The 2017 European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC) recently took place in Oulu, Finland, with the theme of “5G – European Roadmap, Global Impact”. Key components of future 5G networks were widely discussed, such as SDN, network function virtualisation and network slicing, with the keynote speakers agreeing that it is necessary for network operators to truly understand what are the needs of industry partners.
The biggest challenge identified by Antje Williams, (Manager 5G Programme, Deutsche Telekom, Germany), is how the network, with its innovative features, can support the widely varying needs of industry partners. Along these lines, 5G experimental environments have been created, with the aim to validate novel components and solutions against demanding requirements. The FLAME project is trying to meet just this “realism” challenge, with its 20+ experiments from the creative industries and the ambition to carry out trials in 5 or more smart cities that will validate the FLAME platform and methodology in real-life conditions and at urban scale.
The FLAME project is contributing by looking at the Personalisation, Interactivity, Mobility and Localisation (PIML) aspects of the content delivered to users, and issues that have certainly been identified as critical for future network operators and applications. In particular, accurate positioning of 5G devices (such as vehicles) by means other than GPS is a general concern and considered valuable by FLAME partners. The other aspects of PIML were not so extensively considered during EuCNC 2017, but the poster session allowed me to expand on FLAME’s work, and to get positive feedback from the audience. I believe it is our task to further stress these concepts, as they are tightly bound to the quality of experience for users.
Finally, the audience proved to be enthusiastic about the upcoming open calls, looking for more detail about the FLAME platform and strategy to customize the network in order to meet the specific needs of applications, services or operators. No doubt we will be describing this in future newsletters and publications!
Report from Jessica Rosati, IT Innovation