Alcatel-Lucent is spearheading a new multi-vendor and operator project to develop a sub-6GHz air interface for 5G networks.
The two-year 'Flexible Air Interface for Scalable Service Delivery Within Wireless Communication Networks of the 5th Generation' (FANTASTIC-5G) project aims to establish an interface that operates in a spectrum below 6GHz that can be used to deliver a variety of data services, whilst also boosting network capacity and energy efficiency.
Alcatel-Lucent said networks would need to become more flexible than previous generations in order to deal with the influx of new demands stemming from IoT and sensor-related traffic. This means a new interface is required that is both scalable and versatile enough to support a growing number of device types, the vendor said.
The initiative is being led by A-L's Bell Labs unit and also counts Orange, Telecom Italia, Huawei, Intel and Nokia among its members. A number of European universities and research institutes are also taking part in the project, which has received €8 million in funding from the European Commission under the EU's "Horizon 2020" initiative.
"FANTASTIC-5G is of key importance, as the multi-service air interface concepts being developed in the project will be evaluated and validated by the partners," said Bell Labs' Frank Schaich. "This helps to build up consensus and to facilitate the standardisation process of 5G."