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5G-Neptune in Imagine-B5G Open Call #1.

5G-NEPTUNE stands for ‘5G-and-beyond Network Extensions towards Public neTwork integrated non-pUblic NEtworks.’ It is a Platform Extensions project for the IMAGINE-B5G Norwegian test-facility, carried out by Hewlett-Packard Italiana S.r.l. (HPE). It is one of 15 projects that were selected for the first Open Call of Imagine-B5G.

5G-NEPTUNE is extending the IMAGINE-B5G Norwegian facility by providing Telenor with a new non-public 5G Core network (5GC) instance for Public Network Integrated Non-Public Network (PNI-NPN) experimentation, and by equipping Network on Wheels 1 (NoW 1) with an upgraded commercial-grade 5GC. The latter will Ie an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), supporting services such as Voice over New Radio (VoNR), Voice over IP (VoIP), and Mission Critical Services (MCX). Further, 5G-NEPTUNE is working on the design of solutions to integrate NoW 1 with Telenor’s Experimentation Platform towards a Public Network Integrated NoW (PNI-NoW). 5G-NEPTUNE includes testing campaigns and an analysis of the obtained results, in collaboration with IMAGINE-B5G’s partners and vertical stakeholders, and with a focus on use case scenarios relevant to them.

We believe that 5G-NEPTUNE will have a direct positive effect on the activities of IMAGINE-B5G and its future open calls. Moreover, it will also foster the long-term exploitability of IMAGINE-B5G’s technology beyond the project itself, both in the framework of further subsidised projects within the Horizon EU framework and in future commercial activities of the involved partners. We also strongly believe that all the component providers or owners that participate in 5G-NEPTUNE (Telenor, vertical experimenters, HPE, etc.) will benefit from 5G-NEPTUNE in an accelerated transfer to market of the investigated PNI-NPN-related solutions. This is due to the advantageous possibility of carrying out within 5G-NEPTUNE the foreseen interoperability tests and performance result measurements in high-TRL trials. 

We also highlight that the solutions delivered by 5G-NEPTUNE are self-contained: at the end of the project, the extended 5G Experimental Platform and the extended NoW 1 will be directly and fully exploitable for further testing in IMAGINE-B5G without the need for an involvement of HPE in such activities (although technical support will be always guaranteed). This holds at least – but not exclusively – for what concerns two use cases already supported by the Norwegian facility: Media (Robust and flexible remote content production) and Smart Agriculture & Forestry (Forestry connectivity and monitoring). In addition, other vertical sectors can be addressed with further use case implementation (PPDR, eHealth). The strengthening of the Norwegian facility, the targeted technical achievements of the project, and the enablement of new use cases have the potential to attract new vertical players towards IMAGINE-B5G and within the smart network and services’ ecosystem, also stimulating a strong European participation in future downstream technology standardisation phases. Overall, 5G-NEPTUNE will bring substantial contributions and benefits towards the fulfilment of IMAGINE-B5G’s targeted impact.

The proposed solution will impact IMAGINE-B5G in different ways: 

  • At the technical level, the impact of 5G-NEPTUNE in terms of design and validation of novel technical solutions and proof of their exploitability and reusability is manifold:
    • The extension of NoW 1 with an IMS will meet the requirements of a more complete set of use case scenarios (e.g., PPDR scenarios endowed with mission-critical applications). Once validated, such a solution will be exploitable as is and replicable with other NoWs.
    • The experimentation with PNI-NPN via the installation of a dedicated non-public 5GC at Telenor’s 5G Experimental Platform will yield a replicable deployment model for NPN slices within public networks, exploitable within IMAGINE-B5G (but not exclusively).
  • The work on the PNI-NoW carried out in the second part of 5G-NEPTUNE’s activities will entail a substantial evolution of the NoW concept and a non-straightforward leap in the state of the art of these specific solutions.
  • Further, at the network and service management level, the HPE 5GC exposes control, configuration, and monitoring APIs. This means that the platform extension implemented by 5G-NEPTUNE enables an external orchestrator to:
    • Modify on demand the 5G network parameters related to UE provisioning, network slice configuration, QoS, etc., so to accommodate for new services and requirements evolving over time.
    • Take actionable decisions and execute network (re-)configurations based on the actual network performance, measured in near real time. Notice that monitoring data exposed by the 5GC can be fed to external intelligent orchestration components. 
  • These features are enablers of optimised network management tools and support automated network operation, administration, and management, towards zero-touch control frameworks.

This project has already started its work in the IMAGINE-B5G first open call. If you want to learn more about this and the other selected projects stay tuned to our website and our social media channels.

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