Actix and German mobile industry research the future of wireless broadband

Actix, the recognized global leader for systems that enhance mobile network performance while reducing the total cost of ownership, has joined forces with industry leaders and peers in the Easy-C consortium.

Easy-C (Enablers for Ambient Services and Systems - Part C) is a 4th generation network research group that will research and trial the wireless broadband technology of the future. Partners include two leading German mobile operators, German universities and network equipment providers.

The trial partners, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), will develop and test Fourth Generation transmission techniques to ensure they deliver low latency, high-bandwidth wireless broadband. The delivery of current and future applications in cellular networks like streaming, gaming and broadcast TV will be a key developmental issue for Easy-C.

"With services delivered over 3G networks, mobile broadband is already here. Data traffic is growing rapidly, and applications using it are proliferating. This is creating a mounting demand for increased capacity in the networks, and one which current networks cannot meet,"said Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fettweis, the Vodafone Chair Mobile Communications Systems. "EASY-C's research will not only deliver the consistently high end user experience consumers are looking for, but will influence the roadmap towards our future networks."

This will be the first large-scale test-bed worldwide where a prototype cellular network will be constructed to implement and trial these innovative technologies. Traditionally, networks are simulated but a true assessment of upcoming technologies can only be tested by real-time hardware in the loop excercises.

"Spectrum is becoming increasingly limited as standards evolve. This means future systems have to support significantly higher spectral efficiencies, and a change in how we view our networks is required to achieve this," said Johannes Huebner, Global Director of Automated Optimization at Actix. "Being able to test theories - like using interference signals to boost spectral efficiency through inter-cell cooperative techniques - is a massive boon, and will give those involved a minimum of two years' lead over competitors."

The prototype network in Dresden will consist of 30 cells and 10 base stations. An additional test bed for application oriented demonstrations will be installed in Berlin with 2 base-stations and 4 cells. It is anticipated that it will be ready for first field tests in 2008. Actix will be working on the algorithms and concepts that allow the planning and roll-out of these networks.

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