5GNOW becomes 5G then as work goes into FANTASTIC future

5GNOW, part of the EU-funded Horizon2020 project, has wound up its work programme and will submit its findings to the 3GPP’s 5G meeting in September. Work will also go forward into the the FANTASTIC-5G project, which seeks to define a broader 5G ecosystem and commercialise technologies.

5GNOW was set up, under technical leadership from Bell Labs but with several other partners, to investigate an alternative air interface for 5G. Its full title was Non-Orthogonal Waveforms for Asynchronous Signalling. As that title indicates the idea was to research and identify a waveform different from LTE’s OFDM – someting that would be able to support new latencies and densities for the IoT, as well as mobile broadband use cases. That meant developing new PHY and MAC layer requirements, and models for the design of a 5G radio access architecture based on non-orthogonal modulation.

The project looked at and recommended waveform approaches such as GFDM for low latency transmissions and FBMC to allow multi-user uplink on fragmented spectrum and downlink CoMP, as well as UFMC for uplink CoMP. It also looked at integrating these within a unified frame structure that could support multi-services within a single air interface. You can read much more about that work here.

With the project now closed, its findings and recommendations will be fed forward into the FANTASTIC-5G project for further evaluation by that project’s partners. FANTASTIC-5G (flexible air interface for scalable service delivery within wireless communication networks of the 5th Generation) held its kick-off meeting in July 2015, and will run for the next two years.