alongside very high capacity optical inter-connects. However, there is no consensus on how both technologies can be most efficiently combined.
5G-XHaul proposal was a converged optical and wireless network solution able to flexibly connect Small Cells to the core network. Exploiting user mobility, the project’s solution allows the dynamic allocation of network resources to predicted and actual hotspots.
The 5G-XHaul was funded by the European Commission funding program, within the framework of Horizon 2020. The project was also part of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP), a joint initiative between the European Commission and European ICT industry, which objective is to specify the requirements for 5G.
The project successfully ended with a final event organised by the Smart Internet Lab’s High Performance Network Group (HPN) at the University of Bristol, where the good results of the project were exposed. This meeting included lab demonstrations of the Time Shared Optical Network, the Wavelength Division Multiplexing – Passive Optical Network, the massive MIMO array and the mmWave transceiver solution hosted at the Smart Internet Lab’s HPN laboratory.
A city-wide field trial integrating the 5G-XHaul optical and wireless technologies and controlled by the 5G-XHaul control plane was showcased the overall project architecture.
Read more about this event on the University of Bristol’s website.