5G-XHaul had recently gone through its Final Demonstration Event in the city of Bristol, UK.
5G-XHaul is a Phase 1, collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the framework of the 5G Public Private Partnership. The project consortium comprises twelve partners, including several Operators, Vendors, SMEs, Research Centers and Universities.
The objective of the project is to address the requirements of future 5G networks, where the increased demand for mobile connectivity introduces the need for a large number of smaller cells at specific locations. This makes traditional distributed Radio Access Networks, costly, inefficient and unsustainable, introducing the need for new and more centralized architectural models. To solve this issue the Cloud Radio Access Network architecture has been proposed, but requires high bandwidth low latency transport links, known as fronthaul.
In view of these challenges, 5G-XHaul focused on the development of a converged optical and wireless network solution offering both FH and BH services. This converged infrastructure is controlled by the flexible and scalable 5G-XHaul control plane. The combination of these technologies make the overall
solution able to jointly support end-user and operational services.
To enable these novel concepts, the 5G-XHaul consortium developed:
1. A novel data plane architecture integrating together a variety of heterogeneous wireless and optical technologies and the required data plane interfaces across domains.
2. High throughput and low-cost wireless BH technologies including mmWave and Sub-6 technologies.
3. A hybrid optical transport network integrating active and passive technologies. These include: the Time Shared Optical Network, supporting elastic and fine bandwidth allocation, and Passive
optical networks adopting wavelength division multiplexing for increased capacity.
4. A flexible and scalable control plane relying on the software defined networking architectural model that controls both wireless and optical technologies.
The 5G-XHaul technologies have been demonstrated and tested in various partner laboratories and as a final activity they are also integrated in the city-wide testbed Bristol is Open, in Bristol. This final demonstration aims to showcase the overall 5G-Xhaul architecture and perform integration of the novel optical and wireless technologies. In addition, it aims to verify the control plane features and evaluate the end-to-end performance in a real network environment. The specific functionalities that will be shown include:
-a converged infrastructure supporting jointly FH and BH services,
-transport network slicing creating independent and isolated networks across the common
-the use of SDN control to enable automatic recovery from failures.