Concept and Methodology

The Concept

5G-EPICENTRE aims to lower barriers to 5G adoption and market entry for European SMEs to conduct rigorous experimentation of their products and applications aimed at the public safety market, through the provision of an open, federated, end-to-end experimentation facility. Hence, 5G-EPICENTRE will:

  1. federate multiple constituent 5G platforms into an advanced, user-friendly, zero-touch orchestration single point of control;
  2. oversee these facilities’ cloud-native transformation in support of trans-formational technologies in the realization of the 5G vision for PPDR agencies, such as e.g. MEC;
  3. demonstrate value of the facility to stakeholders, key/emerging players in the public safety market to accelerate widespread adoption of low-entry 5G virtualized experimental environments and vertical-specific network functions configured specifically to service the needs of the modern first responder;
  4. develop feasible business models, so long-term sustainability of project results is ensured even beyond the project funding period.

Methodology

5G-EPICENTRE will deliver an open end-to-end experimentation 5G platform focusing on software solutions that serve the needs of PPDR. The envisioned platform will enable SMEs and developers to acquire knowledge with regard to the latest 5G applications and approaches for first responders and crisis management, as well as to build up and experiment with their solutions. The 5G-EPICENTRE platform will be based on an open Service oriented Architecture, following the current best DevOps practices (containerization of micro-services) and will be able to accommodate and provide open access to 5G networks’ resources, acting this way as a 5G open source repository for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) NetApps. For the assessment of the abovementioned platform, the realization of several use cases is being foreseen which will be realized as a PPDR vertical. The purpose of the use cases is to expand along the entire range of the 3 (International Telecommunication Union) ITU-defined service types (i.e. eMBB, mMTC and URLLC) as well as to provide the floor for overseeing the platform’s secure interoperability capabilities beyond vendor-specific implementation. The engaged SMEs and organizations that will participate into the realization of the use cases constitute active players in the public security and disaster management, thus acting as key enablers for the assessment of 5G-EPICENTRE with regard to the real needs that should be addressed. Finally, through the use cases realization, KPIs relevant to 5G will be measured, especially those that are pertain to services’ creation time.

5G-EPICENTRE will span for 36 months, to allow enough time for the end-to-end 5G experimentation platform federation, prototyping, lab validation and experimentation. Every technical activity, including optimization algorithms, network orchestration APIs, novel analytics ML and visualization solutions will be addressed in an iterative and incremental approach, as proposed by the SCRUM scientific and techno-logical methodology . In total, 3 technical iterations are envisioned, leading up to the execution of 2 series of experiments targeting the applications described in the Work Packages, one to be launched at the end of the second iteration (with first-party experimenters), and a second one at the final iteration (with third parties involved through a hackathon). Each stage will feed the next so that: i) an initial, intermediate and final version of the integrated platform is delivered at the end of each phase, having completed a full development cycle implemented in each phase; and ii) the necessary steps are followed towards successfully validating the experiments’ KPIs using the 5G-EPICENTRE components.