Hot on the heels of the commencement of Hexa-X, the European Union’s (EU’s) programme for research into the next generation of wireless networks, the EU has announced the later part of its Horizon 2020 initiative in the form 5GMediaHUB, which aims to help it become a world leader in 5G in one of the most important use cases for the technology.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, with nearly €80bn of funding available over seven years, in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

5GMediaHUB aims to help the EU achieve its goal by accelerating the testing and validation of innovative 5G-empowered media applications from third-party experimenters and NetApps developers through what it says will be an open, integrated and fully featured experimentation facility.

This will significantly reduce not only the service creation lifecycle, it said, but the time to market barrier, thus providing such actors – that are primarily from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – with a competitive advantage against their rivals outside the EU.

5GMediaHUB features multiple partners from 11 European countries within academic, multimedia, IT and telecommunications sectors. The project will take place over the next three years, with the consortium funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC).

The aim is to provide opportunity to third-party application developers of media services to try, test and validate their media applications by using the 5GMediaHUB experimentation facility to decrease the time needed for an enterprise to make its services available to users.

“In 5GMediaHub, we capitalise on the experience from previous 5G projects in network slicing and orchestration,” added 5GMediaHub project coordinator Christos Verikoukis, from CTTC.

“Existing well-established 5G platforms will be extended during the project to test third-party media services to enable the EU to achieve its goal to become a world leader in 5G.”

The 5GMediaHUB will build two separate testing and validation platforms on the 5G testbeds from CTTC in Spain and from Norwegian operator Telenor, which launched the first 5G service in its home territory. Each 5G services experimentation facility is intended to provide a secure, multi-tenant service execution and network applications development environment.

“We see great potential in collaborating with partners in 5GMediaHUB for the next three years,” said Patrick Waldemar, vice-president of Telenor Research.

“Together, we can explore how to more easily integrate third-party applications in 5G deployments, and assess whether 5G media services, such as virtual and augmented reality, work for innovative media content production and distribution. It’s still early days, but we’re excited to get started.”



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