ALPHA - Architectures for fLexible Photonics Home and Access networks

Innovative architectural and transmission solutions for access and in-building integrated multi-service Internet/Intranet and 3G/B3G networks with adequate management and control.

ALPHA - picture The ALPHA project addresses the challenges of building the future access and all types of in-building networks for home and office environments. The project supports the evolution towards a cognitive network by dynamically utilizing the resources of an optical network infrastructure to support a heterogeneous environment of wired and wireless technologies.

The project investigates innovative architectural and transmission solutions based on the manifold of optical fibres (single-, multi-mode and plastic) as well as wireless technology to support both wired and wireless services in a converged network infrastructure. The focus is on using the newest physical layer achievements and adequate management and control algorithms to reach a yet unprecedented end-to-end provisioned capacity for access and in-building networks at a fraction of the price of today’s technologies and to simultaneously include the transport of existing 2G/3G and Beyond 3G (B3G) signals whether they are Internet Protocol (IP) or non-IP-based.

The project starts with analysing the potential future bandwidth and quality-of-service (QoS) requirements which can be posed by future services in the scope of access and in-building networks such as Ultra HD Video, Local Storage Area Network, remote medical applications and others, and mapping those requirements into network specifications. The questions on the best applicable media, necessity for optical layer dynamics, compatibility of network types at the physical layer, foundations for better QoS provisioning and embedding of 2G/3G and B3G signals into the networks are then addressed within the project.

The project pursues experimental validations of close-to-maturity technologies in laboratory tests and field trials by intensively exploiting the three project testbeds. The project also includes long-term research activities targeting to improve the existing technologies, and follows an intensive dissemination and standardisation strategy.

The OptCom team is active in ALPHA in the field of optical transmission solutions for next-generation home networks, and in particular on Gigabit/s solutions based on low-cost plastic optical fiber systems.

Class International project
Status Completed (31/12/2010)
Type European Research Projects
Lenght 36 months

Acreo (Sweden)


The ICT ALPHA consortium comprises academic institutions, small and medium size enterprises, equipment manufactures and and telecom operators.

Telecom operators

  • Telefonica (Spain)
  • France Telecom (France)
  • Telekomunikacja Polska (Poland)

System Vendors

  • Alcatel-Lucent (France)
  • Andrew Wireless Systems (Italy)
  • Telsey (Italy)

Research Institutes

  • Acreo (Sweden, coordinator)
  • IBBT (Belgium)


  • Techical University of Denmark (Denmark)
  • University of Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
  • Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (Spain)
  • Universita di Bologna (Italy)
  • Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
  • Bangor University (UK)

Small and Medium Enterprises

  • Homefibre (Austria)
  • 3S Photonics (France)
  • Luceat (Italy)
Budget 16.57 millions euros
Web site Project site
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