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European Industrial and Academic Partners Join to Develop a 5G Mobile Transport Platform for Verticals

Source(s): 
NETCOM Research Group | UC3M

The 5G-TRANSFORMER project, part of the European H2020 5G Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP) Infrastructure, will define and develop an innovative 5G Mobile Transport Network Platform aimed at supporting vertical industries (particularly focusing on low latency) through flexible slicing and federation of resources across multiple domains.


A consortium of European industrial and academic partners launched its activities towards the development of a Software Defined Networking/Network Function Virtualization-based 5G Mobile Transport and Computing Platform. The consortium, 5G-TRANSFORMER, targets support of multiple vertical tenants with a diverse set of networking and computing requirements, from industries including automotive, healthcare, and media.

The consortium comprises 18 partners, including leading international vendors (NEC, Ericsson, Nokia, InterDigital), operators (Orange, Telefonica), vertical industries (CRF – The Research Center of FCA, ATOS, Ayuntamiento de Madrid), SMEs (Nextworks, Mirantis), and research institutes and universities (b<>com, University Carlos III of Madrid, CTTC, Politecnico di Torino, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Eurecom, ITRI (Taiwan)). The 30-month project, which started on 1st June 2017, received a grant of 7.98 M€ from the European Commission.

The 5G-TRANSFORMER concept originates from enabling standard technological frameworks for slicing, namely Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC). The networking and computing fabric aggregates and federates multiple domains and infrastructure providers into a single platform where multiple transport slices will be created and managed. The 5G-TRANSFORMER project will leverage on the solutions developed in the H2020 5G-PPP phase-1 projects, such as 5G-Crosshaul and 5GEx.

5G-TRANSFORMER envisions three main architectural building blocks, which are Vertical Slicer for supporting the creation and management of slices to verticals; Service Orchestrator for end-to-end service orchestration and federation of resources from multiple domains; and MTP as the underlying integrated fronthaul and backhaul transport. The project will focus on the following activities to accelerate the deployment of mobile transport network slices tailored to vertical industries (with special focus on low latency):

  • Develop the mobile transport network slicing mechanisms for enabling dynamic creation and management of slices for vertical industries through abstraction, simple interfaces and service blueprints.

  • Evolve the 5GEx cross-domain orchestration and federation mechanisms and apply them to the mobile transport network, considering interworking with the domains of vertical industries.

  • Augment the current design of the underlying 5G-Crosshaul transport network by integrating emerging MEC service platform deemed necessary for the support of vertical industries.

The concept will be designed, developed and demonstrated for three vertical industries: eHealth, Automotive, and Media & Entertainment, in addition to the more conventional mobile (virtual) network operator scenario. Trials are scheduled at different test beds in Europe during the course of the project in 2018 and 2019.