Since the completion of the testbed KCL has demonstrated several 5G use cases in live events with demos including cloud robotics, VR streaming, live audio/video streaming, haptic applications, and synchronised reality in partnership with industry partners. Among the highlights of the testbed’s capabilities was the synchronised music performance over 5G between London’s Guildhall and Berlin’s Brandenburger Tor where the musicians in each location performed together.
Since then KCL has partnered with Edinburgh University and developed a distributed core 4G solution with orchestration of a VPN link between the two universities. The solution allows orchestrator’s at either university to control each other’s cloud infrastructure and create a single cross-domain slice over the VPN link. This allowed us to run 4G eNBs at either campus that use the distributed core in a wide range of configurations such as running MME and HSS remotely but keeping the PGW locally or completely offloading all the core functions to the remote location depending on quality of service requirements and the compute resources available.
KCL is also partnering with Middlesex University on a VANET use case using the 5G infrastructure and is currently in the process of submitting a proposal for the installation of VANET antennas over a path connecting Middlesex Hendon campus to KCL Strand campus. The goal is to be able to drive a smart vehicle from north London to the city while recording all the telemetry data over the VANET network and aggregating that data on a dedicated network slice at KCL’s 5G testbed and making it available for analysis over a standardised API. In the long term, the system will be able to aggregate data from different sensors and present it to partners in a standardised format regardless of the sensor type or vendor API.
Several other projects are currently in progress involving alternative orchestration solutions and edge applications as well as SD-WAN and CC-VPN technologies between KCL and industry partners. We recently upgraded our infrastructure to support 40GbE to allow for testing of future high-bandwidth application and more concurrent users. In combination with our NFV-optimised low-latency Openstack deployment, we are aiming to provide a testbed environment that offers the best of 5G technology for our partners and keep demonstrating real use-cases for the future.
Author: Mr Frank Sardis, Research Associate at King's College London
5GUK Test Network
Working together to trial 5G networks and technology
In July 2017, the Government awarded £16 million to three leading 5G research institutions in the UK - the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey, the University of Bristol and King’s College London - to collaborate together and form a cutting-edge, large-scale, 5G test network to trial 5G technologies and applications across a range of sectors.