The 5GAIner laboratory features a platform that exploits a rich set of capabilities and characteristics that go beyond the mere aggregation of equipment. The overall infrastructure features both research graded and industry graded solutions to provide a real-life environment for developing, integrating and testing novel solutions for 5G and beyond technologies. It brings together academics, operators, vendors and vertical industries to accelerate the development of mobile communications and the creation of novel business models. The infrastructure is open to the whole research and innovation community, both academic and industrial, to foster innovation on 5G technologies and its exploitation. To this end, the infrastructure is connected to GEANT and a mixture of OpenVPN and SSH tunnels can be provided for experimentation.

Research graded infrastructure

This infrastructure, hosted in a HVAC-enabled datacenter at the IT Aveiro premises, accounts for over 500 physical CPU cores, 7 Terabyte of RAM, 350 Terabyte of storage space, supported by four Gigabit switches and five 10-Gigabit switches and comprises high performance communication infrastructures to support advanced integration and experimentation activities, ranging from high speed fiber optic links with OpenFlow-enabled switching to standard IP/MPLS connectivity towards external networks and the Internet. Additionally, the infrastructure encompasses a city-wide fiber deployment and SDR equipment to be leveraged for open radio implementations. This infrastructure hosts a NFV Infrastructure capable of hosting NetApps, Services and Applications that assist vertical use-cases during the development and/or the operation phases. One such example is the CI/CD platform that validates Netapps and assists in the runtime testing of the NetApp through log aggregation and monitoring data. The platform is running OpenStack Cloud Platform (Victoria & Wallaby releases), orchestrated via OSM (release Ten). Moreover, these resources also support the everyday research activities of the 60+ people research group and provide the underlying technological realization of key initiatives (e.g., MEC as a Service, open source eNB based on SDRs). The infrastructure is complemented with the AMazING (Advanced Mobile wIreless Network playGround) mobility testbed composed by 24 fixed nodes and a high-speed mobile node (>30km/h) following a fixed single trail circuit at rooftop of IT-Av.

Industry graded 5G Infrastructure

The 5G infrastructure is based on a commercial solution from Huawei featuring both outdoor and indoor cells, together with a 5G SA Core (currently with Release 15) and a dedicated MEC platform. This infrastructure is geographically distributed in four different locations: (i) two on-campus indoor deployments; (ii) one off-campus outdoor deployment; and (iii) one off-campus indoor, Edge LBO deployment. The deployed 5GC has the following functions available: AMF, SMF, AUSF, NSSF, NRF, UDM, UPF. The 5G infrastructure (i.e., 5GC, 5G NR and 5G MEC) is monitored by means of the Huawei eSight and Mobile Automation Engine (MAE) solutions. The last one also assumes the orchestration and life-cycle management of the 5GC functionalities.

The sites covered by this infrastructure include Campus, Industrial, Seaport and Railway areas, which makes it suitable for exploring Localization, Transportation, Energy and Industry 4.0 use cases. Moreover, a city-wide fibre deployment could be explored to extend the reachability of the current resources towards other nearby verticals.

Indoor on-campus sites

Two indoor sites are deployed within the university campus: (i) the first one consists of two antennas (pRRU 5961) and is deployed in ITAV premises, the same building as the core (ii) the second one consists of only one antenna and is deployed on one of the university electrical substations approximately 400m away. Both sites include a BBU 5900 and a RHUB 5963 that makes connection between the BBU and the antennas.

Outdoor site

The outdoor site, 6km away from the university campus, is composed of three outdoor antennas (AAU 5649) placed on top of a tower top and covering three different sectors. The AAUs are connected to a BBU 5900 which in turn is connected to the 5GC through a public L2 service.

Edge industrial site

A third indoor site is deployed in an industrial location about 6km away from university campus and has a total of three lampsite antennas (i.e., a BBU 5900, an RHUB 5963 and 3 pRRUs 5961) co-located with a 5G MEC platform that provides UPF LBO (UL CL)


General overview of the 5GAIner infrastructure


Geographical location of 5GAIner sites


5GAIner architectural overview