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Towards Pervasive Indoor Wireless Networks

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Better indoor wireless networks on the horizon

A team of researchers has studied the behaviour of indoor wireless networks and how they interact in order to pave the way for better wireless technology in the future.

Digital Economy

From mobile phone calls to health and security applications, indoor wireless communications represent a pervasive, embedded aspect in society today. However, not enough is known about how different indoor wireless networks interfere with one another in an explosion of wireless systems, as well as how indoor and building materials affect connectivity. Increased bandwidth demand and more efficient energy consumption are also putting pressure on communications researchers and authorities. The EU-funded WINDOW (Towards pervasive indoor wireless networks) project studied indoor wireless networks, material obstacles and a reduction in energy consumption to prepare for a better wireless paradigm. It looked at new frequency bands and traffic models for indoor networks, including applications in smart homes and buildings. Bringing together a consortium of partners from China, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the project team combined both theoretical research and practical verification approaches based on experiments and simulations to achieve its aims. As a result, it successfully advanced state-of-the-art technology in wireless communications, producing insightful conclusions and proposing new wireless models. The team’s work involved studying more than 20 building materials, measuring radio channels in indoor environments and modelling the behaviour of indoor wireless networks with a focus on interference. The research led to a protocol for interference management and a study on interference mitigation techniques. Moreover, the team developed new indoor traffic models and an energy efficiency model for indoor mobile multimedia communication systems. It also addressed the challenge of multichannel optimisation by proposing a new subchannel grouping scheme. In terms of energy efficiency, WINDOW developed a closed-form solution of energy efficiency optimisation for mobile multimedia communication systems, along with a new algorithm to improve energy efficiency. New long-term partnerships among the project partners emerged from the project, which produced or contributed to 74 publications on the subject, including 40 journal articles and 34 conference papers. The work accomplished has strong implications for the future of indoor wireless networks and is slated to improve how these networks behave with benefits to users and to society.

Keywords

Indoor wireless networks, wireless communications, WINDOW, multichannel optimisation

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