The 5G Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP) is a join initiative between the European ICT industry and European Commission to rethink the infrastructure and create next-generation of communications networks and services that will provide ubiquitous connectivity and seamless delivery.
Their goal is to integrate telecom and IT to a high-capacity, ubiquitous infrastructure that supports fixed and mobile networks. The 5G infrastructure goals include:
- Faster access, from the Mbps range today with LTE to the Gbps range with 5G
- Higher wireless area capacity, up to 1000x versus today’s capabilities
- Virtualized, for higher scaling and cost-effective deployment
- Software-based for easier upgradeability
- Wide range of application support for end user value
- Ubiquitous immersive connectivity to support a variety of deployment models.
The 5G-PPP believes that the infrastructure to support this will include general-purpose, programmable, high-performance hardware as opposed to fixed-function, purpose-built network components, which aligns well with network functions virtualization (NFV) and 5G strategies. The organization is facilitating the European Industry to drive development of 5G standards in collaboration with communications-oriented European government agencies.
Based on trends and forecasts for the mobile industry, as well as networking demands in general, the 5G-PPP’s goals also include connecting 7 billion people and 7 trillion “things” while saving 90 percent energy.
The group’s structural program proposes four “strands,” or initiatives, under which the working groups, information, and outputs will be organized:
- Strand 1: Radio network architecture and technologies
- Strand 2: Convergence beyond the last mile
- Strand 3: Network management
- Strand 4: Network virtualization and software networks
The 5G Infrastructure Association published a timeline Pan-European trials roadmap last February that outlines trial development, interoperability streams, and associated strategy. The objectives are both business and technical:
- Affirm global European leadership in 5G technology, network deployments, and profitable business models
- Demonstrate benefits of 5G to vertical sectors, the public sector, businesses, and consumers
- Show a clear path for successful and timely 5G deployment
- Provide a robust response to the European Commission’s 5G Action Plan (5GAP)
- Complement commercial trials and demonstrations as well as national initiatives
These trials are a key component to driving 5G technology, adoption, and European leadership. The roadmap includes 5G private trials, which begin to identify foundational components and their integration. 5G trial events then follow to demonstrate 5G capabilities, with the possibilities including smart city events, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, and EURO 2020 milestones. 5G platforms constitute another initiative on the roadmap that includes experimentation and trials using existing and new platforms. These platforms can be either technology/feature demonstrations or end-to-end interoperability initiatives. The roadmap also covers vertical pilots that are specific to market use cases in industries such as automotive, industrial, and medical. The organization plans to participate in international trials as well, listing countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, the United States, and Brazil as possible areas of expansion. A regulation and policy track on the roadmap considers wireless spectrum issues and net neutrality, among other things.
Membership currently numbers around 50 organizations, which includes a mix of networking, research, and regulatory bodies. Membership can be applied for as long as the organization has a registered seat in the member states, candidate states, or associated countries of the European Union (EU); supports 5G-PPP contractual obligations; and has a research and development organization in the EU. Interested parties can find more information on the http://5g-ppp.eu website.
The 5G-PPP organization’s vision and roadmaps are tangible examples of the critical mass being reached in the evolution towards 5G networks and virtualization. The required performance and capacity of these networks is progressing to support an imminent wave of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, applications, and business models.
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