Prof. Tarik Taleb



Short Description

CWC research unit at Oulu has a 5G Test Network (5GTN) with campus wide small cell, macro-cell and distributed antenna based cellular network to be complemented by NFV based EPC and 5G backhauling solution ( 5GTN is a full-scale 5G test network that supports using 5G devices, higher frequency bands, cognitive management functionalities, and system testing tools for new solutions.

The key assets in the current infrastructure

The 5GTN feature evolution follows 5G research and standardisation progress, acting as verification platform for theoretical 5G research. The cellular devices part of the network is composed of 30 LTE small cells (700 MHz, 2.1, 2.3, 2.6, 3.5 GHz) and 2 macro cells (2.3 GHz). The network has two 5GNR base stations (3.5 GHz) complemented with User Equipment from MediaTek (10) that are easily integrated to any device, and 5G enabled mobile phones from several vendors. The network is currently being complemented by mmW (24-28 GHz) 5GNR base stations as well as with 36 remote radio head (RRH) based cloud RAN 5G NR devices. For research purposes, we have also pre-standard 5G capable NOKIA proof-of-concept (PoC) devices at 26-28 GHz. The network is controlled by operator grade EPC (Evolved Packet Core), thus making OULU in practice a network operator with own SIM production for mobile devices. The current operational EPC version is 5G NSA compliant, but for research purposes 5G standalone (SA) core is also available. The network within the campus is complemented by wireless sensor network (IoT, internet of things) extension with estimated 2000 different kinds of sensors with wireless connectivity through NB-IoT, LTE-M and LoRa.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

  • Sensor data is available for anyone to explore, free of charge.
  • big data computing servers for network data analytics purposes. Some of these servers are distributed within the network thus allowing multi-access edge computing (MEC) as well as caching services.
  • The NOKIA EPC has open application programming interfaces (virtualized EPC) that makes it possible to integrate new services to e.g., network management.

6G-SANDBOX extensions and new features

The Oulu Site will be enhanced with all the software components developed in 6G-SANDBOX to create the trial networks and network digital twins (i.e., the components that will be hosted in the 6G Library) and will integrate 6G components at the physical infrastructure layer that are related to:

  • Enhance the autonomous programmability features of the 5GTN, particularly incorporating within 5GTN AI-based closed loops that will be developed within the project and that can assist in autonomously optimizing the network configuration and the edge cloud resource allocations for both initial deployment and lifecycle management of virtual EPC and 5G core.
  • Incorporate within 5GTN an AI-based closed loop that can protect the network against Application-Layer (D)DoS Attack and protect the edge cloud against economic denial of sustainability attacks.
  • Expose APIs to some of its cloud nodes where external users can deploy their services to be delivered as an edge cloud service and tested over the 5GTN.