FUDGE-5G: FUlly DisinteGrated private nEtworks for 5G verticals

FUlly DisinteGrated private nEtworks for 5G verticals, a.k.a. FUDGE-5G was one of EU's H2020 funded program that came to a conclusion in March 2023. The European 5G Annual Journal 2023 has a short summary of the project, part of which has been reproduced below.

The main objective of FUDGE-5G is to devise, assess and demonstrate a conceptually novel and forward-looking cloud native, unified and secured service-based 5G architecture, solutions and systems for Non-Public Networks.

FUDGE-5G will allow for extreme interoperability and customisation for verticals among wired and wireless access infrastructure, eSBA (enhanced Service-Based Architecture platform), and systems for Non-Public Networks.

FUDGE-5G will allow for extreme interoperability and customisation for verticals among wired and wireless access infrastructure, eSBA platform, multi-vendor mobile 5GC, service orchestration and vertical applications.

Five vertical use cases will be used for validating the FUDGE-5G technology solutions. Each use case is associated with a vertical stakeholder, which will be involved both in the use case definition and in the field trials.

Five vertical use cases were used for validating, in the field, the FUDGE-5G technology solutions in the 5G-VINNI test-bed operated by Telenor. Each use case was associated with a vertical stakeholder, who was involved both in the use case definition and in the field trials.

Use Case 1 – Remote Media Production

The Remote Media Production trial relies on collecting loss-less or almost loss-less video content from several cameras and delivering it reliably to a remote professional content production studio.

The main goal is to ensure a stable end-to-end wireless connection in an outdoor environment between the cameras, the 5G SA on the Network on Wheels (NoW), and the backhaul link to the public cloud.

The equipment used inside the Network-on-Wheels is composed of: ATH exBox, Huawei RAN, AviWest PRO4, VideoXLink, and several professional cameras. These cameras are attached to a 5G-NPN (Non-Public Network), capture the source content, and radiate it using 5G New Radio while being spread around the area of the trial.

Then, the synchronised video flows are sent by the 5G Modems and arrive to the 5G SA core on the Network on-Wheels, that features a backhaul connection (depending on the trial site, 100 to 200 Mbps connections have been used) to NRK Central Offices and a Private Cloud.

The trial was conducted in 4 different areas of Norway, both for outdoor experiments of the setups and the actual coverage of the events themselves, including a ski event, a marathon, and other sports events; even airing live in a national broadcast the content captured over 5G. The outcomes of the trial reflect a strong performance of the 5G retransmission coverage, with 70 Mbps upstream and 280 ms latency, including encoding and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) retransmission. The maximum distance covered was about 3 km due to urban scenery, but it is possible to reach a larger distance when elevating CPEs and using multiple gNBs. It would be possible to improve to optimize these KPIs by fine-tuning the radio parameters and using customised frame structures that favour the uplink part of the use case.

Use Case 2 – PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief)

The main trial objective was to showcase the potential and the ability of a standalone private 5G network to allow broad band capabilities to first respondents and special forces.

The trial validated the integration of 5G Stand Alone (SA) components along with the use of PPDR specific vertical applications (OneSource Mobitrust situational awareness platform and video distribution app) within the Network on Wheels (NoW). Thus, the trial demonstrated the quick and urgently setting up of secured autonomous 5G bubble with all the services capabilities within the area along with showcasing the capability of multiple video streams from HD cameras, carried by dismounted operators or the drones, towards a video server hosted at the NoW. The trial also logged the downlink and uplink throughput of 433 Mbps and 130 Mbps respectively for the 40 MHz bandwidth along with multiple live HD streams to different locations.

Similarly, in a second trial along with repeating the aspects of first trial we also showcased the Nemergent MCX PTT application in collaboration with Affordable 5G. The team was equipped with mobile phones with Nemergent PTT client installed. The PTT system was configured with three user groups, each with different members and affiliations. Group A consisted of the Search and Rescue mission team, including representatives from the Politi, NLA, and NDMA. The first respondents were able to communicate effectively with each other through video, text, and voice.

The trials were great success and highlighted the effectiveness of the nomadic 5G standalone network and Nemergent PTT application in supporting critical communications during emergency operations, especially when traditional communication systems are unavailable.

Use Case 3 – 5G Virtual Office

The trial took place at Oslo University Hospital (Rikshospitalet), Norway and two different scenarios were tested. The first scenario used the NPN deployment to enable remote monitoring of ward patients using a set of bio sensors, allowing smart processing and analysis to trigger alarms in case abnormal values were detected, as well as doctor to patient remote and live interaction. The second scenario aimed to validate reliable and quality monitoring when patients are transported within the hospital premises, in contrast to what

is currently achieved in such scenarios. During the trial, a number of KPIs were collected in order to validate both the network and the Virtual Office vertical application (Mobitrust). These can be divided into validation of: message transmission, video streaming and 5G components.

  • To determine the message transmission delay, two different sets of values were collected. The first set consisted in the Round Trip Time (RTT) of messages with minimum payload, registering 34 ms on average, with values as low as 5.7 ms. The second set included the time to collect data from the bio sensors and adding them to the payload, registering 49 ms on average with a minimum of 7.1 ms.
  • For video streaming validation, the most relevant indicator was the video delay when viewing HD streams. This includes video capture time, encoding, transmission over 5G, and distribution to watchers from a microservice in the Mobitrust platform. It averaged 350 ms, with the lowest values below 300 ms and highest values slightly above 400 ms.
  • The validation of the 5G components was performed by monitoring the radio signal quality, with an average Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP) of -60 dBm and Reference Signal Received Quality (RSRQ) of -10 dB. Moreover, data rates were also collected with the following median values: 888.1 Mbps of Download (DL) and 65.4 Mbps of Upload (UL).

Use Case 4 – Industry 4.0

Another important research topic in FUDGE-5G is the deployment of a 5G private network in an industrial scenario. This includes the 5G integration, validation, and demonstration through different application use cases, happening in the industrial lab from ABB, located in Fornebu, Norway. The integrated components are a 5G core from Cumucore, 5G radio infrastructure from Nokia and 5G devices from Fivecomm. Different test applications are also being onboarded in the end-to-end architecture.

So far, the validation of the 5G components has been made by means of network KPIs. The evaluation included 5G RTT latency values (between two 5G devices) of 40.3 ms on average; oneway 5G latency (device to 5G core) of 17.7 ms; throughput values up to 950 and 44 Mbit/s in the DL and UL using UDP; and radio signal quality, with an average RSRP of -72 dBm, RSRQ of -11 dB and Signal to Interference & Noise Ratio (SINR) of 27 dB.

During the coming weeks, the different testcases including the application will be executed. The trials will consist of four test-cases, i.e., remote monitoring as a service, remote control as a service, 5G adaptability in industrial environments, and process control.

Use Case 5 – Interconnected NPNs

In the Interconnected NPNs use case, small-sized 5G private networks are deployed and interconnected to provide a coherent, secure, and reliable communication environment. The main innovation of this use case is to have a distributed authentication framework in 5G for roaming devices. Two scenarios for roaming are showcased for visited subscribers: local breakout where authentication is performed in the home network and data traffic is offloaded from the visited network to the data network; home-routed roaming where, along with authentication, data traffic is offloaded via the home network. Fraunhofer FOKUS Open5GCore testbed was used for this use case.

To accomplish the use case, one new component Session Border Controller (SBC) was developed, as a 5G control plane function, by Fraunhofer FOKUS to route secured messages between the private networks deployed in Berlin, Valencia and Oslo. In order to validate the functionalities first phase of the trial was performed between Berlin and Valencia. At Valencia, ZTE modems were connected with the Amarisoft cell to perform the test. A local breakout scenario was executed and corresponding KPIs were collected from the 5G core network. As the authentication of the visited subscribers is handled by the home network, the duration of the registration procedure was measured for the visited subscribers and compared against the duration for the local subscriber to the visited network. Based on the results it can be concluded that SBC added around 3-8 ms overhead in the procedure and the duration is dependent on the best-effort network between the two locations.

For the second phase of the trial, the homerouted roaming scenario was tested between Valencia and Berlin. The session establishment duration for the visited subscriber which is handled by both the visited network and home network was compared with the local breakout scenario where the session is created only by the visited network. For the home-routed scenario, the PDU session creation procedure took around 3-4 ms more than the local breakout scenario. For the data path, iperf tests were performed, the throughput was less than the local breakout scenario as for home-routed roaming the data path capacity depends on the backhaul. In the second phase also the third location Oslo was connected and roaming functionalities were tested between the three locations.

Vertical use cases addressed in 5G PPP 

eHealth and wellness, Industry 4.0, Media and Entertainment, Smart cities and utilities

You can check out the deliverables from the project here.