The EU-China cooperation on large-scale 5G trials kicked off with a week of meetings and activities

The EU-China cooperation on large-scale 5G trials kicked off with a week of meetings and activities

The EU “5G-DRIVE” project and the Chinese “5G Large-scale Trial” project kicked off their collaboration in China. Over the course of five days (19-23 November), partners from the two twinning projects engaged in a series of meetings and had the opportunity to visit three China Mobile’s trial sites where 5G-related innovation and technologies are being demonstrated and tested.

EU and Chinese partners at the joint kick-off meeting

Day 1 & Day 2 (19-20 November) – Signing of cooperation agreement and joint seminar

The activities started with the signing of the cooperation agreement between the two projects. The “5G Large-scale Trial” project was signed on behalf of the Chinese consortium by Ms. Yuhong Huang, Deputy General Manager of the China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI), and for the European consortium by Mr. Uwe Herzog, Coordinator of the 5G-DRIVE project and Programme Manager at EURESCOM.

The cooperation agreement received high-level policy support from China and Europe. China was represented by Ms. Sun Ji from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the EU was represented by Mr. Philipp Barth from the Delegation of the European Union to China.

All four parties agreed that kicking off the cooperation is an important milestone for both projects and for contributing to the progress of 5G in both regions. Ms. Yuhong Huang (CMRI) said: “This cooperation is an opportunity in which both projects can win and benefit from each other, due to the high quality and diversity of partners involved, which include industry, researchers and verticals.” Mr. Uwe Herzog (EURESCOM) agreed and said: “We have very strong teams in both projects, which provides a good foundation for a successful cooperation. We are aware that both the European Commission and the Chinese government have high expectations. Both projects are ready to meet these expectations with high commitment to achieve results to the benefit of both regions.” Ms. Sun Ji (MIIT) said: “The cooperation between the two projects is a sign that 5G is closer to a commercial stage. The Chinese government has always encouraged international cooperation. We expect the two projects to work together to make 5G a benefit for the whole society.” Lastly, Mr. Philipp Barth (European Commission) said: “The EU and China share a common vision for 5G, which includes a global 5G standard. (…) The cooperation with China needs to be based on full reciprocity so to reap the full potential for both sides.”

Signing of cooperation agreement

After the signing ceremony, partners from EU and China participated in a seminar where they had the opportunity to better understand the objectives, methodology and expected outputs of each project.

During the first day of activities, the two projects discussed in detail the aspects related to eMBB trials, including massive MIMO evaluation, fronthaul and xhaul testing, 5G performance evaluation, network deployment, trial site setup, etc. Later in the day, the two projects also discussed V2X trials, specifically on V2X supported automated driving and V2X test site setup. For both eMBB and V2X, partners from both projects discussed how the two projects could collaborate on joint trials.

The seminar continued on the second day. Partners from the two projects discussed topics for joint research, including 5G research topics beyond release 15, 5G evolution and new wireless technologies. Two projects agreed to explore the research collaboration under the cooperation agreement.

A dedicated session on further discussing V2X related topics took place in parallel to the research topics session.

The two-day joint kick-off meeting was concluded successfully, with fruitful discussions, common understanding on trials and initial framework of agreed actions. Partners from both projects are ready to move to the concrete collaboration phase.

Day 3 (21 November) – Visit to trial site in Hangzhou

The third day of visits took the 5G-DRIVE consortium to the Hangzhou, where China Mobile (Hangzhou) has been working with Huawei to set up a city-level 5G trial site with hundreds of 5G base stations. During the visit, the trial team by China Mobile in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, showcased the link performance of 5G base station operating 3.5GHz in the real-life deployment scenario. The partners also had the opportunity to join a field test tour as part of the “Hangzhou 5G City 1Gbps Experience Trial”, which demonstrated the potential of 5G to stream 4K videos on an experiment van.

Day 4 (22 November) – Visit to trial sites in Suzhou and Wuxi

The fourth day of activities took the partners north to Suzhou and Wuxi, in Jiangsu Province. In the morning, the 5G-DRIVE consortium visited the Suzhou 5G Experience Centre, where China Mobile with Ericsson demonstrated the link performance of 5G base station in the outdoor and indoor environment, as well as other key trial achievements thus far based on 5G technology. Various interesting uses cases were shown in the Experience Centre, including 5G for logistics management, industry, augmented reality and others. During this visit, China Mobile Jiangsu hosted a welcome seminar. Both sides exchanged the trial plan and recent development of 5G trials. Uwe Herzog (EURESCOM), Matti Lankinen (Vediafi Oy) and Matti Kutila (VTT) shared their thoughts on the Suzhou 5G Experience Centre and the future of 5G to the local press.

In the afternoon, the 5G-DRIVE partners made their way to Wuxi where they visited the LTE-V2X trial site built together by China Mobile and Wuxi. The LTE-V2X trial site includes the segments of real road and road infrastructure in the city centre of Wuxi. The partners had the opportunity to take a tour in an experiment bus and witnessed how vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-pedestrian use cases work in real-life environment. The V2X trial site visit provides the partners with better understanding on the ongoing V2X development in China and helps identify the joint topics for both projects.

Day 5 (23 November) – Wrap-up in Shanghai

The fifth and last day of activities took place in Shanghai, where the 5G-DRIVE consortium discussed the outcomes of the week-long meetings and visits and the plan for follow-up on the collaboration.

Overall, the joint kick-of and visits to the 5G trial sites were considered very successfully from both sides. There are key areas where the two projects can benefit significantly from one another and will now have to best implement the strategy and plan to reap these benefits.