5G wireless networks will represent a major departure from today's wireless networking structures in terms of bandwidth, management, flexibility, and many other aspects. Currently, the state of 5G technologies is in deeply in the pre-commercial phase. National Instruments (NI) now has joined the EU research project CROWD to define 5G wireless technologies.
CROWD, which stands for Connectivity management for energy Optimised Wireless Dense networks, is one of the European Union's Framework 7 projects. The consortium researches the combination of small- and large-density cells in a heterogeneous wireless network for an efficient architecture in which small cells meet traffic hotspot needs, while large cells offer reliable coverage for high-mobility users. As a CROWD member, NI will research reliable high-speed data access at all points in dense networks through small cell densification.
According to James Kimery, director of RF, communications, and software-defined radio for NI, current demand is barely supported by network infrastructure, so the industry needs higher points of dense networks. However, network densification requires advanced self-organized network techniques to manage interference. The goal of CROWD is to develop higher-layer algorithms to manage increased complexity due to densification.
NI, one of seven collaborators in the CROWD consortium, leads the testbed activities within the CROWD research project in the domain of future communication and ICT services infrastructures. An NI PXI chassis running FlexRIO FPGA modules, NI 5791 RF front-end modules, and LabVIEW system design software provides the infrastructure for an LTE/WiFi testbed for conducting experiments to showcase software-defined networking concepts proposed by various partners in the project.
Other members of the CROWD research consortium include Alacatel-Lucent, France Telecom, the universities of Madrid and Paderborn (Germany), and Signalion GmbH.
This article originally appeared in EE Times Europe.