Alcatel-Lucent adds another first as it drives broad range of 5G industry development programs toward its Network 2020 vision

Paris, France, August 03, 2015

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has completed another industry leading step on the path to delivering 5G networks. As announced today, the 5GNOW project, with technical leadership by Alcatel-Lucent, has been awarded the highest scientific excellence honor by the European Commission for advancing development of the next generation of mobile networks (5G) and strengthening European competitiveness. The project, initiated in 2012, was completed this month and delivered a big step towards toward achieving 5G networks.

In just a few years mobile networks are expected to support billions of different devices and types of data traffic. Today’s networks can support applications such as video and file downloads, however they were not designed with the flexibility to also support the expected myriad new applications. 5G networks must be designed to flexibly support this video traffic while also supporting the continuing growth of smartphone and tablet traffic, low-end sensor devices, smart wearables, connected cars, and the connection of industrial robots across wide geographical areas. New innovations, such as those pioneered by Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs in the 5GNOW project, will allow new communications to support the wide variety of application demanded.

The 5GNOW program has identified recommendations for how we can increase the number of devices that are connected to the network by 100 times over what we can support today and for how we can make the network react 50 times more quickly. This will enable smart cities, smart manufacturing, and Internet-of Things-enabled environments to have wireless enabled sensors that can all connect to the network in real time without having to schedule the delivery of their traffic. The main results of the project will be presented at the forthcoming 3GPP 5G workshop in September and will be implemented and expanded through the Fantastic-5G project which aims to establish a broader ecosystem and accelerate commercialization.

Tod Sizer, head of wireless research at Bell Labs said: “Mobile networks are quickly becoming our lifeline for all types of communications. Things such as growing industrial usage, traffic cams, sensors as well as the continued growth of consumer data, are going to severely challenge current networks. Our plan for 5G is to enhance the network in a converged way that will allow service providers to maintain the quality users expect, deliver the capacity they demand, and provide the ability to support new applications and services, such as IoT and M2M type.”

In addition to the 5GNOW project, for the last several years Alcatel-Lucent and its industrial research arm Bell Labs have been active in a range of key research initiatives with several universities, industry stakeholders, standards bodies and industry consortia. Recent examples include joining the Technische Universität (TU) Dresden's 5G Lab and collaboration agreements with Korean Telecom and NTT DOCOMO.

Many of the consortia are initiated or recognized by the EU commission, most of them in connection with the 5G PPP. These include:

About the 5GNOW Project

Today’s dominant air interface, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, (OFDM) is the basis for LTE and LTE-Advanced has a tightly synchronized structure that requires a significant amount of signalling overhead to establish a connection. This enables the high data rate transmission required for web and video based traffic but does not support the efficient transmission of short burst and non-urgent traffic associated with an Internet of Things (IoT) as well as today’s short burst traffic such as Instant Messaging (e.g. WhatsApp), acknowledgements, or ‘keep alive’ messaging. The 5GNOW proposals modify OFDM with adaptive filtering and advanced signal processing to address both sets of requirements, resulting in an air interface that:

  • Increases the maximum number of device connections to an individual cell site by a factor of over 100 times
  • Decreases the delay associated with connectionless access to less than 1 millisecond for Machine-Type-Communications (MTC)
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