Exploiting network density in mobile communications
03 April 2013
Wireless data communication is a constituent part of everyday life. Mobile communication devices have become essential to fully develop interpersonal relations and engage socially. In this context, the CROWD* project aims to drive the mobile network evolution, building high-capacity energy and resource-efficient wireless dense networks that can cope with future growth in traffic demand and also improve user performance.
In consortium with leading academic and industrial partners, IMDEA Networks is conducting research that aims at exploiting the extreme density in the wireless networks of the future to satisfy the increasing traffic demands (internet and video, for instance) of future mobile technologies, while aiming at making those networks more energy-efficient. To achieve this aim, CROWD proposes a novel technological approach: a networking framework cemented on the pillars of optimized connectivity management, energy saving, backhaul and MAC enhancements for IEEE 802.11 and 3GPP LTE.
The advances of mobile network technologies are struggling to keep pace with the demands from users, because of both their growing numbers and their increasing capacity requirements (the offered load doubles yearly), coupled with the prevalent expectation for high-quality services and high data rates.
In CROWD the partners have thus considered of paramount importance to analyze an evolution of mobile networks where a massive capacity improvement is provided not only by faster wireless technologies, but mostly by deployment of a very high number of small cells (e.g., WiFi, LTE). This scenario yields a huge increase of density of the wireless networks which, without adequate improvements, will prevent the available resources from being fully exploited, due to the increased interference and higher signaling traffic load. The goal of CROWD is to make extreme density deployments work efficiently, in terms of both the quality of service provided to users and the overall energy consumption, so as to reduce operational costs of telecom operators and the environmental burden.
CROWD has a duration of 30 months and a total cost of 4.5 M EUR. The Consortium is coordinated by Intecs, an Italian company leader on the development and testing of software for real-time and embedded systems, recently merged with Technolabs to increase its potential and competences in the telecommunications sector. Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs (France) bring all the expertise and knowledge of one of the biggest worldwide telecommunications manufacturers. The best research groups in the area, coming from prestigious institutions such as the Institute IMDEA Networks, the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and the Universität Paderborn, will be crucial to define realistic models for wireless dense networks and to design algorithms and protocols that can fully exploit their potential. Validation, which will be based on experimental trials with prototypes, will be orchestrated by Signalion (Germany), a National Instruments company which is specialized on the testing of wireless and networking equipment. Finally, telecom operators within the Consortium will be represented by Orange, the official brand of France Telecom, with over 150 million mobile worldwide.
*CROWD: Connectivity management for eneRgy Optimised Wireless Dense networks, is a Research & Development project in the ICT area, co-funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission, running from January 2013 to June 2015. The kick-off meeting for this project took place on Jan 8-9, 2013 in Pisa (Italy).