R + D


EMPOWER-6G proposes a novel converged optical-wireless architecture that realizes an efficient 6G Cell-Free (CF)-
based access network for high-density and high-coverage deployments. The proposed architecture takes full advantage
of the distributed processing CF concept, as well as of wireless mmWave solutions, while being in-line with the ORAN
Alliance. Specifically, the EMPOWER-6G vision is based on the development of novel solutions at the radio
access domain by enabling emerging CF technologies, while also contributing innovations at the optical transport
domain and significantly evolving the MEC system towards fully elastic Edge Computing. The EMPOWER-6G network
configuration deploys a distributed Edge infrastructure with Data Centres (DCs) structured in 2 tiers, featuring Radio
Edge Regional Edge nodes, where the former DCs hosts the Network Functions of the (virtualized) RAN fully aligned
with the O-RAN specifications, while the latter DCs host non-real-time network functions. Thus, EMPOWER-6G will
shape a novel 6G network configuration by addressing challenges at the radio-edge, the regional-edge, and the networkmanagement
domains. At the radio-edge domain, EMPOWER-6G aims at designing novel CF networking mechanisms
that will allow the significant scaling up of Radio Unit (RU) deployment in a cost-effective manner, by exploiting the
application of the distributed processing CF concept, based on the disaggregation of the traditional CF Central Processing
Unit (CPU) into Distributed Units (DUs) and a Central Unit (CU), in line with the 3GPP NG-RAN architecture. In
parallel, EMPOWER-6G proposes an innovative mmWave Hybrid MIMO solution, with beam-steering and beamsharing
support. At the regional-edge domain, EMPOWER-6G aims at providing a new design for an optical regional
edge network with FTTH support in order to achieve optimum functional splitting options, while also supporting novel
control-plane protocols for CF networking support.






october, 2023


september, 2027