WIVE project uses 5G to increase the business value of automated transport, smart grids, massive machine connectivity and media delivery

18 September, 2017

Helsinki, Finland – An industry group led by Nokia Bell Labs and including several academics in Finland has established a collaboration project called WIVE (WIreless for VErticals) to make it possible for new types of industries to gain competitive advantage from the latest wireless technologies, especially 5G. The project, co-funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), involves several industry, research institute and academic partners such as Nokia, Teleste, Telia, ABB, Cargotec Kalmar, Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Digita, regulator FICORA, key Finnish universities as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Over the next 10 years, tens of billions of connected devices are expected to converge into intelligent and programmable systems that will improve lives in a vast number of areas. Transportation and resource consumption, learning and work, and treatment of health and wellness will all be affected by this change, which will bring massive opportunities for these industries but also new capacity requirements for networks.

The WIVE project, which is planned to run for 2 years, will focus on the needs of the following vertical sectors.

  • Media and entertainment (M&E)
  • Machine-type connectivity for application areas, including:
  • Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), serving sectors like smart grids and remotely controlled machines
  • Massive Machine Type Connectivity (mMTC), allowing a high number of devices to be connected with limited cost and energy  consumption.

WIVE aims to develop concepts and enable technologies, as well as to test and experiment new vertical services offered by 5G, especially for URLLC, mMTC, and media content delivery. These new communication services have versatile requirements for reliability, latency, data rates, security and availability. The WIVE project aims to demonstrate that these requirements can be fulfilled with future 5G networks with improved flexibility and cost-efficiency.

The WIVE project implements vertical service pilots based on industry driven use cases on the top of 5GTNF testbeds (e.g. TAKE-5 and 5GTN+), and tests new vertical services and applications in a realistic testing environment (out of the laboratory) to discover possible technical and business opportunities and constraints associated with new technologies to speed up the roll out of new 5G vertical services.

Spectrum is one of the key enablers for the exploitation of the full innovation potential of 5G. Therefore, WIVE is taking an active role in investigating and promoting flexible spectrum policies and spectrum management schemes to unlock new spectrum assets for 5G.

A vital part of WIVE is also the focus on users and identifying business opportunities for different verticals. 5G enables innovative service concepts and business cases across industries, as devices and

machines are increasingly connected, paving the way for new business models and markets to emerge in the connected world. WIVE takes content consumption patterns and routines among end-users into account when exploring new business opportunities and scenarios for 5G.

FICORA (The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority) actively supports 5G experimentation by flexibly and rapidly issuing radio licenses and telecommunications network numbers for testing innovative radio technologies and systems. FICORA has already issued radio licenses for WIVE and other Tekes co-funded projects.

As a public service media company Yle is continuously researching and gathering experience on how new ways of publishing and distribution affect consumers’ media habits. Media consumption is shifting more and more mobile and distribution moves from traditional broadcasting to IP based wireless networks. For Yle it’s important to understand how to provide users the public service features and benefits with multicast technology. With WIVE Yle has an opportunity to research and experiment on the technical capabilities and trustworthy of the new ways of distribution. Yle complements the WIVE project with strong knowhow on media field and the source information on technical and functional requirements for video and audio distribution.

“Industry collaboration is essential in fostering innovation around 5G, and for enabling different industries to take full advantage of the faster connections that 5G promises. Nokia Bell Labs has a strong focus on ultra reliable, low latency communications targeting new wireless communication systems for verticals, and the WIVE project provides us with greater insight into the requirements and opportunities for experimentation to test our solutions,” said the industrial coordinator of the project, Mikko Uusitalo, head of wireless advanced technologies research at Nokia.

“Deep understanding of the needs of different verticals and the variety of 5G user contexts is in the core of our business. We are looking at evolving media consumption patterns and developing revolutionary spectator experiences, for example at Telia 5G Arena in Helsinki and as part of our agreement for Finnish Ice Hockey League media rights. Machine-type connectivity and ultra-reliable communications are just as crucial for building smarter traffic, manufacturing solutions and other digitalization initiatives, which are topical for our B2B customers,” said Janne Koistinen, director of Telia 5G program in Finland.

“The number of connected devices in the Internet of Everything era will pose new challenges to future networks from interoperability, scalability and reliability perspectives. WIVE has a lot to contribute here as part of, and in collaboration with, the 5G Test Network Finland – on top of the media business transformation activities bridging the work from preceding research activities in the FUHF (Future of UHF) project,” said program manager Mika Klemettinen from Tekes.

“A substantially higher level of automation, together with reliable, low-latency communication between nodes in a power distribution grid, are prerequisites to improving the reliability of supply and integrating a large amount of distributed, renewable and intermittent generation. The development of energy policies, legislation and regulation all drive smarter and greener grids, and the transition will be facilitated by new technologies, such as 5G,” said Dick Kronman, manager of ABB’s Grid Automation Solutions business.

“We will adapt our most advanced smart grid applications to a 5G test network as a benchmark. Collaboration within the consortium and practical tests will give us a comprehensive understanding of the Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) capabilities of 5G and new business opportunities,” said Petri Hovila, program manager at ABB’s Medium Voltage Products unit in Finland.

“Requiring high capacity and low latency, video surveillance and versatile multimedia applications are pushing current wireless networks into their limits. WIVE offers an excellent opportunity to investigate how 5G can overcome these challenges”, says Jani Väre, Director, R&D at Teleste.

The fast paced technology development in the fields of Massive Machine Type Connectivity (mMTC), Internet of Things (IoT) and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) is promoting the growth of ecosystems of companies utilizing these technologies, and is enabling the emergence of whole new business concepts. Collaboration projects like WIVE are crucial in driving this development, comments Ari Kuukka from Digita.

“2G/3G/4G have been breakthroughs in global mobile communications. 5G is less technology driven focusing on more users’ and applications’ needs generated by humans and machines. WIVE offers an opportunity to experiment not only communication technologies in 5G, but also applicability of different vertical services built on the 5G testbed ranging from Media and entertainment (M&E) to Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and massive Machine Type communications“, highlights Seppo Horsmanheimo principal scientist from VTT.

“AALTO contributes to WIVE with 5G test network in Otaniemi using the core network created at Aalto. This is linked to the University of Helsinki’s Kumpula campus, Tampere and Oulu, which means that companies and other projects all over Finland can participate in contributing and testing the first snapshot of 5G”, explain Professor Raimo Kantola and Research Manager Jose Costa-Requena.

Tampere University of Technology (TUT) contributes to the WIVE project through developing flexible and programmable physical layer communication solutions and processing algorithms for efficient multiplexing of different types of services in 5G New Radio (NR) networks. “An additional potential added value that 5G NR networks can provide, compared to existing mobile networks, is very high-accuracy terminal positioning – both indoors and outdoors”, explains Prof. Mikko Valkama from TUT.

“In mMTC era, the number of internet connected devices increases drastically. This certainly not only challenges the capacity of communication networks, but also increases the amount and type of information available in the Internet as well as the number of very light weight devices, making it difficult to provide satisfactory security. This potentially compromises very strongly societal, system and everybody’s personal information security. WIVE project provides a basis for security enabling technologies that ultimately offers the required protection.”, says Prof. Jouni Isoaho from University of Turku.

Identifying and creating business opportunities and markets enabled by 5G are important in the WIVE project. Åbo Akademi University and particularly the School of Business & Economics supports the project partners with input on media consumption, future trends and business aspects. “Since the technology is still in development, there are many opportunities yet to discover and explore in the 5G context. Different scenarios and alternatives are possible for actors in diverse field. In fact, a firm may find itself active in completely new business areas in the future, due to the introduction of 5G and subsequent advancements in the area of mMTC. Now is the time to consider which business opportunities 5G will enable.”, concludes senior lecturer and project researcher Anna-Greta Nyström from Åbo Akademi University.

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