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EMPIR project advances development of 5G communications

5G network wireless systems and internet of things – iStock.com/jamesteohart

Measurement research supports future high bandwidth mobile communication

The project:

EMPIR project ‘Metrology for 5G communications’ (14IND10, MET5G) has given timely support for the EU 5G communication research and development effort. It has enabled instrument and 5G wireless system manufacturers to develop and implement new systems, minimising test and measurement costs and reducing the time to market for new products and services.

5G network:

Focusing on the user experience the 5G, or fifth-generation, network is targeted to be rolled out by 2020. It promises to deliver millisecond latency, multi-Gbps (gigabit per second) data capacity, low energy consumption and seamless connectivity between trillions of devices serving billions of people. To accommodate these promises, 5G standardisation bodies and industries are facing the challenge of diverse 5G technological requirements in sub-6GHz and mm-wave spectrum bands. This project has enabled the development of the traceable measurement required by 5G communications to underpin all aspects from the signals, devices, and systems.

Project outcomes:

Some of the notable project outcomes that support 5G standardisation and advancement are:

  • New signal-to-interference-plus-noise-ratio (SINR) definitions, which is an important metric for planning of networks and field testing of mobile devices. These have been developed for a range of possible future communication systems.
  • Several multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) testbeds have been developed, where this is a method for increasing the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennas to exploit multipath propagation. A millimetre-wave massive MIMO testbed has been used, through remote access, by a number of key 5G stakeholders and industries including: Ericsson, Saab, Infineon, National Instruments, Ampleon, and Qamcom.
  • A new wideband mm-wave operation network analyser measurement system was set up and measurements performed, for the first time, using signals with the correct waveform and statistics for 5G communication systems.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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