5G-FORCE proves a common open research platform for exploring and for verifying the new 5G technology and for developing new algorithms and vertical applications.
Financed by: Business Finland
Project Manager: Marjo Heikkilä
5G-FORCE proves a common open research platform for exploring and for verifying the new 5G technology and for developing new algorithms and vertical applications. 5G-FORCE will embrace the major future mobile core network technologies and will enable the end-to-end testing of those technologies and services.
5G-FORCE brings together multidisciplinary competences on radio, networking, computer science, IT, cloud technologies and new IoT services to cooperate and bear on the opportunities that make use the new technology. 5G-FORCE provides the required platform ecosystem for the industry to be able to maintain its competitive advantage.
5G-FORCE goal is to fill the gap between laboratory-based 5G testing environments and commercial network deployments, by offering trialing support, tailored infrastructure configurations for telecom and vertical industries and scientific community, and strengthening Finnish ecosystem position in B5G R&D and utilization of 5G, AI and wireless mesh networks.
5G-FORCE integrates different wireless vertical networks used for different use cases, such as building automation, lightning control, and asset or personal tracking as part of overall 5G test network provides new innovative playground for developing future 5G services and solutions as well as provides research platform how to integrate different communication and networking systems to overall future networks.
Centria’s test network environment offers a real platform developed over time using commercial base stations and network management systems. Centria provides a state-of-the-art expertise and test platform for research, trials and demonstrations for all partners. Test network environment is located in Ylivieska town in Bothnia area, Finland.
Test network environment has evolved according to the demands of each trial. In previous projects Centria’s test network environment and knowledge has been utilized in multiple research topics. Several research, proof-of-concept trials and public demonstrations has been carried out in Centria’s test network environment. The field test environment is a heterogeneous network build with commercial hardware and software components. The test network environment consists of several base stations and sites and is well connected nationwide in Finland with other test environments enabling versatile end-to-end testing in large-scale test environment.
Centria has world-class knowledge and practical skills for testing and configuring, as well as maintaining and building mobile network. Centria’s test network environment acts as a verification platform for LTE and 5G research. The focus is on developing new types of testing methods, applications and research from the communication technologies point of view for verticals such as testing technology, drone communication, critical communication, industry, agricultural technologies, robotics and automation.
Current test network offers abilities for following technologies:
- TDD-LTE operating at band 40 and 42 for both outdoor and indoor coverage.
- Band 40 (2300 MHz) has 40MHz channel and covers both Centria indoor, campus area and Ylivieska city centre and vicinity. Band 40 constitutes of three sites two higher towers, campus indoor, and rooftop mast hosting pico cells, small cells and macro cells and one massive MIMO system (11 eNB’s in all).
- Band 42 (3500 MHz) has 60 MHz channel and covers both Centria Campus indoor and Campus outdoor coverage. Band 42 constitutes mainly indoor small cells and macro cell (3 eNB’s).
The ongoing global 5G and 6G research and standardization progress are followed closely and therefore upcoming 5G updates include:
- Utilization of band n78 with 60 MHz channel outdoor test network close to Centria Campus for example for outdoor to indoor penetration path loss measuring to mention one case.
- Implementation plan of first 5G Non-Standalone during 2019 and later 5G Standalone during 2020.
Previous research, proof-of-concept trials and public demonstrations include 3D antenna radiation pattern measurements  , detecting RF interference source , Massive MIMO and beamforming trial , Smart traffic , Active Antenna System (AAS)   , Licensed Shared Access   and Shared Access Spectrum   demonstrations. The test network environment is continuously developed for the needs of future mobile networks and communication. In previous research projects, Centria has been developing e.g. new intelligent 3D measurement methods for mobile networks by using unmanned aircrafts and developing 3D map importer tool to combine network measurements to create a new way to propagate network planning, optimization and simulation.
”IMAGE 5G Trial 1 – 3D antenna radiation pattern measurements”, in YouTube, 2017. [Online].
M. Heikkilä, M. Koskela, T. Kippola, M. Kocak, J. Erkkilä and J.Tervonen, ”Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Mobile Network Verifications”, in 2018 IEEE 29th Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), 2018.
”IMAGE 5G Trial 2 – Detecting RF interference source using UAS”, in YouTube, 2018. [Online].
”IMAGE 5G Trial 3 – Massive MIMO and beamforming trial”, in YouTube, 2018. [Online].
M. Valta, M. Jutila and J. Jämsä, ”IEEE 802.11p and LTE as Enablers of Cognitive Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communication”, in IEEE Conference on Cognitive Infocommunications (CogInfoCom’15), 2015.
M. Heikkilä, T. Kippola, J. Jämsä, A. Nykänen and J. Keskimaula, ”Active Antenna System for Cognitive Network Enhancement”, in 5th IEEE Conference on Cognitive Infocommunication, 2014.
M. Heikkilä, T. Kippola, P. Kärsämä, A. Nykänen, P. Tuuttila and M. Matinmikko, ”Active antenna system (AAS) capabilities for 5G systems: A field study of performance”, in 1st International Conference on 5G for Ubiquitous Connectivity, 2014.
M. Heikkilä, J. Erkkilä, J. Tervonen, M. Koskela, J. Heikkilä, T. Kupiainen, T. Kippola, A. Nykänen, R. Saukkonen and M. Migliore, ”Field Measurement for Antenna Configuration Comparison in Challenging NLOS Locations”, in IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, 2018.
M. Palola, T. Rautio, M. Matinmikko, J. Prokkola, M. Mustonen, M. Heikkilä, T. Kippola, S. Yrjölä, V. Hartikainen, L. Tudose, A. Kivinen, J. Paavola, J. Okkonen, M. Mäkeläinen, T. Hänninen and H. Kokkinen, ”Licensed Shared Access (LSA) trial demonstration using real LTE network”, in Cognitive Radio Oriented Wireless Networks and Communications (CROWNCOM), 2014.
M. Palola, M. Matinmikko, J. Prokkola, M. Mustonen, M. Heikkilä, T. Kippola, S. Yrjölä, V. Hartikainen, L. Tudose, A. Kivinen, J. Paavola and K. Heiska, ”Live field trial of Licensed Shared Access (LSA) concept using LTE network in 2.3 GHz band”, in IEEE DySPAN, 2014.
”Live End-to-End Ecosystem Trial of New Spectrum Sharing Concepts: European Licensed Shared Access (LSA) Evolution towards US Spectrum Access System,” in CLOBECOM, 2015.
M. Palola, V. Hartikainen, M. Mäkeläinen, T. Kippola, P. Aho, K. Lähetkangas, L. Tudose, A. Kivinen, S. Joshi and J. Hallio, ”The first end-to-end live trial of CBRS with carrier aggregation using 3.5 GHz LTE equipment”, in 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN), 2017.