NEW HORIZON 2020 PROJECT FOR British APCO - PROJECT 5G ESSENCE

British APCO is delighted to be involved in the new European Commission funded Project 5G ESSENCE. This went live on 1st June 2017 and is of 30 months duration, concluding on 30th November 2019.

The ‘kick-off’ meeting took place in Athens in July at the premises of the co-ordinator, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A. (OTE). Large compared to some of the recent projects with which BAPCO has been involved, the 5G ESSENCE consortium consists of 21 members in the consortium from a number of European countries. The members are a mixture of public safety, commercial, NGO and research organisations.

BAPCO involvement consists of only 8 person-months and is concerned primarily with validation and demonstration work. The project is the first one involving BAPCO under the Horizon 2020 programme and is 100% funded by the European Commission.

5G ESSENCE will examine Edge Cloud computing and Small Cell as a Service by fuelling the drivers and removing the barriers in the Small Cell market, which is forecast to grow significantly up to and beyond 2020 and to play a key role in the 5G ecosystem. It will provide a highly flexible and scalable platform, able to support new business models and revenue streams by creating a neutral host market and reducing operational costs by providing new opportunities for ownership, deployment, operation and amortisation.

The technical approach exploits the benefits of the centralisation of Small Cell functions as scale grows through an edge cloud environment based on a two-tier architecture: a first distributed tier for providing low latency services and a second centralised tier for providing high processing power for computing-intensive network applications. This allows decoupling the control and user planes of the Radio Access Network (RAN) and achieving the benefits of Cloud-RAN without the enormous front-haul latency restrictions. The use of end-to-end network slicing mechanisms will allow sharing the 5G ESSENCE infrastructure among multiple operators/vertical industries and customising its capabilities on a per-tenant basis. The versatility of the architecture is enhanced by high-performance virtualisation techniques for data isolation, latency reduction and resource efficiency, and by orchestrating lightweight virtual resources enabling efficient Virtualised Network Function placement and live migration.

The project will culminate in the demonstration of the system in three use cases: edge network acceleration in a crowded event, mission critical applications, and in-flight communications.

Regular updates will be provided on the website and in the BAPCO Journal.

Paul Hirst

Project Manager

17th August 2017