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Mobile data traffic is forecasted to increase 11-fold between 2013 and 2018. 5G networks serving this mobile data tsunami will require fronthaul and backhaul solutions between the RAN and the packet core capable of dealing with this increased traffic load while fulfilling new stringent 5G service requirements in a cost-efficient manner.

The Internet has evolved into a three layer structure: at the top layer sit the applications generating traffic that is groomed at the IP and/or OTN layers and finally transported at the optical layer. Specific application needs, such as latency or protection requirements, are seldom guaranteed, because they are usually implicit and even when they are not, the need of the grooming layer to map large numbers of small flows into the small numbers of very large and static lightpaths is an obstacle to effective service fulfillment.

ASTERIX project will address the relevant problem of sharing the spectrum resources utilizing spectrum-trading mechanisms as enablers for heterogeneous small cells deployment in the context of a multi-operator environment, mainly applied to emerging markets.

By 2020 nearly six billion wireless devices in Europe, around a quarter of the global total, will be connected and served by different types of mobile networks delivering a variety of applications and services. In order to meet the expected exponential traffic and usage growth, mobile networks are evolving towards 5G, which becomes heterogeneous and highly complex.

The main objective of this project is the technological transfer of the research outcomes obtained out of a fruitful collaboration with one of the major network devices manufacturer worldwide. The project is about the introduction of novel functionalities at control plane level into the vendor optical nodes.

EmPOWER is a Software-Defined Radio Access Network (SD-RAN) Platform based on open-source software and running on off-the-shelf hardware components. High-level programming abstractions allow new features and services to be deployed as "Network Apps" while a sand-boxed environment provides security and isolation between concurrent experiments. The platform currently supports both WiFi and LTE.

Broadband access on-board aircraft is today mostly not available, and when it is available; it is through costly and highly capacity-limited Wi-Fi through satellite connections, and without any seamless relation or connection to the mobile broadband networks consumers normally connect to on the ground.

INSPACE proposes a novel networking approach by extending the established spectral flexibility concepts to the SDM (Space Domain Multiplexing) domain and significantly simplifying the super‐channel allocation and control mechanisms, by removing current limitations related with the wavelength continuity and fragmentation issues. The new concept utilises the benefits of the high capacity, next generation, few‐mode/multi‐core fiber infrastructures, providing also a practical short term solution, since it is directly applicable over the currently installed multi‐fibre cable links.

The SESAME project targets innovations around three central elements in 5G: the placement of network intelligence and applications in the network edge through Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) and Edge Cloud Computing; the substantial evolution of the Small Cell concept, already mainstream in 4G but expected to deliver its full potential in the challenging high dense 5G scenarios; and the consolidation of multi-tenancy in communications infrastructures, allowing several operators/service providers to engag

VITAL (VIrtualized hybrid satellite-TerrestriAl systems for resilient and fLexible future networks) is an ambitious project addressing the combination of Terrestrial and Satellite networks by pursuing two key innovation areas, by bringing Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) into the satellite domain and by enabling Software-Defined-Networking (SDN)-based, federated resources management in hybrid SatCom-terrestrial networks.