What is 5G-XHaul?

5G Xhaul logo

There are a large number of projects, partnerships and companies working towards the development of 5G and 5G-XHaul is among them. As a major part of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership and with a focus on ensuring 5G connections are fast, consistent and reliable it’s a vital part of 5G development. Here’s what you need to know.

What is 5G-XHaul?

5G-XHaul is a pan-European project formed from a partnership of numerous industrial companies, research institutes and universities, including Blu Wireless, Huawei, Telefonica, the University of Bristol and more.

It’s a part of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP), which itself is a joint initiative between the European Commission and the European information and communications industry and has been set up to specify the requirements for 5G and once done aid in finding 5G solutions. So the 5G-XHaul project is just one part of that larger goal.

5G-XHaul is funded by the EU communication program Horizon 2020 at an estimated cost of around 7.3 million euros and it will run for three years, ending in June 2018.

What are its goals?

The main purpose of 5G-XHaul is to help ensure that every smartphone user has a reliable, uninterrupted and very high speed network connection.

5G-XHaul aims to find solutions to the growing demand for broadband connections. To meet this demand cost-effective yet powerful networks must be developed and one of 5G-XHaul’s main focuses will be on ensuring railway stations, airports and other transport hubs are connected to the core telecommunications network with dynamically adaptive communication.

It will also support major events where spikes in demand are likely and dynamic allocation of resources is therefore necessary to meet real-time needs.

Dr. Eckhard Grass of the IHP (Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics), which is co-ordinating the project, said: “5G-XHaul proposes a converged optical and wireless network solution able to flexibly connect Small Cells to the core network. Exploiting user mobility, our solution allows the dynamic allocation of network resources to predicted and actual hotspots. Due to the dynamic allocation of network resources we can serve the needs of the users”.

To achieve this 5G-XHaul will develop dynamically programmable, high capacity, low latency, point-to-multipoint mm-Wave transceivers, a software-defined cognitive control plane, able to forecast traffic demand in time and space, and the ability to reconfigure network components and a Time Shared Optical Network offering elastic and fine granular bandwidth allocation, cooperating with advanced passive optical networks.

It will also work to develop converged optical/wireless architectures and network management algorithms for mobile scenarios, introduce advanced mm-Wave and optical transceivers and control functions and support the development of international standards through technical and technoeconomic contributions.

What progress has it made?

5G-XHaul technologies are already being integrated into a city-wide testbed in Bristol, which will support the development and evolution of novel optical and wireless elements and end-to-end performance.

Professor Andrew Nix, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol 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.”

Bristol Council is supporting the work in the area, which also falls under the Bristol is Open project- an initiative focused on delivering research and development initiatives that contribute to the development of a smart city and the ‘Internet of Things’.

Blu Wireless is also involved in the Bristol tests, trialling its 60GHz ‘Lightning’ Modules to provide wireless backhaul to the project.

Mark Barrett, CMO of Blu Wireless Technology, said of the project, “5G-XHaul is an exciting collaboration set up to establish the ways that networks of the future will operate. For Bristol is Open, Blu Wireless is deploying its mm wave technology to extend the fibre network.  Millimetre wave wireless technology will form a key aspect of 5G and we are very pleased to be involved with this important project”.

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Sub-Editor at 5G.co.uk

James is sub-editor at both 5G.co.uk and TechRadar. Also works as a researcher/ technical writer for 5G.co.uk and several other websites including TechRadar, T3, Smart TV Radar, 3G.co.uk with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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