Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of Communications Engineering MSc Jaume Benseny Quintana

Title of the doctoral thesis is "Local wireless access provision for rural penetration and urban diversification"

Wireless access services, such as mobile broadband and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, contribute to digitalization and economic growth. Traditional operators typically provide these services nationwide due to country-level regulation and scale benefits. However, it can take years until new-generation services become available in rural areas, and these services may lack the flexibility to serve the specific needs of smart cities. This study assesses how the local provision of wireless access services can address these limitations as an alternative to the national provision of traditional operators.

This study conducts a three-part techno-economic analysis, obtaining practical, managerial, and theoretical results in the fields of service adoption, technology evaluation, and business administration. Further, this study proposes two novel research methods for service adoption investigation. The first part of the study identifies circumstances that limit the adoption of nationwide services for Finland and Helsinki through statistical analysis of telecom data and traffic forecasting. The second part assesses the feasibility of two novel technologies to address these circumstances. The feasibility of smart light poles, which are equipped with sensors and small cells (or street-level antennas), is studied based on the costs of deployment. The feasibility of a flexible routing solution to enable mobile edge applications is assessed considering benefits and drawbacks for operators. The third part of this study evaluates local market structures, considering alternative business and technical responsibilities among local stakeholders under varying regulatory conditions, including local spectrum licenses.

The study concludes that the provision of local wireless access can facilitate the construction of infrastructure and the adoption of services when national initiatives struggle. Community-based operators, for example, can invest in low-cost rural networks with more relaxed requirements on profitability than traditional operators thanks to the financial support of local stakeholders and government programs. Further, in smart cities, neutral operators can facilitate co-investment in sensor and small cell networks while promoting data exchange. The study results are relevant to, at least, local policymakers and telecom regulators for developing local digitalization plans and local wireless markets.

Opponent: Professor Pasi Tyrväinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Custos: Professor Heikki Hämmäinen, Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Communications Engineering

Contact details of the doctoral student: [email protected]

The defence will be organised via remote technology (Zoom). Link to the defence

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The doctoral thesis is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the Aaltodoc publication archive of Aalto University.

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