Could future mobile networks be programmed to automatically predict and adapt to huge peaks in traffic demand? The EU-funded ACT5G project is developing the concept as a key component of next generation mobile networks.
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ACT5G’s approach to handling fluctuating demand aims to ensure customers get the best service possible all the time.
Mobile data use continues to grow rapidly and is expected to outgrow the capacity of current networks. To cope with the expected demand, researchers have been developing the technologies for the next generation mobile network, known as ‘5G’.
ACT5G is designing a solution to network management that automatically predicts and adapts to upcoming events over time. The project team believes that a 5G network that anticipates traffic would dramatically improve the quality and efficiency of data transmission in comparison to existing systems. They see two advantages to such a system:
- resources such as spectrum, power and network interfaces would be managed to meet users’ requirements more efficiently;
- network operators would be able to plan how to share infrastructure and resources to meet demand for lower costs and better energy efficiency.
By the time the project ends in May 2019, ACT5G plans to have produced models, methods, concepts and algorithms that future networks could use to anticipate and react to peaks in demand.
The project is also providing training to four early stage PhD researchers. They will spend half of their time at the site of Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs in Stuttgart, Germany, providing them with core industrial experience in the field.