International consortium hopes to ensure high-speed internet for the future

The 5G-XHaul project teamUniversity of Bristol

The next generation of mobile wireless systems, known as “5G”, will ensure that the internet is always accessible and if a new European project, 5G-XHaul, achieves its ambitious goals then coverage dead spots will be a thing of the past.

The aim of the 5G-XHaul project is to find effective solutions to the rapidly growing demand for broadband connectivity. The University of Bristol, who for more than 20 years has played a key role in the development of wireless communication networks, is one of the project partners. The consortium includes industrial companies, research institutes and universities from four European countries.

New powerful cost-effective networks are necessary in order to connect the base stations with the core telecommunications network.  Particularly at transport hubs, such as railway stations and airports, or during major events, the network connection must be dynamically adapted to local and time-related needs.

Professor Andrew Nix, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and who leads the Communication Systems & Networks (CSN) Group at Bristol, said: “This three-year project will provide a unique platform for collaborative research and validation of new optical and wireless architectures and methodologies for the ultra-fast and seamless delivery of 5G and beyond connectivity.”

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Head of the High Performance Networks (HPN) Group and who is leading the Bristol part of the project, commented: “5G-XHaul is one of several projects facilitating novel experimentation and new methods of conducting advanced research on the Bristol Is Open (BIO) test bed. The project will drive forward enabling technologies for 5G connectivity and beyond.”

Mark Beach, Professor of Radio Systems Engineering and Manager of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications, explained: “At Bristol we endeavour to provide our researchers with both state-of-the-art training and equipment facilities alongside career development events.  5G-XHaul will offer a series unique opportunities given the breadth of partners engaged with this Horizon 2020 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP) activity.”

A large field trial in Bristol will demonstrate the results at the end of the project.

The 5G-XHaul project is part of the 5G-PPP.  The joint initiative of the European information and communications industry and the European Commission will examine the current infrastructure and their limitations and specify requirements for next generation communication networks and services. Based on the requirements, technical solutions will be investigated and tested.

The ‎€7.3 million project, funded by the EU “Horizon 2020” programme, will run for three-years until June 2018. ‎

The 5G-XHaul project partners are: HuaweiTelefonica I+Di2CATBlu Wireless TechnologyADVA Optical NetworkingCOSMOTEAirraysTES Electronic Solutions, University of Bristol, TU DresdenUniversity of Thessaly and IHP.