Positioning data is the cornerstone to enable data analytics and applications in the location-based service (LBS) market. At the same time, positioning data can bring dramatic benefits to the 5th generation of cellular networks and beyond (5G+) for the management and control of networks that are getting increasingly denser and more heterogeneous. Yet todays cellular systems fail to provide accurate, pervasive and low-latency localization. The result is a plethora of fragmented localization systems based on diverse radio technologies and protocols that do not interoperate. This project aims to extend the functionalities of network to (i) provide accurate and ubiquitous locations of physical entities as a network-native service based on the integration of 5G+ technologies, and (ii) exploit position data to optimize the allocation of network resources based on anticipatory networking concepts.
Accurate and ubiquitous localization will greatly increase the overall value of the next generations of cellular networks. Localizing 5G+ terminals, people and things accurately and reliably will allow network operators to better deploy, provision and manage their networks, which not only will increase the reliability and scalability of network operations, but at the same time will lead to a significant reduction of the mobile operators’ CAPEX and OPEX. For example, very fine grained location information can be used to proactively drive handover decisions in very dense cells and load balancing among base stations, or the estimation of user trajectories can allow predicting future channel variations and thus anticipating resource requirements. Traditional mechanisms such as GPS or implemented 4G localization based on cell tower information are neither ubiquitously available nor accurate enough to be used for such purposes. The architecture of 5G+ networks has to be dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptive (e.g., via paradigms such as software-defined networking and network slicing), and achieving all of these requirements is only feasible in the presence of accurate location data. Overall, the capacity to make a valuable impact on the 5G+ system specification and the availability of novel software network paradigms uniquely combine at this very moment, making it possible to radically improve the future wireless network by natively embedding and extensively applying location data.