IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecture

7 March 2013 @ 16:15 – 17:15
Room 2020/2030, Fred Kaiser Building, UBC
2332 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Title: A Primer of Cutting-Edge Telecommunication Technologies – 5G, Femtos, Machine-to-Machine

Presented by: Dr. Mischa Dohler, CTTC

Abstract: This lecture will overview the really cutting-edge developments in the telecommunications industry. Without going into to many technical details, we will prime developments in M2M, Femtocells, and 5G design.

  • Machine-to-Machine: The unprecedented communication paradigm of machine-to-machine (M2M), facilitating 24/7 ultra-reliable connectivity between a prior unseen number of automated devices, is currently gripping both industrial as well as academic communities. Whilst applications are diverse, the in-home market is of particular interest since undergoing a fundamental shift of machine-to-human communications towards fully automatized M2M.  The aim of this keynote is thus to provide academic, technical and industrial insights into latest key aspects of wireless M2M networks, with particular application to the emerging smart grid and smart home verticals. Notably, I will provide an introduction to the particularities of M2M systems, mainly in the context of smart homes. Architectural, technical and privacy requirements, and thus applicable technologies will be discussed. Notably, we will dwell briefly on the capillary and mainly cellular embodiments of M2M. The focus of capillary M2M, useful for real-time data gathering in homes, will be on IEEE (.15.4e) and IETF (6LoWPAN, ROLL, COAP) standards compliant low-power multihop networking designs; furthermore, for the first time, low power Wifi will be dealt with and positioned into the eco-system of capillary M2M. The focus of cellular M2M, useful for both data gathering and the increasing multimedia contents in smart homes, will be on latest activities, status and trends in leading M2M standardization bodies with technical focus on ETSI M2M and 3GPP LTE-MTC. Open technical challenges, along with the industry’s vision on smart grid and smart home developments, will be discussed during the talk.
  • Femtocells: Femtocells, despite their name, pose a potentially large disruption to the carefully planned cellular networks that now connect a majority of the planet’s citizens to the Internet and with each other. Femtocells – which by the end of 2010 already outnumbered traditional base stations and by March 2012 being deployed at a rate of about five million a year – both enhance and interfere with this network in ways that are not yet well understood. Will femtocells be crucial for offloading data and video from the creaking traditional network? Or will femtocells prove more trouble than they are worth, undermining decades of careful base station deployment with unpredictable interference while delivering only limited gains? Or possibly neither: are femtocells just a “flash in the pan”; an exciting but shortlived stage of network evolution that will be rendered obsolete by improved WiFi offloading, new backhaul regulations and/or pricing, or other unforeseen technological developments? This tutorial on femtocells overviews femtocells, demystifies their key aspects, and provides a preview of the next few years, by discussing in great depths the many aspects and facets of the femtocell eco system.
  • 5G Cellular Design: Capacity projections from the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) have become outdated even before the next generation, i.e., the 4th generation (4G), wireless communications systems have been widely deployed. This is due to the fairly recent explosion and uptake of smart phones and smart services anytime/everywhere, and the thus associated data requirements. The trend is clearly towards splitting indoors and outdoors network designs, with focus on interoperation, support of mobility, high traffic levels and emerging bandwidth-intensive applications. Focusing e.g. on the market demand in dense urban areas during business hours, it has been calculated that about 1 Gbps/km2 are required. This is an order of magnitude higher than the current forward looking state of the art 4G networks. Whilst capacity is one of the main drivers, the cost of achieving said capacity is another. In other words, only cost efficient solutions to deliver the required capacity density are seen to be viable for 5G deployments. To this end, the talk will be divided into three topics: i) indoor design through femto cells; ii) outdoor design through innovative cellular design; and iii) management of said architectures through self-organizing networking (SON). Concerning the outdoors design, I will present a detailed architectural and functional approach to achieving 5G networking capacities – all corroborated by a fairly detailed cost and business case estimate. I introduce the concept of “architectural water-filling” with cheap below-rooftop access base stations and a unique feeding architecture using a combination of licensed in-band spectrum and out-of-band license exempt spectrum. Very high capacity feeding hubs with high-order spatial reuse are thus created using multi-beam antennas and advanced MIMO techniques, as well as use of millimeter wave radio links. Cognitive/docitive techniques are introduced to handle the increasingly complex system dynamics, making a viable step towards SON. Finally, I will dwell on latest trial and ETSI BRAN standardization activities towards the implementation of said 5G systems, as well as how current 3GPP LTE-A activities facilitate the design.

Biography: Mischa Dohler is now Director of Research at CTTC, Barcelona. He is Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE ComSoc, Senior Member of the IEEE, and Editor-in-Chief of ETT. He frequently features as keynote speaker and panelist. He had press coverage by BBC and Wall Street Journal. He is a tech company investor and entrepreneur, being the co-founder, former CTO and now board member of Worldsensing – a M2M company with focus on the Smart City market. He loves his piano and is fluent in 6 languages.

In the framework of the Mobile VCE, he has pioneered research on distributed cooperative space-time encoded communication systems, dating back to December 1999 and holding some early key patents. He has published more than 150 technical journal and conference papers at a citation h-index of 32 and citation g-index of 65, holds a dozen patents, authored, co-edited and contributed to 19 books, has given more than 30 international short-courses, and participated in ETSI, IETF and other standardization activities. He has been TPC member and co-chair of various conferences, such as technical chair of IEEE PIMRC 2008 held in Cannes, France. He is/has been holding various editorial positions for numerous IEEE and non-IEEE journals and special issues.

Since 2008 he has been with CTTC and from 2010-2012 the CTO of Worldsensing. From June 2005 to February 2008, he has been Senior Research Expert in the R&D division of France Telecom, France. From September 2003 to June 2005, he has been lecturer at King’s College London, UK. At that time, he has also been London Technology Network Business Fellow receiving Anglo-Saxon business training, as well as Student Representative of the IEEE UKRI Section and member of the Student Activity Committee of IEEE Region 8 (Europe, Africa, Middle-East and Russia).

He obtained his PhD in Telecommunications from King’s College London, UK, in 2003, his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Dresden University of Technology, Germany, in 2000, and his MSc degree in Telecommunications from King’s College London, UK, in 1999. Prior to Telecommunications, he studied Physics in Moscow. He has won various competitions in Mathematics and Physics, and participated in the 3rd round of the International Physics Olympics for Germany.