European 5G Journal catches up on world’s largest 5G research programme

Do you know your NORMA from your mmMAGic, your VIRTUWIND from your SONATA, your FANTASTIC 5G from your SUPERFLUIDITY? 5G-PPP has produced a catch-up paper on work from 17 of its research programmes.

5g-journalA new publication from 5G-PPP includes short reports from 17 projects given the green light by the 5G research programme, plus updates on latest thinking around candidate spectrum bands for 5G, technical developments and industry alignment.

The European 5G Annual Journal states that 19 projects were retained within 5G-PPP funding, and these started on the 1st July 2015, gathering more than 100 leading technology partners. “This is probably the biggest research endeavour on 5G worldwide,” it adds.

The 5G PPP is planned to be organised in three or four phases, encompassing research (current stage), optimisation (2016-2017) and large scale trials (2019-2020). It aims to deploy 5G as from 2020, which will require before 2020 to develop a series of ground-breaking technologies, global standards and to agree on relevant spectrum bands.

The journal includes a project by project run through: from 5G XHaul to VIRTUWIND, so if you have ever wondered exactly what all of these oddly-named partnerships were attempting to achieve, or indeed have achieved to date, then this is the publication for you. 

There’s also a run through of four “industry vertical” use cases of  5G: automotive, energy, factories and e-Health. Then there’s a look at various technical aspects of 5G – RAN design, NFV network slicing, architecture, security, energy efficiency.


Various candidate bands for spectrum for 5G are identified.
Bands that have allocations to the mobile service on a primary basis:
24.25-27.5 GHz 37-40.5 GHz 42.5-43.5 GHz 45.5-47 GHz 47.2-50.2 GHz 50.4-52.6 GHz 66-76 GHz 81-86 GHz

Candidate bands for additional allocations to the mobile service on a primary basis:
31.8-33.4 GHz 40.5-42.5 GHz 47-47.2 GHz

The journal notes that some of the 5G PPP Projects are analysing spectrum sharing aspects such as licenses shared access (LSA) or authorised shared access (ASA) and aim at trials in some markets. Also studies of game theory and graph theory are investigated by COHERENT, but more for laboratory tests and simulations. This work is still in an early phase.


On standardisation, the journal points out that 5G standardisation efforts really begin with the Release 14 of LTE (in fact 3GPP has said R15 will be the first to be officially known as 5G) in the first half of 2016 but also leverages on study items started in previous releases. It will probably last until LTE release 17 due to start around the end of 2019.

The report states:

“There will be two phases of development. The first phase, which would last between the end of 2017 and the end of 2018, will focus on developing 5G for frequency bands below 6 GHz, which should not necessarily require a new air interface. The second phase would address the whole frequency range envisioned, i.e. from 1 GHz to 100 GHz as well as new air interfaces that are mandatory to operate in the mmWave frequency bands where path attenuation is much more important and therefore requires specific air interface.

This second phase would start at the beginning of 2018 and would end at the end of 2019. This streamlined approach is aimed at securing a quick development and making the technology available for early deployment, namely by South Korean players, which have already stated that they wanted to showcase the technology with pre-commercial deployment at the winter Olympic games of Seoul in 2018. The ability to use higher frequency bands will further improve capacity and throughputs but will also require, from a regulation standpoint, that new frequency bands for mobile broadband are adopted globally, something that is due to happen with World Radio Conference (WRC) 2019. By 2020 deployment in the mmWave bands should be very limited.”

In summary, then, a useful if staid catch up on the state of European 5G. Read the European 5G Annual Journal here.