5G-Xcast is the first 5G PPP project to focus on the holistic implementation of point-to-multipoint communication as a critical technology element in 5G systems in addition and as a complement to unicast.
5G-Xcast will devise, assess and demonstrate a conceptually novel and forward-looking 5G network architecture for large scale immersive media delivery. The project objectives are to:
- Develop broadcast and multi cast point to multi point (PTM) capabilities for 5G considering Media and Entertainment (M&E), automotive, IoT and Public Warning (PW) use cases, and evaluate 5G spectrum allocation options for 5G Broadcast network deployments.
- Design a dynamically adaptable 5G network architecture with layer independent network interfaces to dynamically and seamlessly switch between unicast, multicast and broadcast modes or use them in parallel and exploit built-in caching capabilities.
- Experimentally demonstrate the 5G key innovations developed in the project for the M&E and PW verticals.
5G-Xcast technologies will be also fundamental to progress towards the vision of a converged 5G infrastructure for fixed and mobile accesses, including terrestrial broadcast, to audio-visual media content. The project will take a holistic approach to harmonize the media delivery among the three considered types of networks and to provide an optimised and seamless media user experience. In order to highlight practical applications, three demonstrations of use cases will be developed: “Hybrid Broadcast Services”, “Object-based Broadcast Service” and “Public Warning Messages”.
Within the project, IRT aims to demonstrate the mixed delivery of broadcast and unicast content both at home and on-the-move, even via different networks simultaneously. For this purpose, 5G-Xcast will utilise the urban city test-bed of the German IMB5 (Integration of Mobile Broadband and Broadcast in LTE/5G) project, integrated by IRT and Nokia, among others. The IMB5 project validated the current eMBMS capabilities in 4G LTE through two pilot experiments in urban and rural environments.
The test-bed consists of centralized base station equipment with four remote sites for radio heads and antennas, which are interconnected by fibre optics. The four sites are currently operated in the LTE 700 MHz band.