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F-EXTENSION in Imagine-B5G Open Call #1.

F-EXTENSION, is a Platform Extension for the IMAGINE-B5G French test-facility from the partners Allbesmart LDA and CMSF-Sistemas de Informação LDA. It is one of 15 projects that were selected for the first Open Call of Imagine-B5G.

In IMAGINE-B5G, the French facility offers a completely open-source implementation of 5G services, based on OpenAirInterface (OAI). The proposed F-EXTENSION aims to go beyond the state-of-the-art 3GPP Rel-16 features already deployed in the current experimental platform. We outline the three components we intend to develop, test, and incorporate into the French Platform: Extension 1) Implement a 3GPP-compliant Two-step RACH feature to support Short Data Transmission (SDT); Extension 2) To propose and implement algorithms to enable Joint Communication and Sensing (JCAS) using OAI and Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS); Extension 3) To develop an OEM for OAI 5G CN that allows deploying, configuring, and terminating CN instances via a graphical web interface. This extension, in particular, will also allow the visualisation of different events exposed by the CN.

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

  • At the Societal level this project aims at two impacts. The first impact is on EU 5G/6G sovereignty, recognising the risks associated with the current concentration of 5G/6G network vendors. This project will attempt to stimulate a radical restructuring of the 5G/6G supply chain, where open source plays a significant role. Second impact is to shorten the 5G (and beyond) skills gap, by providing practical, hands-on learning experiences and facilitating direct engagement with cutting-edge 5G network technologies such as JCAS and 5G FR2.
  • At the Technical level:
    • Extension 1 will extend the RACH implementation in OAI code base to support the two types of 3GPP Random Access Procedures: 4-step RACH and 2-step RACH. The Two-step RACH feature is useful in scenarios where there are many IoT devices with sporadic and short data transmission needs, such as smart cities, industrial automation, agriculture, or environmental monitoring.
    • Extension 2 will enhance the OAImmWave platform with visual sensing for JCAS experimental research on emerging 6G use cases. The potential for innovation in the combined research area of wireless communications and computer vision is vast. Some examples include integrating vision, beam-forming and RIS for coverage extension, high precision 3D positioning, vision-aided mmWave channel estimation, and advanced beam scheduler algorithms that take advantage of visual sensing.
    • Extension 3 will be beneficial for IMAGINE-B5G experimenters by providing a GUI that can: provide a visual representation of the network’s status and performance; allows for real-time monitoring of various 5G CN functions; centralize the monitoring and management of multiple 5G CN elements and services in one place; be configured to generate alarms and alerts based on predefined thresholds or events; be used to adjust settings, per- form diagnostic tests, and make changes to the network.
  • Finally, during the F-EXTENSION project implementation and validation, there will be new features and code fixes on the current OAI RAN and CN implementations. These will be merged into the OAI public repository contributing to the overall OAI community, and associated Vertical actors, even beyond the IMAGINE-B5G project lifetime.

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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