Anticipating the future of more connected, efficient and sustainable telecommunications infrastructures

UC3M participates in the European scientific project ORIGAMI

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) participates in the European scientific project ORIGAMI, which will spearhead architectural innovations for the next generation of 6G mobile networks, to enable innovative applications, new business models and substantial reductions in energy consumption.

ORIGAMI (Optimized Resource Integration and Global Architecture for Mobile Infrastructure for 6G) has just started and is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe program. This project will contribute to the development of mobile networks with lower latency, higher throughput and higher reliability, which will significantly improve the daily activities of many public sectors and citizens.

"The project identified barriers currently hindering the transitions towards 6G, limiting the network sustainability and the seamless interactions among operators. We plan to break these barriers, using novel techniques based on e.g. artificial intelligence", says another of the researchers who are part of the project, Marco Gramaglia, a lecturer in the UC3M Department of Telematics Engineering. "From UC3M, we’re going to lead the architectural definition work, trying to impact the 6G standardization process that will start in 2025; and we’ll design solutions for the efficient RAN operation", he says.

By proposing and developing three critical architecture innovations - Global Services Based Architecture (GSBA), Zero Trust Exposure Layer (ZTL), and Continuous Compute Layer (CCL) - ORIGAMI will create unique global standards, promote green transition, give new impetus to accessibility and inspire innovative applications and new business models, maximizing the exploitation of AI-based Network Intelligence functions. The project will conduct eight real-world demonstrations at six experimental sites and two large-scale international datasets from two major operators, which will validate its technology and research results.

"The environment proposed by ORIGAMI will streamline communication and interoperability at all levels of the network, pave the way for truly global standards, democratize access to extremely heterogeneous computing resources, and allow third parties to securely program their virtual networks in zero-trust environments", says Dr. Javier García Rodrigo, Project Coordinator at Telefónica Digital Innovation. "This research - Dr. García Rodrigo continues - is probably the first in Europe to holistically address substantial barriers to the success of 6G, from limitations in the control and interoperability of virtualized infrastructure to the lack of adequate support for global operations and billing, which are increasingly common in real-world scenarios".

The project extends the scope of previous works such as DAEMON, led by IMDEA Networks Institute and based on the 5G architectural model, intending to increase the full potential of virtualization and programmability. To achieve this objective, ORIGAMI will adopt a completely renewed perspective: proposing a novel cross-plane architecture for 6G networks that supports original exposure and computation layers. A framework of functionalities within which actions such as supporting the global operation model of vertical applications, mass IoT deployment, or maximizing the potential of virtualization and programmability stand out.

Marco Fiore, Principal Investigator of IMDEA Networks Institute in the project, highlights the institution’s contribution to this scientific performance: "We bring our expertise in AI-based network function design and network user plane programmability. Specifically, we will work to develop and demonstrate in industrial-level experimental testbeds new machine learning models that can operate on heterogeneous user planes through efficient model design and hardware allocations. This approach will enable more agile access to the capabilities of modern programmable transport domains. For network operators, our solutions will translate into increased speed, accuracy, and scalability compared to the current state of the art. Coordinated by Telefónica Research and Development, it involves 31 researchers from 9 countries and brings together some of the main industry and academic players in the mobile telecommunications ecosystem in Europe, such as: NEC Laboratories Europe, Telecom Italia (TIM), EMnify, FOGUS Innovations & Services, Cumucore, IS-Wireless, Net AI, IMDEA Networks, i2CAT and the Technische Universiteit Delft, in addition to UC3M.