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Page updated 1.4.2015

Fifth generation mobile networks being developed in Turku

The need for information transfer capacity in wireless networks has been estimated to increase to even 1000-fold over the next ten years. TUAS’ Research and Development activities are involved in a world top-level research which develops wireless communications.

- In the beginning of 2015, TUAS’ projects FUHF (Future of UHF) and CORE++ (Cognitive Radio Test Environment++) were launched. In both, the aim is to enhance the use of frequencies, but the points of view and methods are different, says Principal Lecturer Jarkko Paavola from TUAS.

Netflix, YouTube, Yle Areena, Katsomo, Ruutu and other video streaming services transfer television content to consumers, from the TV network to mobile networks. This puts great pressure to the capacity of mobile networks.

- It is necessary to consider, for example, whether television operations need their own, reserved frequencies also in the future, Paavola says.

The FUHF project studies Supplemental Downlink (SDL) technology, which is based on 4G mobile networks, and offers a solution to the problem with the frequencies and their capacities. With the help of the technology in question, the mobile operators can be offered a chance to benefit TV frequencies to transfer video content to consumers without disturbing the normal TV operations.

- In fact, in cooperation with Nokia, we are building the first global, commercial test network in the world to pilot the concept”, Paavola continues.

Underutilised frequency bands into more efficient use

In addition, the CORE++ project studies wireless data transfer by focusing on sharing the frequencies between several different communications systems. Several frequency bands are currently underutilised and they should be brought into more efficient use by cooperation between communications systems.

- In addition, at TUAS we are developing a frequency database, which is required for sharing the frequency bands. We are also conducting radiotechnical testing, which can verify the operations of the systems and the disturbances between them, Paavola concludes.

Both projects (FUHF and CORE++) belong to the 5th Gear technology programme by TEKES – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. The programme focuses on developing fifth-generation mobile phone systems. TUAS’ total budget for both projects is EUR 600 000.

The FUHF project is coordinated by TUAS with VTT Technical Research Centre Finland Ltd, the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi as research partners. In addition to Nokia, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, TeliaSonera, Elisa, Digita, Yle, Fairspectrum, Schneider Electric Finland, RF-Tuote and Sony Europe are involved in the project.

The CORE++ project is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre Finland Ltd and the other research partners are the University of Oulu and Centria University of Applied Sciences. Nokia, Elektrobit, Anite, PehuTec, the Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority are the companies and governmental organisations involved.