Advanced 5G Validation Trials across Multiple Vertical Industries

Meng Lu, Dynniq The Netherlands, and Haesik Kim, VTT, Finland

IEEE Future Networks Tech Focus Volume 3, Number 2, September 2019 

Europe has launched in 2019 a research and innovation project on 5G validation trials across multiple vertical industries, targeting the healthcare, aquaculture and transport sectors. Healthcare, aquaculture and transport are important industry sectors in Europe, in terms of jobs, market size and international trade. Moreover, they are also vital from a social perspective, e.g., for better patient treatment, more sustainable food production and safer road transport.

The needs and requirements of vertical industries are the key drivers for the next generation wireless mobile telecommunications technology. There are also huge challenges for the network and connectivity, especially concerning latency, reliability, throughput (peak data rate) and connection density. The 5G validation trials focus on 5G applications in the three vertical industries especially for improving utility, efficient processes, and safety. It defines vital vertical use cases of healthcare, aquaculture and transport respectively by using the fifth generation wireless mobile telecommunications technology. The project investigates architecture and approaches for the validation of the trials of the three vertical industries from both technological and business perspectives. In addition, it explores business opportunities for future 5G applications in healthcare, aquaculture and transport industries, as well as a European 5G vision of "5G empowering vertical industries". It is challenging to get the 5G vision closer to deployment with innovative digital use cases involving cross industry partnerships. It requires technological and business validation of 5G end-to-end connectivity and associated management from two perspectives: i) within the set of specific requirements from one application domain; ii) across all sets of heterogeneous requirements stemming from concurrent uses of network resources by different vertical domains. [1]

The project intends to address how 5G may empower the healthcare, transport and aquaculture industries. These three vertical industries and related connectivity use cases pose diverse technical requirements on (wireless) network connectivity. These focus on validation of eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications) and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications) services. The concept of advanced eMBB, URLLC and mMTC technological solutions for 5G validation across multiple vertical industries is illustrated in Fig. 1.


Figure 1. An ecosystem for 5G validation across multiple vertical industries [1]

In the healthcare area, the research will validate: pillcams for automatic detection in screening of colon cancer; vital-sign patches with advanced geo-localization; and 5G AR/VR paramedic services. Regarding aquaculture, it will focus on 5G-based transformation. In the transport sector, the research will focus on validation of automated/assisted/remote driving and vehicle data services [2-6].

The infrastructure shared by the verticals will host important innovations: slicing as a service; resource orchestration in access/core and cloud/edge segments with live user environments. Novel applications and devices (e.g. underwater drones, car components, healthcare devices) will be devised. Trials will run on sites of 5G-Vinni (Oslo), 5Genesis (Surrey) and 5G-EVE (Athens), and on the 5G-HEART sites (Oulu and Groningen). The trials will be integrated to form a powerful and sustainable platform where slice concurrency will be validated at scale. An overall approach and main elements are presented in Fig. 2.


5G offers the potential of a converged network infrastructure serving various use cases of multiple vertical industries (see Table 1). Cross-domain orchestration and management solutions will be developed and used to efficiently manage and execute trials, which involve simultaneous support of multiple use case scenarios from different verticals, over a given testbed/5G facility in Europe.

Table 1 - Use cases of multiple vertical industries

  Healthcare use cases

  Transport use cases

  Aquaculture use case

H1: Remote interventional support.

H2: The PillCam.

H3: Vital-sign patches with advanced
geo-localization capabilities.

  T1: Platooning.

  T2: Autonomous / Assisted driving.

  T3: Support for Remote Driving.

  T4: Vehicle Data Services.

   A1: Remote monitoring of water
   and fish quality. 


The project will provide showcases of how a single network infrastructure may be able to serve both eMBB, mMTC and URLLC services belonging to different verticals, which have completely different associated requirements, in a cost-effective manner. Further, we envisage that, for larger impact of the project, the technical solutions developed in this project could also be applicable for other 5G use cases with the same or similar technical requirements. The project contributes to the overall strategy and roadmaps of 5G PPP. It focuses on the most important use cases and handling their respective requirements, as well as the associated technical challenges for the provision of high user throughput (for eMBB), high connection density (mMTC) and high-reliable, low-latency (URLCC) communications.

5G is considered to be the ultimate converged network. The road to 5G is gradual (and expected to be long). Moving beyond the core network (mentioned above), in the current access and application layer infrastructure, there is less "convergence" in today’s telecom networks. Most 2G and 3G networks are separate from 4G/LTE ones, fixed-access and IMS are usually different than mobile ones. 5G is expected to change this and allow for a higher degree of convergence.

The new radio access (specifically due to the new features like small cells, massive-MIMO and beam forming & full-duplex) is going to become the only radio access both for fixed wireless and mobile wireless access. At the same time, ubiquitous use of VoLTE/VoWiFi (in general, VoIP in both fixed and mobile networks) will drive out the TDM (i.e. GSM) based on voice / telephony. Together with the introduction of SDN / NFV and the replacement of traditional network functions into software platforms, existing telephony networks will convert into mere applications within the new converged network architecture. This convergence is happening right now with IMS and Cloud-IMS based platforms. The same is true for data and video/TV distribution networks that are now all converging into a single IP-based network platform. Individual applications all move to the cloud together with the control and management plane of the network.

The very dissimilar requirements of different services are now being satisfied with network mechanisms that are based on Quality of Service (QoS), Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and SLA monitoring tools. KPI validation is fragmented and is service layer or network layers focused, which depend on the use cases. The 5G network envisions to converge all the above mechanism into the slicing mechanism in order to service the increasingly extremely variable requirements of the different vertical industries.

The optimal simultaneous support of eMBB, URLLC and mMTC in the 5G network is what differentiates it from existing network infrastructures. The main 5G achievement is the introduction of an all-encompassing single network that will “absorb” and evolve existing 3G and 4G networks. 5G will come at a cost but this will be offset by the expected benefits of the converged network, which are the following:

  • · Long-term savings due to a single network that serves everybody and everything.
  • · Flexibility in introducing new services and applications.
  • · Scalability in expanding.
  • · Simplicity. Even though 5G is complex, simplicity will result from the fact that it will “absorb” the existing network functionalities, in order to become the single network that serves all traffic. This will eventually simplify the architecture.


5G-HEART (5G HEalth AquacultuRe and Transport validation trials) is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme, under Grant Agreement No. 857034.


  1. 5G-HEART Consortium. Description of Actions, 5G- HEART (5G HEalth AquacultuRe and Transport validation trials). 5G-HEARTConsortium, Brussels, 2019 (restricted)
  2. 5G Automotive Association, "The Case for Cellular V2X for Safety and Cooperative Driving", white paper (undated, apparently 23 November 2016) (available from:
  3. Wevers, K., Lu, M. V2X Communication for ITS - from IEEE 802.11p towards 5G. IEEE 5G Tech Focus, 1(2). IEEE Future Networks Initiative - Enabling 5G and beyond, 2017.
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT), "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; V2V Communications", Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), NHTSA-2016-0126, draft version of 13 December 2016.
  5. European Commission, "A European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, a milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility", Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2016) 766 final, 30 November 2016.
  6. Lu, M. (Ed.) Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems: Towards High-Level Automated Driving. IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), London, 2019. (in press)


KimHaesikDr. Meng Lu, Strategic Innovation Manager at Dynniq, The Netherlands; VP, IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society (ITSS); Co-Chair WG Industry Engagement, IEEE Future Networks - Enabling 5G and Beyond; Member of the Editorial Board of IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Intelligent Transport Systems; In 2011-2015 Programme Manager at Dutch Institute of Advanced Logistics, The Netherlands; In 2009-2010 Visiting Professor at the National Laboratory for Automotive Safety and Energy, Tsinghua University, P.R. China. Since 2002 active in the areas of ICT-based ITS and logistics. Participation in European initiatives and projects since 2005, as Coordinator, WP Leader and/or Partner.

Education: PhD at LTH (Faculty of Engineering), Lund University, Sweden; Master's title and degree of Engineering in The Netherlands and P.R. China.


KimHaesikDr. Haesik Kim is Senior Scientist of the 5G-and-beyond network team in VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He received a M.Sc degree  from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, in 2000, and and a Ph.D. degree from Lancaster University, UK, in 2009. He was visiting researcher in National Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) Japan. From 2002 to 2006, he was with Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) where he focused on physical layer system design and standardisation in 3G, SDR and UWB project. From 2008 to 2009, he was with NEC UK where he was involved in 4G WiMAX system design and standardisation. His current research interests include PHY and MAC layer system design, advanced coding theory, advanced MIMO, multi-carrier system, interference mitigation techniques, resource allocation schemes, machine-type communications, ultra-reliable low latency communications.

Editor: Haijun Zhang    

Haijun Zhang is currently a Full Professor in University of Science and Technology Beijing, China. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver Campus, Canada. He received his Ph.D. degree in Beijing University of Posts Telecommunications (BUPT). From 2011 to 2012, he visited Centre for Telecommunications Research, King's College London, London, UK, as a Visiting Research Associate. Dr. Zhang has published more than 80 papers and authored 2 books. He serves as Editor of Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Wireless Networks, Telecommunication Systems, and KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems, and serves/served as a leading Guest Editor for IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing and ACM/Springer Mobile Networks & Applications. He serves/served as General Co-Chair of 5GWN'17 and 6th International Conference on Game Theory for Networks (GameNets'16), Track Chair of 15th IEEE International Conference on Scalable Computing and Communications (ScalCom2015), Symposium Chair of the GameNets'14, and Co-Chair of Workshop on 5G Ultra Dense Networks in ICC 2017. His current research interests include 5G, Small Cells, Ultra-Dense Networks, LTE-U and Network Slicing.


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