5G-CONTACT, or 5G CONText-Aware Communications Optimization, is a project that takes advantage of the intrinsic cloud-computing capabilities associated with the 5th Generation of Mobile Telecommunications and provides innovative network operations supporting mechanisms to assist in different types of scenarios, such as health situations. It leverages three main contribution areas.
First, the aforementioned cloud-computing capabilities, allow for the dynamic instantiation of networking mechanisms as virtual functions which are integrated and deployed into the communication environment using software-defined principles. This allows the communications environment to create, modify or release any necessary communication resource in an elastic, dynamic and scalable way.
Second, the integration of slicing mechanisms able to operate in multiple network technologies, allows dedicated resources of the network to be assigned to services as needed, allowing them to be isolated from other types of traffic. This allows for the provision of better performance, Quality of Service, and safety to communications.
Finally, 5G-CONTACT also integrates contextual information from multiple sources in order to better tailor the communications service provisioning to the applications, devices, and services that use them. This allows the communications service provisioning to receive input information that is used to adapt the communications environment, in order to ensure and optimize data traffic. Such optimizations can be, for example, moving specific data flows from a service (i.e., the video part, or data transfer) into another network technology because context information about the real-time status of the network link verified that it was becoming congested.
The contextual information can also come from many sources, such as the devices (e.g., sensors) or even the users themselves, triggering situations such as detecting that the user is moving away from home, so another type of network with greater coverage should be used to maintain connectivity. In this way, by combining these three capabilities, the 5G-CONTACT system can enable operators and service providers to set up and control network provisioning in a flexible way, based on dynamic situations. Such situations can be supported by contextual data coming from health situations, such as biometric sensors providing information to identify emergency situations, and the network optimizing data traffic flows to support first-responder teams with additional telemetry and multi-media information, helping them to better face the emergency event.
The 5G-CONTACT project was an FCT-funded project, which started in October 2018 and finished in February 2021. Throughout its duration, it generated several publications in international conferences and journals, open-source software applications, and master thesis.
We invite you to visit the project’s website: