Bosch, Ericsson, Telefónica to develop AI control system for private LTE and 5G
A consortium of technologists, industrialists, and academics have joined a new European working group to develop and demonstrate a new ‘beyond-5G’ system for private networks, integrating 5G, Wi-Fi, and LiFi technologies, and managed through AI based autonomic networking.
The 30-month project, called 5G-CLARITY, has been convened by the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP). It started on November 1 last year with €5.75 million in funding from the European Commission.
Members include Bosch, InterDigital, Ericsson, and Telefónica from the corporate side. Other members are small cell provider Accelleran, wireless consultancy Gigasys Solutions and LiFi vendor pureLiFi. Li-Fi utilizes light to transmit data and position between devices.
The Institute for Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP) facility, based in Germany, is coordinating the project. The Universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, and Granada are also involved, as is the Spain-based Internet Research Centre.
The project will use and extend the 5GUK testbed facility already available in Bristol and maintained by University of Bristol, which will be used for a “human-robot interaction application”. It will also use a Bosch factory near Barcelona, in Spain, to demonstrate network slicing and high precision AGV positioning.
The 5G PPP said the project will address challenges in spectrum flexibility, delivery of critical services, and ‘autonomic’ (unconscious) network management. It will be “instrumental… to secure the leadership of Europe in the growing markets of private 5G networks, and 5G for factory automation,” it said.
The initial phase of the project seeks to establish a “heterogeneous wireless access network” that integrates the Release 16 version of 5G NR, covering ultra-reliable low-latency (URLLC) services, along with Wi-Fi and LiFi.
The second phase will set down “a novel management plane” based on software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), and powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This will enable network slicing for neutral hosts, and autonomic network management.
“By supporting AI-driven management 5G-CLARITY will enable effective provision of slices, managing and optimizing their performance. This will support faster fulfilment of user and business intents while enabling optimal resource sharing during the entire lifetime of slices. AI-driven management also drives network automation by greatly reducing the need for human intervention,” it said.
The project description states: “Public 5G networks will not be able to address, in the short term, the promise of novel critical communication services required by vertical users. Private 5G and beyond 5G networks are seen as a promising way to bridge this gap, allowing private venues to deploy the required 5G capabilities early on.
“Factories and private venues, like stadiums or transportation hubs, are seen as key early adopters of these technologies.”
It continues: “5G-CLARITY puts forward a beyond 5G architecture for private networks, which features a novel access network integrating 5G, WiFi, and LiFi, compute and transport resources, and novel management components to enable AI driven network automation.
“5G-CLARITY will define communication services that deliver measurable enhancements with respect to the eMBB and URLLC services defined by 3GPP in Release 16, in terms of low latency, area capacity, reliability, and accurate positioning and synchronization capabilities.
“In addition, 5G-CLARITY will develop a management plane featuring SDN/NFV components together with an AI engine that will automate network management by receiving high level intent policies from the network administrator.”
In a press releases, InterDigital Europe said it holds a “leadership role” in the project, in charge of Standardization and Dissemination Working Group, overseeing the dissemination of the project into key standardization development organizations and industry forums, including 3GPP, IEEE 802.11, ETSI, ITU-T, O-RAN, and 5GACIA.