5G and Beyond

5G World Forum explored future networks

Milon Gupta

The 2020 edition of the IEEE 5G World Forum was originally scheduled to take place in Bangalore, India in September. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers had to turn the event into an online conference. The focus of the third 5G World Forum was on ‘5G and Beyond: A Comprehensive Look at Future Networks’. It particularly aimed to explore how to nurture and cultivate 5G technologies and applications for the benefit of society.

A plethora of sessions and presentations

The pre-recorded sessions and presentations of the three-day programme were accessible to participants from 10th September to 2nd November. The programme offered participants a rich choice: There were 16 plenary keynotes by speakers from major companies, institutions and universities like the US Federal Communications Commission, China Mobile, Qualcomm, Airbus, ETSI and more. The keynote speakers covered a wide range of topics, from 5G deployment and application to concepts for 6G.

In addition to the keynotes, there were technical paper tracks, workshops, forums and panels, 5G topical/vertical tracks, tutorials, demonstrations, and patron exhibits. Unlike an in-person event, this online conference offered participants the opportunity to attend all the sessions they were interested in.

It is almost impossible to provide a representative account of the numerous sessions and presentations. Thus, the selection of two exemplary sessions below is highly subjective – it is based on Eurescom’s involvement in two projects that contributed to the selected sessions, 5G-DRIVE and 5G EVE.

Worldwide 5G industry fora session

5G-DRIVE is a Horizon 2020 project dedicated to EU-China collaboration in the area of 5G testing and validation. The project coordinator from Eurescom was invited to participate in a high-level panel on worldwide 5G industry fora. The topic of the panel session was “5G Trends and Collaborations: Regional Visions, Verticals and Inter-Regional Cooperation Activities”. The first panel session focused on Asia and Europe. It was moderated by IREST chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé and brought together eight panelists from Europe and Asia representing industry, research, and standardisation.

Panel moderator Jean-Pierre Bienaimé and some of the panelists

Among the panelists was 5G-DRIVE coordinator Uwe Herzog from Eurescom. In his statement, he provided some background information on the European-Chinese 5G research collaboration between 5G-DRIVE and its Chinese twin project. In answering the moderator’s question on the effectiveness of the European-Chinese collaboration, he emphasized that despite the organizational challenges of coordinating 5G trial activities between two projects on different continents and in different commercial contexts, the joint trial activities have progressed well and yielded a fruitful exchange and interesting results.

Winnie Nakimuli from UC3M presenting the 5G EVE paper

In a separate presentation, Uwe Herzog provided a more detailed overview on the joint EU-China trial activities of 5G-DRIVE and the Chinese twin project in the areas of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Vehicular to everything (V2X).

Overall, the first industry fora panel presented an excellent overview on the manifold activities towards 5G development, testing and deployment in Europe and Asia.

5G-DRIVE coordinator Uwe Herzog from Eurescom talking about the 5G-DRIVE project in the Industry Fora Panel

Validation trials workshop

5G EVE contributed a paper to the workshop on “5G Validation Trials across Multiple Vertical Industries” (WS2). The online workshop aimed at providing a forum for industry and academia to disseminate new results on 5G trials in vertical industries as well as share knowledge on related new 5G business developments. It brought together six researchers from industry and academia, who presented their papers.

Among them was Winnie Nakimuli from the University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), who presented the 5G EVE paper on “Automatic deployment, execution and analysis of 5G experiments using the 5G EVE platform” (Paper No. 1570654444).

The rationale underlying the workshop was the essential role of validation trials for commercial 5G rollout, to test 5G features of novel services and applications in complex deployed environments. Such validation trials, like the ones performed via the 5G EVE platform, allow identifying and addressing issues related to coverage, interoperability, compatibility, and service provisioning. This is crucial for ensuring that 5G meets the requirements of various vertical sectors.

Further information