Connecting the future: creating fast and reliable networks for the Smart Cities to come

Posted on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Author: Aline Bélisle

From cell phones to autonomous driving, wireless networks are becoming increasingly important in our daily lives

The world of wireless networks and communications is one of the fastest-moving areas of research in our modern world. With the first generation of 5G-compatible devices currently hitting the market, the need for fast, localized, real-time network connectivity has never been greater.

While these pervasive wireless technologies are becoming increasingly essential for the workings of our modern societies, they are still flawed in many ways.

Some researchers, like Professor Melike Erol-Kantarci, are already looking ahead at the next generation of high-speed networks and developing the infrastructure needed to support them.

Melike Erol-Kantarci

Professor Melike Erol-Kantarci at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is one of Canada’s key figures working to reconfigure the wireless communication networks that we use on a daily basis. Along with her team of researchers at the University of Ottawa’s NETCORE lab, her research focuses on pioneering methods of efficient interconnectivity in 5G and 6G networks, as well as innovating techniques for the reduction of latency in the transmission of network connections.

One of the key points of Erol-Kantarci’s work is to develop algorithms needed for the creation of seamless high-speed network connections. This includes exploring the physical limitations of the range of the signals emitted from the base stations, restoring coverage as well as providing information on capacity. These algorithms will also ensure the resources in the base stations are being used in the most optimal way.

Diagram showing 5G network base stations, resource allocation to Smart City, cellular network and 5G beamforming.

Diagram showing 5G network base stations, resource allocation to Smart City, cellular network and 5G beamforming.

Much of this is being accomplished with the help of AI, a pioneering element of Erol-Kantarci’s research that will become crucial as networks continue to expand and become increasingly more complex.

Another important element of Erol-Kantarci’s research is the reduction of latency in the transmissions that form the base of the network.

The need for real-time, seamless connections is crucial when considering the rapid expansion of Smart Grids and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and the possible repercussions of signal latency on the users of the network. These repercussions could range from the harmless, such as the download time of an HD movie, to risking life-threatening accidents in autonomous vehicles.

It is thanks to the work of Erol-Kantarci and her team at NETCORE lab that we can count on a safer, faster and more accessible network that will bring us to the future and beyond.

Learn more about Melike Erol-Kantarci’s research and NETCORE lab:

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