CampusOS News Image
istock/ NDinfinity

Empowering digital sovereignty: New flagship project CampusOS creates ecosystem for open 5G campus networks

News from Feb. 09, 2022

At the beginning of the year the flagship project CampusOS was launched. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) with 18,1 million euros over the next three years. The Fraunhofer Institutes HHI and FOKUS are coordinating the project. The goal of the project is to build a modular ecosystem for open 5G campus networks based on open radio technologies and interoperable network components. This will create vendor independence and enable more competition and innovation to empower the digital sovereignty of companies in Germany. To this end, 22 partners from industry and research are testing different operating models, developing reference architectures, and evaluating the interoperability and performance of integrated solutions in reference test areas. Beyond that, they are testing selected scenarios as prototypes in an industrial environment.

Germany is a global pioneer in the operation of 5G campus networks, i.e. local and customized 5G mobile networks. This advantage has been achieved, among other things, through its own campus network frequencies issued by the Federal Network Agency. The partners in the CampusOS project now want to extend this lead further by creating a digital ecosystem that guarantees open radio technologies and interoperable network components. The ecosystem will be realized in the form of a technology toolbox, which will be expanded to include a component catalog and proposals for different operating models. Using network virtualization supplemented by artificial intelligence and machine learning, end devices and functionalities of the radio access network (RAN) and core network (CORE) can thus be combined dynamically and individually tailored to form a modular and secure 5G campus network. 

To test the new ecosystem, the Fraunhofer Institutes FOKUS and HHI will set up reference testbeds at their sites in Berlin. These testbeds are intended to test individual elements and various combinations of the technology toolkit for performance and interoperability before trialing them in application-specific industrial scenarios. “In this project, we are developing highly flexible and open solutions for industry-specific campus networks,” comments Prof. Dr. Slawomir Stanczak, head of the “Wireless Communications and Networks” department at Fraunhofer HHI. “In addition to flexibility and adaptability, improved scalability, simplified management, and reduced costs are important factors. This open approach provides the basis and thus the opportunity for more competition and more innovation in the field of campus networks.”

Prof. Dr. Thomas Magedanz, head of the business unit “Software-based Networks” at Fraunhofer FOKUS, points out: “We consider open campus networks as key drivers for future 5G and also 6G innovations, sometimes for highly specialized enterprise applications. We believe that CampusOS – particularly due to the broad participation of the relevant industry players – offers the opportunity to further expand Germany's international leadership role in this context.”

Open interfaces enable the development of components for different application areas. For this purpose, the researchers are evaluating the following scenarios in regular operation at the industrial partners' sites:

  • Connected mobility: Tele-operated driving in confined areas and network-supported functional safety at BOSCH in Hildesheim.
  • Industry 4.0: Low-latency and resilient control of vehicles and transmission of videos at very high data rates at STILL in Hamburg.
  • Construction: Real-time monitoring of construction sites and interconnection of all sensors and construction equipment deployed on construction sites at Topcon.

The joint partners are atesio GmbH, brown-iposs GmbH, BISDN GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, Deutsche Telekom AG, EANTC AG, Fraunhofer Institutes FOKUS and HHI (project coordinators), GPS Gesellschaft für Produktionssysteme GmbH, highstreet technologies GmbH, Kubermatic GmbH, MUGLER SE, Node-H GmbH, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH, GmbH, Siemens AG, Smart Mobile Labs AG, STILL GmbH, SysEleven GmbH, Topcon Deutschland Positioning GmbH, Technische Universität Berlin and Technische Universität Kaiserslautern.