The European Commission (EC) pumped €8 million ($8.8 million) into a new industry-led 5G research programme that aims to produce a new air interface for sub-6 GHz networks.
Funding for the Flexible Air Interface for Scalable Service Delivery Within Wireless Communication Networks of the 5th Generation (Fantastic-5G) project was provided via the EC's Horizon 2020 programme, the European Union's largest research and development initiative that has an investment pot totalling close to €80 billion.
Fantastic-5G is a two-year research project comprising:
- service providers Orange and Telecom Italia;
- infrastructure vendors Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sequans Communications and Wings ICT Solutions;
- universities Aalborg University, Politecnico di Bari, Institut Mines-Telecom/Telecom Bretagne and the University of Bremen;
- research institutes the 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), and the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institut (HHI).
In a statement announcing the project, Alcatel-Lucent said the aim is to develop a sub-6 GHz 5G air interface that is capable of supporting different types of data traffic, a growing number of networked devices, diversity in the range of devices, traffic and transmission characteristics, and that makes better use of the available spectrum by being energy and resource efficient.
Project leader Frank Schaich, a research engineer at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs division, said 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 standardisation process of 5G."
The announcement comes a week after Nokia Networks announced the 5G Novel Radio Multiservice Adaptive Network Architecture (5G NORMA) research programme, which also includes key industry players, academic and research institutes.
5G NORMA aims to deliver an end-to-end architecture for 5G RAN and core networks by end-2017.
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