TU/e to develop 5G technology within BLUESPACE

From 19 - 20 June the kick-off of BLUESPACE took place at TU/e. This European research project, led by TU/e, will develop wireless technology for 5G, the next generation mobile internet that aims to increase the speed of the current 4G network by a factor of 100. Participants from the 15 partners in the consortium gathered at Eindhoven University of Technology to launch the activities of the project.

5G-PPP kick-offs Phase 2

On the 1st of June 2017, 21 new projects were launched as part of phase 2 of the 5G-PPP.

BLUESPACE is one of those 21 projects and it is coordinated by TU/e.

BLUESPACE stands for: Building on the Use of Spatial Multiplexing 5G Networks Infrastructures and Showcasing Advanced technologies and Networking Capabilities.

The core concept of BLUESPACE is to exploit the added value of Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) in the Radio Access Network (RAN) with efficient optical beamforming interface for the pragmatic Ka-band wireless transmission band. Both being seamlessly integreable in next generation optical access networks infrastructures with massive beam steering capabilities and with flexible network management control. The main objectives targeted by the BLUESPACE project are: to develop a truly viable and efficient path for 5G wireless communications with a 1000-fold increase in capacity, connectivity for over 1 billion users, strict latency control, and network software programming.

Focus on delivering relevant innovations

BLUESPACE is a large-scale project with a consortium that consists of fifteen partners in total, all from EU. It is strongly industry-backed, focusing on delivering relevant innovations and targeting a high market impact with a total of 10 industrial partners, as well as 5 academic partners bringing significant expertise on state-of-the-art research related to 5G networks. Industrial partners include 3 major system vendors (ADVA Optical Networking, Intracom Telecom solutions, THALES), 2 network operators/service providers (Orange Poland, OTE Greece), 1 highly innovative SME (LIONIX) specializing on optical beamforming, and other industry partners highly involved in R&D in telecommunications (NextWorks Italy, EULAMBIA, Optoscribe, CORNING). The academic partners are major universities (Eindhoven University of Technology, Athens Institute of Technology, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya, Universidad Carlos III), with strong on-going research on various layers of telecommunications networks.

TU/e strong in 5G-PPP

TU/e participates in 4 5G-PPP projects: next to coordinating the BLUESPACE project, as a partner in 5G-PHOS, Metro-Haul and 5G STEP FWD. 5g-ppp.eu/5g-ppp-phase-2-projects/

5G-PHOS stands for 5G integrated Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies for high-density SDN-programmable network architectures. Metro-Haul is the acronym for High bandwidth, 5G Application-aware optical network, with edge storage, compute and low latency. 5G STEP FWD stands for 5G System Technological Enhancements Provided by Fiber Wireless Deployments, which is a MSCA ITN project enrolling 15 PhD students for tackling the research challenges of 5G communications networks.

Photonics technologies are key to achieve the specifications for 5G communications systems in terms of capacity, latency and massive MIMO support. The Electro-optical Communications (ECO) Research Group and the Institute for Photonics Integration are contributing with their expertise in optical fiber communications, hybrid optical fiber-wireless systems and integrated photonic circuits to the above 4 5G PPP projects.


Dr. ir Idelfonso Tafur Monroy

Institute for Photonics Integration (IPI) and the Electro-Optical Communications (ECO) Research Group


Idelfonso Tafur Monroy started his academic career in the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute in Ukraine, and graduated from the Bonch-Bruevitch Institute of Communications, St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1992, where he received a M.Sc. degree in multichannel telecommunications. In 1996 he received a Technology Licentiate degree in telecommunications theory from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The same year he joined the Electrical Engineering Department of the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in 1999 and worked as an assistant professor until 2006. He founded and led from 2007 the metro-access and short-range communications group of the Department of Photonics Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark where he was Professor until June 2017. He has been a guest Professor at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications, University of California at Berkeley and ITMO University Fellowship Professor.

He has participated in several European research framework projects in photonic technologies and their applications to communication systems. Currently coordinates the H2020 ITN CELTA and 5G PPP BLUESPACE projects. His research interests are in photonics technologies for hybrid optical-wireless communications, high-capacity optical fiber transmission, and short-range data links. He is co-author of over 500 journal and conference papers and has graduated 20 PhD students. He is co-founder of the start-up Bifrost Communications on NG-PON2 optical access solutions.