Optical and Wireless Network Convergence: An Enabler for 5G

Monday, 18 June 2018, 09:00-18:00, E2 hall
  • Anna Tzanakaki (University of Bristol, UK)
  • Yi Zhang (Trinity College Dublin , Ireland)
  • Andrew Lord (British Telecom, UK)
  • George Limperopoulos (COSMOTE, Greece)
  • Luiz DaSilva (Trinity College Dublin , Ireland)


Motivation and Background

The current trend towards softwarization of telecommunications networks blurs the lines between domains where the different network functionalities reside. In addition to that, a key promise of 5G is to support a very diverse set of services including vertical industries, relying on a common network infrastructure that can be flexibly and efficiently shared through virtualisation. Both of these are hot topics in the telecommunications industry and academia, and can enable crossing of traditional boundaries between wireless access, optical access, metro and core networks as well as cloud computing.
This vision can be facilitated through the advent of network function virtualisation, cloud radio access networks, and software-defined networking, while it is becoming critical to bring the optical and wireless research communities together to solve problems of direct impact to fixed and mobile operators. In this context, particular emphasis needs to be given on the integration and orchestration of different access and transport technologies.
To address the large variety of 5G services, RAN deployments need to be transformed into open, scalable and dynamic ecosystems able to flexibly and efficiently support greatly varying requirements. In this context, new architectural models allow to migrate from highly distributed and inefficient structures to more centralized approaches relying on concepts such as the Cloud-RAN. Cloud-RAN and its variants including dynamic functional splits, introduce the need for fronthaul services interconnecting remote antennas with processing units to allow centralization and ultimately RAN softwarization. Through pooling and coordination gains of softwarized/centralized RANs, significant cost reductions as well as increased scalability and flexibility can be achieved. To successfully deploy the concept of softwarized RAN and support the increased backhaul requirements of 5G services, there is a need for high capacity transport networks interconnecting remote antennas with compute resources where softwarized versions of the RAN protocol stack are also executed. This will be enabled by control plane solutions that manage and optimize the operation of a large number of highly heterogeneous network and compute elements. It is therefore clear that 5G goes far beyond the definition of new RAN technologies and interfaces and is about a new end-to-end network vision, in which softwarization and virtualization allow a common network infrastructure to be flexibly used by a variety of ICT applications and a wide range of vertical industries. In this context, transport networks that can support end-to-end requirements associated with both fronthaul and backhaul services, including huge increase in capacity and connectivity and very stringent latency constraints play a key role.
This workshop is co-organized by the FUTEBOL project, a collaboration between Europe and Brazil that is enabling experimental research across optical and wireless testbeds. This workshop is also co-organized by 3 Phase II 5G PPP projects, 5G-PICTURE, Metro-Haul and 5G-PHOS, which focus on advanced 5G transport networks, exploiting optical network technologies.
This workshop will bring together researchers from industry and academia to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities for research and development of wireless/optical network convergence and transport network related challenges. Emphasis will be given on the wireless/optical network boundaries and the associated interfacing and cross-domain orchestration requirements. It will also bring together some of the main European projects dealing with issues that encompass both wireless and optical networks.



09:00-09:15 Welcome and overview of workshop objectives – Anna Tzanakaki (University of Bristol, UK), Yi Zhang and Luiz DaSilva (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

09:15-10:00 Optical and Wireless Network Convergence: Opening Remarks – Jorge Pereira (European Commission, Belgium)

10:00-10:30 Optical X-Haul Technologies for 5G over SDN-Enabled Network – Jim Zou (ADVA, Germany), (5G-XHaul)

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-11:30 Advanced Optical Networking: An Enabler for 5G – Anna Tzanakaki (University of Bristol, UK), (5G-PICTURE)

11:30-12:00 Optical networks in a 5G world, Luis Velasco (UPC, Spain), (Metro-Haul)

12:00-12:30 5G mmWave networks leveraging enhanced Optical-Wireless convergence for high density environments – George Kalfas (University of Thessaloniki, Greece), (5G-PHOS)

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:30 “Software-defined Radio (SDR) and Software-defined Network (SDN) integration for converged 5G networks” – Yi Zhang (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), (FUTEBOL)

14:30-15:00 BlueSPACE: Analog Radio-over-Fiber Fronthaul and Optical Beamforming for Fully Converged Optical and mmW Radio Networks – Simon Rommel (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands), (BlueSPACE)

15:00-15:30 CityLab: Programmable converged networks for smart cities – Johann Marquez Barja (University of Antwerp, Belgium), (Antwerp City of Things)

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:00 Industry and Stakeholders Panel

Jorge Pereira (European Commission, Belgium)
Valerio Frascolla (Intel, Germany)
Paulo Marques (IT Aveiro, Portugal)
Jim Zou (ADVA, Germany)
Spyros Denazis (University of Patras, Greece)