Main objectives

The core concept of blueSPACE is to exploite 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 need to be integrated seamlessly in next generation optical access networks infrastructures. We are developing massive beam-steering capabilities and with flexible network management  control. 

We are developing 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 secure, flexible network software programming.

UseR cases AND applications

The blueSPACE architecture will serve 5G service provision in millimeter-wave regions of the spectrum. Proof-of-concept validations and a test-bed will be realized to demonstrate the merits and application of the BLUESPACE concept.

Technical & research challenges

  • The adaptation of DRoF schemes in parallel with ARoF techniques and their adaptation to SDM network with increased degree of integration and full compatibility among the two schemes

  • Development of advanced hardware solutions and modules for cost efficient ARoF transceivers, remote power distribution over SDM network for the independent powering RRUs from the CO, spatial optical beam forming schemes with simplified design requirements and direct compatibility with ARoF transceivers at the RRU, and compact SDM splitter and MCF adapters enabling advanced SDM-based ODN designs

  • The optimum allocation of the BBU pool at the CO and the design of its switching and interconnection hardware to enable SDM-compatible DCA, controlled strict latency and CoMP for both DRoF and ARoF paradigms.

  • Design of optimized interfacing elements between the SDM media and the radiating elements in the RRU/RRH sites to enable advanced massive MIMO and beam steering solutions for both DRoF and ARoF architectures

  • The evaluation and design of SDN control to support SDM and NFV orchestration to deploy virtual base-band units (vBBUs) in the CO, as well as network slicing to support de virtualization of the network resources and multi-tenancy (e.g. verticals).

Expected impact

BlueSPACE proposition offers unrivalled characteristics whose impact include:

  1. Increased bandwidth provision by naturally enabling and supporting massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) in the Ka-band with seamless starting/ending interface with the fiber medium by exploiting space diversity in the RF domain with efficient beam-steering in the photonic domain.

  2. A compact infrastructure that is reconfigurable by means of Software Defined (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) paradigms.

  3. Full integration with existing approaches for access networks such as Passive Optical Networks (PONs).


There are 14 Participant organisations in blueSPACE.

1 Project Coordinator: Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

2 Athens Information Technology (AIT), Greece

3 Universidad Politecnica Valencia, Spain

4 Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya, Spain

5 Universidad Carlos III Madrid. Spain

6 ADVA Optical Networking SE, Germany

7 Intracom S.A. Telecom Solutions Greece

8 Thales Group., France

9 Optoscribe Limited, United Kingdom

10 Lionix International Netherlands

11 Orange Polska Spolka Akcy Jna, Poland

12 Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. – OTE AE, Greece

13 Nextworks, Italy

14 Eulambia Advanced Technologies Ltd. Greece

The blueSPACE Technical Challenges

One of the next generation photonics chips being used in the 5G blueSPACE architecture.

One of the next generation photonics chips being used in the 5G blueSPACE architecture.