TalTech revealed the results for IoT network testing
In the summer of 2018 TalTech and Telia Estonia Ltd deployed a test network for the internet of things (IoT) at the campus of the technical university and now the scientists have revealed their initial findings.
A network comprising of 50 IoT devices was set up at the campus to various indoor and outdoor locations and also to several garages and underground parking lots. The purpose of this endeavor was to gather data on the propagation characteristics of the NB-IoT radio network. As it turns out, there are no issues when it comes to indoor and outdoor coverage but outages can occur in underground locations.
Narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) is a state-of-the-art wireless technology which is a key enabler for mass market IoT applications in areas such as smart metering, waste and water management, logistics, factory automation, smart lighting, etc. All of the mentioned applications rely on the use of massive numbers of sensors.
According to the IT scientist at TalTech, Professor Muhammad Mahtab Alam, the research into NB-IoT began nearly a year ago: “Our research area is focused on efficient radio resource management in which one of the biggest challenges is how to support thousands of devices with just one resource block in an LTE radio frame?. Additionally, the impact of massive interference, which is expected from thousands of NB-IoT and LTE users, is studied. The end goal of the research group is to provide solutions based on low complex interference prediction and cancellation as well as cooperative techniques.”
Professor Alam also added that many electronics and telecommunication MSc students from the IT faculty have actively taken part in the research and their contributions to the results has been noteworthy.
The area manager for IoT at Telia Estonia Ltd, Toomas Kärner, noted that the results so far have been exciting and provide excellent input to enhance the radio network even further. “I really appreciate the systematic and scientific approach we have in cooperation with TalTech as it enables Telia to provide an even higher quality network for our customers”.
Kärner also said that IoT can be used to enhance automation and digitize processes and many companies in Estonia, operating in different fields, have done this already or are currently in the process of implementing IoT as an enabler for the future. All in all, the internet of things will help cut down costs, increase quality of service and the transparency and speed of management.
Research into NB-IoT at TalTech is also considered crucial with respect to 5G, by everyone involved in the project. In the near future, when there will presumably be hundreds of millions of connected devices, 5G will provide the base for their communication and more specifically it will be a case of NB-IoT enabled devices talking to each other over 5G.
The NB-IoT network deployed at TalTech campus is part of a wider smart campus project, jointly realized by TalTech and Telia. NB-IoT is a communications technology, standardized by 3GPP, which is meant for enabling the communication between a massive amount of sensors and actuators. Currently the technology is based on the fourth generation of broadband cellular networks (4G) and is quickly deployable in the radio network of Telia Estonia Ltd.