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The project dubbed SUMO intends to develop an integrated environment for the real time analysis and optimisation of spectrum usage in Europe. The tool will be based on the concepts of net neutrality and of flexibility, and shall provide measurable increase of capacity and decrease of EMF emissions, in line with the requirements set out in the Work Programme. This tool shall manage a flexible and open network infrastructure that will be able to:
• provide access to heterogeneous networks and services;
• guarantee an effective integration of existing and forthcoming systems;
• support a multimedia and flexible system platform.
The main objective of the project is the optimisation of the radio frequency bands used for area services (mobile radio, broadcasting, etc). The scientific concept underlying the SUMO project will be autonomic networking, which constitutes an extension of the cognitive radio and cognitive networking concepts towards a completely reconfigurable environment. Cognitive networking is an extension of the cognitive principle of radio frequency and physical layers introduced by cognitive radio system towards a cognition exported to the upper layers exploiting network resources (i.e. not only in terms of spectrum resources) to improve performance. Hence, the architecture becomes fully distributed and allows the exploitation of already deployed networks by other secondary networks. The autonomic approach can be seen as a further step of the cognitive networking approach toward a fully reconfigurable environment. While a cognitive system adapts itself to the incumbent, primary system to exploit unutilised resources, in an autonomic environment all variables are independently reconfigurable and subject to optimisation, aiming at a globally optimised system.
The concepts of cognitive and autonomic networking can be exploited to achieve a global vision of the state of the network: through cognitive networking, we have knowledge of the network elements while the autonomic network manages global optimization of the system.
User terminals shall consequently be able to access different networks, which utilise different radio interfaces, thus implementing the neutrality and flexibility concepts. Furthermore, such devises shall be able to choose in every instant the most appropriate radio interface and transmission characteristics, thus allowing the real time optimisation of radio spectrum utilisation both locally and on a global scale.
Thus, the SUMO project will allow a quantum leap towards all the expected impacts listed in the Work Programme: the overall optimised system will provide a remarkable increase of capacity and of radio efficiency, while an optimum allocation of radio resources will also allow to reduce EMF emissions (and hence population exposure levels). Thus, the European industry will have the opportunity to strengthen its pivotal role in the relevant ICT fields and to provide substantial inputs to standardisation and regulatory bodies. All in all, the project will pave the way towards the last expected impact mentioned in the Work Programme, i.e. the adoption by network operators of integrated all-optical networks and of spectrum-flexible broadband wireless systems by 2020.
The Idealist2018 project is funded by the European Commission, under the Leading Industrial Enabling Technologies ICT theme of Horizon2020 – Research & Innovation Framework Programme, under grant agreement no. 645216. Any opinions expressed in these pages are those of the author/organisation, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission or the Ideal-ist members.