Empower 6G


The Project consists of 10 partners from 8 countries of the European Union. It is well balanced in terms of research-industry collaboration as the consortium comprises 5 Universities/Research Institutes and 5 Industrial partners.

Project overview

EMPOWER-6G introduces a cutting-edge way to optimise 6G Cell-Free (CF) access networks by using converged optical-wireless architecture for highly dense and extensive coverage deployments. The architecture, while keeping in line with the ORAN Alliance standards, capitalises on the benefits of distributed processing CF and wireless mmWave technologies. The vision of EMPOWER-6G centres around pioneering solutions in the radio access domain, fostering the growth of emerging CF technologies, and driving innovations in optical transport, all while advancing the mobile edge computing (MEC) system towards fully elastic Edge Computing capabilities.

The EMPOWER-6G network configuration adopts a two tiered distributed Edge infrastructure with Data Centres (DCs) structure featuring Radio Edge Regional Edge nodes. Here, the former DCs host Network Functions of the (virtualized) RAN, fully compliant with O-RAN specifications, while the latter DCs manage non-real-time network functions. Which leads the way for EMPOWER-6G to shape a novel 6G network configuration by tackling challenges in the radio-edge, regional-edge, and network management domains.

EMPOWER-6G, at the radio-edge domain, focuses on designing innovative CF networking mechanisms to significantly scale up Radio Unit (RU) deployment in a cost-effective manner. Mainly by leveraging distributed processing CF concepts, such as disaggregating the traditional CF Central Processing Unit (CPU) into Distributed Units (DUs) and a Central Unit (CU), in alignment with the 3GPP NG-RAN architecture. Additionally, EMPOWER-6G introduces a groundbreaking mmWave Hybrid MIMO solution with beam-steering and beamsharing support.

EMPOWER-6G, at the regional-edge domain, aims to enhance optical regional edge networks with Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) support, enabling optimal functional splitting options. Furthermore, it supports novel control-plane protocols to facilitate CF networking support.

Role of IS-Wireless

As part of the EMPOWER-6G project, IS-Wireless will be leading WP4: Radio-edge infrastructures for 6G networks and hosting 2 doctoral candidates in the area of research related to Multi-DU cooperation and resource scheduling mechanisms for CF networks and O-RAN compatible CF RAN architecture with physical layer security integration.