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Beijing, 26th November 2018 – On 19th November a European project consortium and an industry-led project consortium from China started a 20-month collaboration for joint 5G research and the implementation of large-scale 5G trials. The scope of the cooperation includes trials on enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and the Internet of Vehicles, specifically Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, as well as joint publication of results and the organisation of joint events.

The cooperation agreement between the EU-funded 5G-DRIVE project and the Chinese “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, and for the European consortium by Mr. Uwe Herzog, Programme Manager at Eurescom and Coordinator of the 5G-DRIVE project.

The political support for the 5G cooperation was expressed through the participation of high-level representatives from both sides at the signing ceremony – 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.

 

Statements

At the signing ceremony, Ms. Yuhong Huang from the China Mobile Research Institute 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 from Eurescom 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 from 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.”

Mr. Philipp Barth from the European Commission said: “The EU and China share a common vision for 5G, which includes a global 5G standard. The EU is progressing quickly to 5G deployment in several EU Member States – we have over 100 trials across Member States. The cooperation with China needs to be based on full reciprocity so to reap the full potential for both sides.”

Photo: Signing ceremony in Beijing – from left: Ms. Sun Ji, Deputy Consultant at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT); Ms. Yuhong Huang, Deputy General Manager at China Mobile Research Institute; Mr. Uwe Herzog, Programme Manager at Eurescom; Mr. Philipp Barth, Head of CONNECT Section at the Delegation of the European Union to China

 

Meetings and trial visits

After the signing ceremony, the 17 EU and 8 Chinese consortium partners of the twin projects had a week of technical meetings and trial site visits from 19th to 23rd November to discuss the implementation of eMBB and V2X trials as well as common areas for 5G research activities. The twin project partners visited eMBB trial sites in Hangzhou and Suzhou as well as the C-V2X connected and automated driving site in Wuxi. The trial site visits facilitated mutual understanding and agreements on trial activities. In 5G-DRIVE, eMBB and V2X trials will be held in Surrey (UK), Espoo (Finland) and Ispra (Italy).

 

 About the 5G-DRIVE project

The Horizon 2020 project 5G-DRIVE – “5G Harmonised Research and Trials for service Evolution between EU and China” – started in September 2018 and will end in February 2021. It is coordinated by Eurescom (Germany) and includes 16 further European partners from industry and academia: BMW Group (Germany), Dynniq (Finland), ERTICO (Belgium), European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) (Belgium), Martel Innovate (Switzerland), Mandat International (Switzerland), Orange (Poland), Orion Innovations P.C. (Greece), OTE (Greece), SMNET (Greece), SPI (Portugal), University of Kent (UK), University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), University of Surrey (UK), Vediafi Oy (Finland), and VTT (Finland). Website: https://5g-drive.eu

 

About the “5G Large-scale Trial” project

The Chinese “5G Large-scale Trial” project is coordinated by China Mobile and runs from June 2018 to June 2020. Further consortium partners include Huawei, Datang, Ericsson China, Traffic Management Science Research Institute MoPS, Research Institute of Highway MoT, Shanghai International Automobile City, and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

Porto/ Heidelberg/ Shanghai, 14 June 2109 – The 5G PPP project 5G-DRIVE and China Mobile Research Centre jointly organised the first workshop on ‘5G-Trials – From 5G Experiments to Business Validation’ in Shanghai on 20 May 2019. It was part of the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) in Shanghai, China running from 20-24 May 2019.

A large number of 5G trials are currently being organised and implemented around the globe. In the current phase of 5G evolution, where the design phase has been successfully completed and the first set of standards has been released, the focus is now on trialling. The objective of the workshop was to identify and collect feedback from some of the ongoing 5G trialling activities, and to discuss potential market opportunities for 5G.

The organisers of the workshop, 5G PPP project 5G-DRIVE (https://5g-drive.eu/) and China Mobile Research Centre, are currently running a joint project on 5G trialling between the EU and China. As project partners are well connected in the 5G community, they were successful in distributing the call for papers for this workshop. With 30 paper submissions received, this workshop was ranked second among the 29 IEEE ICC workshops. In line with IEEE rules that require a 50% rejection rate, 15 papers were selected. The paper presentations together with three invited keynote speeches and two panel discussions filled a long and interesting day for the workshop´s 40 attendees.

In the welcome talk, the presenter gave an overview of 5G trialling activities in Europe and showed some statistics e.g. in terms of trials per country, spectrum usage, the participation by vertical sectors in 5G trialling activities and the size of larger trials and first 5G roll-outs around the globe.
In the first keynote speech, Chih-Lin I from China Mobile Research Institute gave her view on “The Twists and Turns of the 5G Journey”, which gave a glimpse on the 5G activities of China Mobile and a comprehensive overview of various aspects of 5G down to more recent topics, such as O-RAN, which aims at open interoperable interfaces and RAN virtualisation.

In the second keynote, Matti Kutila from VTT shared his insights on activities “Towards Connected and Highly Automated Driving”, which are being addressed in 5G-DRIVE and national projects in Finland.

In the first session, five papers on “Recent 5G Trial Activities and Trial Results” were presented. This included a paper about ‘5G Trial Cooperation between EU and China’, an overview of the 5G EVE end-to-end 5G facility for extensive trials, presented by Maurizio Cecchi, and presentations on recent trials of G.metro-based passive WDM fronthaul and database supported flexible spectrum access.

The second session addressed aspects related to the 5G architecture and enabling technologies. Results from a number of interesting areas were presented, including the deployment of a 5G architecture for crowd events, an indoor positioning platform to support 5G location-based services, and the application and experiments of 5G technology-powered industrial Internet. Lastly, the third paper session addressed aspects related to the performance analysis of 5G technologies.

Panellists of the first panel session on the potential of 5G for verticals (from left): Wei Deng, China Mobile Research Institute; Matti Kutila, VTT; Maurizio Cecchi, Associazione PIIU; Latif Ladid, IPv6 Forum, University of Luxembourg; and Chih-Lin I, China Mobile Research Institute

Two interesting panel discussions were organised: one on the potential of 5G for verticals, and the other on challenges in 5G trials. In the panel ‘Potential of 5G for Verticals’, which was moderated by Wei Deng from China Mobile Research Institute, an interesting debate took place about what revenue operators can assume to actually generate from providing 5G services for vertical sector companies.

There was agreement among the panellists that there seems to be large potential for operators in this area. At the same time, the increasing interest from vertical sectors to get individual frequency spectrum allocated, which would allow verticals to build their own 5G network, seems to contradict this. It indicates a certain doubt, at least among some of the verticals, whether they are happy to let operators provide the network for them.

A study from a consulting firm was quoted which estimates that about 80 – 90% of 5G revenue will come from eMBB type services, which would leave only 10-20 % for other services, including those for verticals. The panel concluded that keeping the view open into all directions for future 5G revenue is probably a good approach in this early phase of 5G commercialisation.

2021 started with good news for 5G-Drive with three of its innovations recognised by the EU Innovation Radar and the institutions behind them identified as Key Innovators, namely, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, University of Kent, University of Surrey, and University of Luxembourg.

The following three innovations stemming from the project work have been selected, joining 3600+ EU-funded innovations already showcased on the Innovation Radar Platform:

  1. Exploiting Gas Stations for Avoiding Location Tracking in Connected vehicles, classified as ‘exploring’
  2. C-V2X-based Intersection Safety Application for Automated Passenger Car, deemed as ‘business ready’
  3. Indoor Communication and Positioning Measurement for the Support of Localization and Navigation within Building Complexes Supported by a Mobile Robot, classified as ‘exploring’.

Uwe Herzog, responsible for the overall coordination of the project and liaisons between the Project Consortium and the European Commission commented, “As project coordinator, I am very glad that three innovations generated in 5G-DRIVE have received recognition by the EC’s Innovation Radar. It is a great honour for the four partners recognised as Key Innovators and the project as a whole. Listing of these innovative 5G-DRIVE project results on the Innovation Radar portal will give them the public attention they deserve.”

Innovation 1

Innovation Name: C-V2X-based Intersection Safety Application for Automated Passenger Car

Market Maturity: Business Ready

Key Innovator behind: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Brief description: This innovation is dedicated to enabling automated driving in urban environments, especially at intersections where typical vehicle sensors have limited range. Making left turns at an intersection is particularly complex since the decision-making vehicle requires information about the status of the traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, powered-two-wheelers, etc. The C-V2X/5G based Ue modules are used to extend the vehicle’s situation awareness by connecting the passenger cars, motorcycles, traffic lights, and road-side sensor devices, which translates into lower latency. In addition, 5G connected OBUs and RSU provide data flows to MQTT based data brokers to increase vehicle awareness before entering to the C-V2X coverage zone – about 500 m ahead of an intersection.

 

Main features:

  • C-V2X connected vehicles for sensor data sharing
  • Support for left turning at intersections in urban areas
  • Avoiding accidents even if cars/road users are not following traffic rules
  • V2X based status message of traffic light priorities
  • MAP data for planning automated passenger car trajectories
  • MQTT based data broker for aggregating intersection sensor data and status messages to the database

 

Technological novelty:

  • An algorithm for automated passenger car trajectory planning
  • C-V2X based positioning data sharing and estimating time-to-collision to avoid accidents
  • Measurement tool to optimize the right communication channel in terms of latency and network coverage

Key Innovator’s message:

“Such recognition from the EC’s Innovation Radar platform has further proven 5G-DRIVE’s ambition and commitment in bringing innovation to the European and global markets, contributing as high notes to the collection of the project’s achievements towards its final stage.”

Dr. Matti Kutila, VTT’s Research Team Leader

Innovation 2

Innovation Name: Exploiting gas stations for avoiding location tracking in connected vehicles

Market Maturity: Exploring

Key Innovator behind: University of Luxembourg

Brief description: This innovation is about exploiting gas stations to avoid location tracking in connected vehicles. The novel method exploits gas stations for executing the Vehicular Location Privacy Zone (VLPLZ) procedures to break the location tracking of connected vehicles. Leveraging software-defined networking and artificial intelligence, the innovation also considers the optimal and dynamic execution of VLPZ procedures within gas stations to ensure their service continuity and to minimize travelling costs of vehicles.

 

Key Innovator’s message:

“This innovation is empowered by next-generation technologies to allow gas stations to become a practical solution to protect the location privacy of drivers in the era of connected vehicles.

The 5G-Drive project cares about your location privacy, pioneering the vision of Next Generation Gas Stations to avoid vehicle tracking.”

Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel, University of Luxembourg

Innovation 3

Innovation Name: Indoor Communication and Positioning Measurement for the Support of Localization and Navigation within Building Complexes Supported by a Mobile Robot

Market Maturity: Exploring

Key Innovators behind: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, University of Kent, University of Surrey

Brief description:

Indoor positioning becomes increasingly important to offer brand-new location-aware services and to improve the performance of wireless networks in buildings. The indoor positioning platform in this innovation supports 3G/4G/5G, WiFi and UWB technologies. The platform takes the advantage of wheeled robots equipped with Lidar to obtain precise reference positioning. The digital twin has been integrated to support visualisation and analysis of multiple devices. The positioning platform allows scenarios on multiple floors with different types of positioning and communication technologies. The positioning algorithms cover signal strength, time difference, fingerprinting with correlation, genetic and neural networks, and sensor-based methods

 

Key Innovator’s message:

“VTT have been working on wireless positioning technologies and algorithms since 1997. Positioning is becoming a very promising technology in the 5G era. We are glad to see our work receives this level of recognition.”

Dr. Tao Chen, the technical manager of 5G-DRIVE