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Monday, August 31, 2015

5G: Emergence of Business Models driven by Cooperation of Nodes

Identifying attractive business models for the network/service provider and users based on cooperation is essential in order to secure the adoption of 5G technology. This article identifies the Cooperation of Nodes as a driver of new business models showing how we can exploit cooperation between user terminals and heterogeneous networks and operators.

The ability to use mobile terminals at any time and any place without being weary of battery supply seems to be a futuristic approach. However by exploiting smart cooperative networking concepts, this vision can take a step closer to reality.

Exploiting these technology paradigm in tandem, can lead to new radio topologies that are able to provide energy efficient connectivity and thus battery lifetime in mobile phones enabling the use of services that require greater bandwidth than legacy services currently provided by UMTS technology. Most of the research in cooperative networking technology has addressed the technical and engineering ways to save energy.

In present days, to support cooperative networking in the cellular network market, it is absolutely necessary to have good business models that show the main benefits of this new architecture and the revenues associated.

Cooperation is a strategy of a group of entities working or acting together towards a common or individual goal. Correspondingly, the connotation of cooperative networking is described as devices working together to achieve a goal, within a network. Wireless devices, controlled ultimately by human, can be considered as selfish, without any incentive to cooperate by nature.

The reason, that this phenomenon occurs, is that a wireless device is always interested in maximizing its own benefits. So cooperation adds costs to mobile devices, but bringing new services that can increase the performance of a mobile device. However, in any cooperation network, the communication ultimately depends on the willingness of the nodes to cooperate. Such cooperation can only be established and maintained if fairness and profitability are guaranteed among cooperating nodes. Therefore, to avoid the collapse of cooperation, robust cooperation rules and good incentives are required.

To understand the incentives and basic rules for cooperation, an observation from cooperation used in nature is needed. The cooperative network is often realized in the form of a composite access network, which is composed of heterogeneous networks. With the rapid development of technologies and mobile networks, especially with the arrival of LTE, certain characteristics have not been able to compete or keep up with the technology growth, mainly the battery autonomy of mobile devices and other features such as quality of service, higher throughput or spectral efficiency. Dealing with this paradigm provided the impetus for new ideas and possible innovations in the area of cooperation, aimed at combating the negative features resulting from the progress in mobile networks. This cooperation could create, through network operators, mechanisms to encourage customers to cooperate using their mobile devices.

As shown in the illustration besides, one of the main methods of cooperation is the cooperation among mobile devices that can be done through short-range communication technologies such as Bluetooth, UWB or WLAN. These technologies promote low energy consumption, while providing high quality of service. The main avantages of cooperative communications are ;

§  Reducing the power consumption of mobile devices and decreasing the transmission power of base stations;

§  Increasing the quality of service, since with strong signal, customers can achieve better services without failure, e.g. higher data rates;

§  Lower delay between cooperative users;

§  Possibility to create more services like context exchanges between nodes or parallel processing;

§  Decreasing the carbon footprint. Base stations and mobile devices consume much electricity in their use phase, which makes energy saving a valuable contribution for these facilities;

§  Better use of wireless spectrum;

§  Overcoming the limited cellular capacity. For multicast services such as video streaming or file downloading the benefit is obvious. In this case the cooperative devices receive partially the original stream and collaboratively merge it over the short-range communication links.

Nowadays, infrastructure networks (i.e. cellular networks) do not expect or anyhow permit cooperation among connected mobile devices. However, as some wireless environments enable the realization of ad hoc cooperative behaviors, it seems natural that infrastructure networks could also benefit from such cooperation.

From a general perspective, the most interesting business cases are related to battery power savings at mobile devices. Due to its locality and gain from statistical multiplexing (traffic aggregation), such energy saving gain can be observed with ad hoc cooperative networks. Still, wireless ad hoc cooperative networks are to be successful only if they are able to align the current individual and selfish assumptions of the mobile devices into a cooperative paradigm that succeeds to benefit all the entities involved in the cooperation. Current assumptions for wireless ad hoc networking are:

§  Mobile devices are expected to achieve selfish goals, enforced by users or running services;
§  Mobile devices belong to different users;
§  Mobile devices are served by different PLMNs (different network operators).

The enlisted assumptions, which are obstacles to cooperation, can be overcome with the introduction of motivational and incentives systems, which encourage various forms of cooperative behavior. Examples of such cooperative behavior are altruistic cooperation, non-altruistic cooperation or reciprocal cooperation. Each of these forms of behavior has its stability and thus, it has to be resilient to the number of challenges derived from the transient nature of the wireless communication system.

A number of cooperation challenges that need to be addressed to encourage cooperation in ad hoc networks and include;

Motivation and fairnessthe two concepts need to be addressed by the cooperative network to encourage cooperation among users, to provide fair access to the resources and to punish the adversaries (to discourage malicious and greedy behaviors). Fairness problems affect also the design of the motivational mechanisms. Furthermore, another known fairness problem is related to location, as mobile devices with more favorable location receive more incentives, leading to even higher income.

Malicious behaviorsalthough authentication and access control can reinforce cooperation through prevention against external attacker, there are still possibilities for users to exploit the cooperation even in the presence of effective authentication and access control mechanisms.

Privacy protection: the key to the success of any reciprocity based cooperation strategy is the ability to identify (and possibly also punish) the defective nodes, and thus, mobile devices cannot stay anonymous. Furthermore, the reputation ratings have to be assigned to correct mobile device and payments or reciprocal behavior returned to correct initiator.

Cooperation maintenance: as a consequence of mobility or in general, transient changes in channel quality, the node which realizes a cooperative scenario may experience reduction of the quality in provided relaying service or decrease in the reliability of provided information. This may lead to a situation where users are unfairly treated due to decrease in incentives or reputation. Thus, reputation system has to recognize faulty behavior and distinguish it from malicious behavior.

Observabilitythe results of the cooperation are highly dependent also on the ability to identify and distinguish cooperative behavior from selfish. In wireless networks, a typical situation is that nodes have non-equal information, leading to information asymmetry.

6:33 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Friday, June 5, 2015

5 Pillars of 5G

5 key building blocks for 5G, as illustrated besides are elaborated herein.  Each of these blocks is discussed with highlights their role and importance for achieving 5G

8:33 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Five Disruptive Technology Directions for 5G

New research directions will lead to fundamental changes in the design of future fifth generation (5G) cellular networks. This article describes five technologies that could lead to both architectural and component disruptive design changes: device-centric architectures, millimeter wave, massive MIMO, smarter devices, and native support for machine-to-machine communications. The key ideas for each technology are described, along with their potential impact on 5G and the research challenges that remain. Read on.;………..

11:58 AM by Alex Wanda · 0

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Location-Based Services in LTE

3GPP Release 9 provides a framework for defining the UE location (so-called UE positioning) in order to support a variety of location-based services (LBSs). In Release 9, the positioning reference signals (PRSs) have been introduced to facilitate the determination of the position of the UE, referred to as a UE-assisted positioning technique. A UE-assisted positioning technique involves the following:
  • The UE makes some radio signal measurements and
  • The network determines the UE location (e.g., latitude and longitude) by processing the measurements reported by the UE. This is conducted by a separate system that processes the reported radio information to identify the UE location.

The PRS are transmitted on antenna port 6 and are sent in a configurable number of consecutive subframes of up to five subframes. The E-UTRAN configures the PRS bandwidth (e.g., a certain number of RBs) and the periodicity of the PRS (e.g., one PRS occurrence every 160 subframes). Within a subframe containing the PRS, they are transmitted on more subcarriers and more OFDM symbols when compared to the regular cell-specific reference signals being sent on an antenna. The utilization of more time–frequency resources within a subframe by the PRS can improve the quality of the UE measurements compared to the use of only the basic cell-specific reference signals.

6:43 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Data Flow Across LTE Protocol Layers

The LTE (long term evolution) air interface provides connectivity between the user equipment (UE) and the eNB (eNodeB). It is split into a control plane and a user plane. Among the two control plane signalings, the first is provided by the access stratum (AS) and carries signaling between the UE and the eNB. The second carries non-access stratum (NAS) signaling messages between the UE and the MME (mobility management entity), which is piggybacked into an RRC (radio resource control) message. The user plane delivers the IP (Internet protocol) packets to and from the EPC (evolved packet core), the S-GW (serving gateway), and the PDN-GW (packet data network gateway).

The structure of the lower layer protocols for the control and user planes in AS are the same. Both planes utilize the protocols of PDCP (packet data convergence protocol), RLC (radio link control), and MAC (medium access control), as well as the PHY (physical layer) for the transmission of the signaling and data packets.

10:05 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Friday, December 12, 2014

Challenges and Solutions in Prototyping 5G Radio Access Network

Breakthroughs in wireless networks will drive commerce and enhance society in entirely new and unexpected ways. A key component of the wireless future will be the widespread deployment of 5G wireless networks.

The primary goals of 5G are to support a 1,000-fold gain in capacity, connections for at least 100 billion devices, and 10Gb/s delivered to individual users. Additionally, these new networks will be capable of providing mass low-latency connectivity between people, machines, and devices. Deployment of 5G networks is expected to commence in 2020. 5G radio access will be built using evolved existing wireless radio access technologies (RAT) such as LTE and WiFi combined with entirely new technologies.

1:38 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Monday, December 8, 2014


With emerging demands for local area and popular content sharing services, multihop device-to-device communication is conceived as a vital component of next-generation cellular networks to improve spectral reuse, bring hop gains, and enhance system capacity. Ripening these benefits depends on fundamentally understanding its potential performance impacts and efficiently solving several main technical problems.

Aiming to establish a new paradigm for the analysis and design of multihop D2D communications,
in this article, we propose a dynamic graph optimization framework that enables the modeling of large-scale systems with multiple D2D pairs and node mobility patterns. By inherently modeling the main technological problems for multihop D2D communications, this framework benefits investigation of theoretical performance limits and studying the optimal system design. Furthermore, these achievable benefits are demonstrated by examples of simulations under a realistic multihop D2D communication underlaying cellular network.


6:37 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Mobile is Enabling Tech to Outgrow the Tech Industry

Android devices are still the driving force across the global smartphone market, according to the International Data Corporation. Total smartphone shipments are set to reach 1.3 billion units this year with Android accounting for over 80 percent compared to just under 14 percent for iOS. 

From a revenue perspective, Apple’s premium smartphones control 30 percent of global revenue while Android’s more layered approach will afford it just under 67 percent.

7:06 PM by Alex Wanda · 0

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bringing Network Function Virtualization to LTE

The mobile telecommunications industry is at the verge of a unique business crossroads. The growing gap between capacity and demand is an urgent call for new approaches and alternative network technologies to enable mobile operators to achieve more with less.

Today, mobile broadband data is growing at an annual rate of 40-50 percent per year in the U.S. and other regions globally. Mobile service providers address these rapidly expanding traffic volumes through deployment of additional network functions, which will be a significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) challenge. The nature of that mobile broadband data traffic is also evolving with new services including new video applications, connected cars and the Internet of Things (IoT). This rapid capacity growth and increasing traffic diversity in LTE networks stresses the assumptions of existing network architectures and operational paradigms. 

5:37 PM by Alex Wanda · 0