Promotion of test infrastructures and studies in the 5G/6G backbone area


The planned project deals with security in the 5G/6G backbone area. Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) controlled by Software-Defined Networking (SDN) will be used to demonstrate increased security and resilience in the wireless backhaul.

The starting point will be existing network components and preliminary work by the partners. The RIS enable additional paths for the radio links between individual 5G/6G access points. On the one hand, this can neutralize potential interferers or temporarily increase capacity (resilience), but on the other hand it also makes possible eavesdropping more difficult, since the information is transmitted on more than one path (physical layer security).

Finally, various application scenarios are highlighted and addressed accordingly. This applies both to the usual public telecommunications infrastructure and to smaller campus networks, such as those in industrial plants or networks of critical infrastructure operators with high resilience and security requirements.

Thanks to these application examples, the potential of RIS for flexible and, above all, secure wireless connection of radio access network (RAN) components becomes visible and is investigated using wireless backhaul and with the entire mobile network in a test hall.

Partners and Core Areas

  • TU Clausthal, Professorship Communication Technology for the Industrial Internet of Things (Coordination)
    System architecture, high-frequency modeling and realization of the RIS
    Contact: Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Niels Neumann
    Subproject Website: RIS4NGWB

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
    Application scenarios and requirements, simulations, SDN realization, system evaluation
    Contact: Norbert Franke

  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Chair for digital transmission
    intelligence development and algorithms
    Contact: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Schober


Point-to-point wireless network infrastructures (wireless backbone) for 5G / 6G are essential in many places, but are particularly vulnerable to intentional or unintentional interference and eavesdropping. As mobile networks become more important, the protection and resilience of this infrastructure must also be improved.



In the future, new network elements - reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) - will help provide alternative connection paths for point-to-point network infrastructures. In order to make these network elements jointly usable for different connections, they must be controllable in the network management as a resource - modernly this is realized via software-defined networks (SDN).



The proposed principle will be investigated and demonstrated in an exemplary deployment environment, the LINK test center at Fraunhofer IIS. In addition, possible application scenarios, requirements and system architectures will be developed.


Intended Results

A catalog of possible application scenarios, resulting requirements, and a system architecture for hardware and SDN components will be developed by the partners in the project. In addition, the principle will be demonstrated in the LINK test center of Fraunhofer IIS.



The project strengthens the consortium and its network at the location Germany by newly acquired solution competence to ensure the new and high requirements in security and resilience in the context of wireless backhaul and allows the targeted transfer of the results through qualification of scientific personnel, theses, scientific publications as well as patents if applicable, application scenarios in cooperation with individual companies and associations such as NGMN, 5G-ACIA, BDEW, UP-KRITIS, standardization such as 6G (e.g. via 3GPP).

RIS4NGWB: first milestone was reached

At a working meeting at Fraunhofer IIS in Nuremberg, the first milestone in the RIS4NGWB project was reached on schedule: The system architecture and the mobile application scenarios have now been defined. In addition, there are already initial results in hardware design, information technology modeling, and the SDN part of the project.

On site at the L.I.N.K. Test and Application Center, colleagues from the Clausthal University of Technology and the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg were able to get an idea of the excellent experimental possibilities. Thus inspired, the demonstrations planned for next year were immediately planned.

© Fraunhofer IIS
© Fraunhofer IIS
© Fraunhofer IIS