We are committed to the 5G evolution towards 6G
Every eight to ten years a new mobile network generation is popping up. But the 5th generation of mobile communications is quite different from the previous generations and a lot of promises and expectations are related to it. For the first time, this is a pure software-based network that, per definition, could be changed and evolved. So we are convinced that 6G will mainly be an evolution of 5G but with disruption originating from the inclusion of terahertz communications.
6G is also associated with new business and operation models, green ICT considerations, more agile network deployments and run-time optimizations based on machine learning and artificial intelligence, closer RAN-Core integration due to end-to-end virtualization, non-terrestrial network integration, as well as terahertz communication paving the way for new potentialities in the context of sensing and data capacities as a new 6G RAN technology.
Campus networks are driving 5G innovations
We truly believe, that globally emerging 5G enterprise/campus networks are driving the major 5G innovations as many 5G application domains such as manufacturing, health, mining, events, etc. are promoting a localized spectrum usage in higher frequencies and allow for a much faster and customized deployment of innovative secure and resilient end-to-end network infrastructures with highly flexible operation models. This is the motivation for our continued R&D in the Open5GCore and 5G Playground.
CampusOS: ecosystem for open 5G campus networks
Fraunhofer FOKUS is coordinating the project CampusOS together with Fraunhofer HHI, while funding is provided by the German Ministry for Economical Affairs and Climate Protection with 18 million euros. CampusOS started in January 2022 for a duration of three years and 4 academic and 18 industry partners, covering equipment and software providers, integrators and application providers, aim to develop an ecosystem for emerging open campus networks. Current Open RAN discussions can be regarded as drivers towards open, multi-vendor campus networks. This should be enabled by the development of suitable reference architectures, functional component catalogues, end to end deployment and operation blueprints, as well as open reference test sites, where the FOKUS 5G playground is representing one of these test sites. A major target of this project is to extend the Open5GCore to “OpenRAN-Readiness”.
6G SENTINEL: Fraunhofer lighthouse project
Fraunhofer FOKUS is part of the 6G SENTINEL lighthouse project, a lead project of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft started in 2021, to develop key technologies for the upcoming 6G mobile communications standard. A first white paper published end of 2021 provides the first results and a major target of this project is to extend the Open5GCore to “6G-Readiness”.
6G Hubs for Germany
Since August 2021, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the establishment of four hubs for research into the future technology 6G with up to 250 million euros. Fraunhofer FOKUS is actively contributing to two of them over the next four years: the "6G Research and Innovation Cluster" (6G-RIC) and the Open6GHub. A major target of these projects is to develop a new “Organic 6G Core”, enabling from 2026 onwards the early prototyping of emerging 3GPP 6G standards.
Please watch out for the Open5GCore roadmap and look for our future releases aiming to enable, from the beginning of 2022, applied “becoming 6G-ready” research.
Stay tuned and, in the meantime, check out our testbeds, toolkits, and further activities at: