Aalto nextG is an infrastructure supporting research on future mobile networks. It is operated by the School of Electrical Engineering's Comnet technical support services.
Current research focuses on developing advanced radio communication systems and internet technologies for 5th generation mobile communication systems and beyond. There, the focus is on flexible spectrum use, Internet of Things (IoT), ultra-low latency communications, network protocols and software, virtualisation and cloudification of networks, network big data, and energy efficiency as well as on network security, trust and resiliency.
Research equipment and services
Wireless and Internet communication research requires variety of experimentation and test environment in addition to simulation and analytical development. Some of research can be performed in an emulated environment using e.g. radio channel emulation while others need real radio. One experiment needs 180 units of cheap single board computers; on the other experiment, a full mobile network with several datacenters is required.
Aalto nextG has several assets enabling near-full scale experiments with networks. Aalto campus area at Otaniemi is well covered with fiber optical cable allowing good connectivity to wireless networks. The 4G/5G wireless network is connected to the national 5G test network (5GTNF). It allows use of multiple mobile cores sharing same radio resources: of more than fifty mobile networks in Finland, almost one out of five is operated by Aalto. Currently MNC (Mobile Network Code) 51 is used for NB-IoT technologies in the 700 MHz frequency range, MNC 52 is used for 5G technologies in the 3.5 GHz frequency range, and MNCs 50 and 53 to 59 can be used to test for example roaming. Different aspects of technologies can be studied in isolation and in joint settings.
Open Science services
The network has high-performance connection via Funet to the Internet that is isolated from the campus network. This allows advanced experimentation without endangering stability of the latter. Long-term co-operation with other Internet research agencies and societies including Planetlab, NLANR, Caida and RIPE.
Experimental 4G/5G networks can support use-cases and experiments not possible in mobile networks provided by commercial operators. The latter provide usable standard network service if no experimental features are needed. For scientist, there would be a selection of networks starting from commercial providers, experimental networks provided by vendors, and experimental networks provided by scientific community. With an co-operation of nextG and Aalto ITS the best network can be provided e.g. for IoT experiments and Aalto Industrial Internet Campus.
State-of-art IP and Ethernet traffic generation and analysis are beneficial for e.g. testing different devices and systems for their true performance and characteristics under varying load up to several hundred gigabits per second.
Optical network allows distribution of time synchronization reference enabling better fidelity for multiple different kind of measurements around campus area. Time can be provided within nanoseconds accuracy to universal standard time.
Network emulation with real network and radio devices allows testing usefulness and performance of features before actual system is available. It also makes possible to perform tests in well-defined environment.
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Research equipment and services
Wireless and Internet communication research requires a variety of experimentation and test environment, in addition to simulation and analytical development.