Development of a flexible air interface will support diverse and growing requirements of 5G networks, boost capacity and improve energy-efficiency
A group of 16 leading players in the field of telecommunications are joining forces to advance the development of a new air interface below 6 GHz for 5G networks. The “FANTASTIC-5G” (Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation) project will focus on boosting capacity, increasing flexibility and improving the energy efficiency of the next generation of mobile networks.
Future mobile networks need to become even more flexible and efficient than 4G, 3G and 2G networks to cope with the ever-growing demands being placed on them. As consumer smartphone and tablet devices become more diverse, and as the Internet of Things brings with it a huge increase in the amount of sensor-related traffic, a new air interface – which connects a user´s device to the mobile network and defines the way information is transmitted to and from the device – for 5G is required.
The aim of the 2-year FANTASTIC-5G project is to develop a new multi-service air interface that operates below 6 GHz frequency for 5G networks, and is:
- Highly flexible, to support different types of data traffic.
- Scalable, to support an ever-growing number of networked devices.
- Versatile, to support diverse device types and traffic/transmission characteristics.
- Energy- and resource-efficient, to better use the available spectrum.
- Future-proofed, enabling easy upgrades to future software releases.
- FANTASTIC-5G has received eight million Euros of funding by the European Commission under the EU´s “Horizon 2020” initiative aiming to advance digital Europe.
The members of FANTASTIC-5G include service providers (Orange, Telecom Italia), component and infrastructure vendors (Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sequans Communications, Wings ICT Solutions), universities (Aalborg University, Politecnico di Bari, Institut Mines-Telecom/Telecom Bretagne, University of Bremen) and research institutes (Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives – Laboratoire d’électronique et de technologie de l’information (CEA-Leti), Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institut (HHI)) from Europe.
“FANTASTIC-5G is of key importance, as the multi-service air interface concepts being developed in the project will be evaluated and validated by the partners. This helps to build up consensus and to facilitate the standardization process of 5G”, says Frank Schaich from Alcatel-Lucent´s Bell Labs, who is leading the FANTASTIC-5G project.
Background on Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.
FANTASTIC-5G is one of several research projects in the area of 5G research.