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mmWave Communications in the Built Environments

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WAVECOMBE (mmWave Communications in the Built Environments)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-09-30

The foreseen exponential growth of mobile data traffic will not be uniform across geographical areas, but is mainly concentrated in hot spots that are usually located in the built environments (BEs) such as central business districts, stations, airports, stadiums, dense urban environments, etc. This poses considerable challenges that we believe can be solved by ultra dense deployment of millimetre-wave (mmW) small-cells (SCs) in conjunction with massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) in 5G and beyond 5G (B5G) wireless networks. However, there are a number of research challenges that need to be addressed for a successful deployment of 5G/B5G wireless networks. Therefore, we propose here a research approach that combines the three disruptive key enabling technologies for 5G/B5G with the aim to answer fundamental questions that are still not well understood.

- Develop and test mmW MIMO and massive MIMO antennas.
- Characterize and model radio propagation channel at mmW bands for typical BEs.
- Characterize and model the effect of the human body on MIMO radio propagation at mmW bands.
- Theoretically analyze and optimize massive MIMO mmW SC performance in the BEs.
- Jointly optimize the planning/deployment of massive MIMO mmW SC networks and their operating environments.
- Develop methods to retrofit existing buildings and to design new buildings for efficient high-capacity wireless communications in the BEs.

Expected Impact:
WAVECOMBE provides 396 PM of high-quality interdisciplinary research for a new generation of scientists, who will benefit from the entrepreneurial environment created by the network, and deliver impact at a European level. It will produce a critical mass of highly-skilled professionals, who are advantaged by their international and inter-sector mobility. It will:
- Develop EU capacity to advance mmW antenna design, channel modelling, understanding of limits of dense small cells, HetNet planning/optimisation tool development, IoT, VR and other high data rate applications in BEs.
- Integrate mmW antennas and systems with BEs.
- Create strong interactions between wireless communications and building/BE/urban design and planning.
- Increase EU competitiveness in 5G/B5G, smart environment/building/city.
- Develop academic and industry collaboration.
- Create new and exciting career prospects for the fellows.
The Consortium Agreement was signed in Oct. 2017 and the kickoff of the project took place in Nov. 2017.
In May 2018, an amendment was signed to change the coordinator from the University of Sheffield to the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and to include the University of Twente instead of Chalmers University.
AXIÓN and Nokia Bell Labs were added as Partner Organizations.
All 11 ESRs were enrolled in a PhD program. ESRs have been working on their established Career Development Plan (CDP), which has been reviewed every six months. ESRs attended post-graduate courses at their PhD hosting university on topics related to their research sub-program.
The consortium organized two training schools. The 1st WAVECOMBE Training School (WATS-1) was held on Sep. 4-5th 2019 in the University of Twente. The 2nd Training School (WATS-2) was organized by the UPV on Feb. 4-5th, 2020.
Moreover, 8 workshops were held:
- "Joint IRACON-WAVECOMBE Training Workshop on Radio Channel Modelling for 5G Millimetre Wave Communications in Built Environments”, organized by the University of Durham on June 15th.
- "is3DMIMO – WAVECOMBE Joint Workshop" organized by the University of Sheffield on July 12nd, 2019.
- 2 online sessions of "WAVECOMBE Training Seminar on Public Engagement" organized by the University of Sheffield (Sep. 22nd 2020, Oct. 8th 2020).
- Online "WAVECOMBE Training Seminar on IRP & Patents", organized by Televic on Dec. 9th, 2020.
- Online "WAVECOMBE Training Seminar on Propagation model in Ranplan Professional Network planning and optimization", organized by Ranplan, on Feb. 25th, 2021.
- The UPV organized an online seminar with an Expert of the Supervisory Board on "Research Aspects of the Next Generations of WiFi technologies" on Oct. 14th, 2020.
- 2 online sessions of “Workshop on Product and mixed-signal design organized by Televic on April 26th and 30th 2021.
- Online "WaveComBE Final Workshop” organized by the UPV, on Sep. 28th, 2021.
Following the IRACON/WAVECOMBE workshop, a Special Issue in Radio Science special section “Radio Channel Modelling For 5G Millimetre Wave Communications In-Built Environments” was organized.
Gapwaves AB and the University of Twente delivered courses in the "European Association on Antennas and Propagation and Chalmers University Technology" on May 20–24, 2019.
Some ESRs participated in the 7th Global 5G Event and the 28th EuCNC that was held in Valencia in June 2019.
Some supervisors and ESRs participated in the 1st Post-IRACON meeting on Sep. 14-15th 2020.
A special session on "Novel Antennas and Propagation Modelling for the 5G Millimeter-Wave Bands" was also organized in ISAP2020, Osaka, on Jan. 27th, 2021.
In total, 36 academic papers have been published in international conferences and journals. Besides, 2 patents have been requested and 5 contributions to the Radiocommunication Study Groups - ITU have been published.
From the beginning of the project, the main means of dissemination of the WaveComBE have been the official website and social networks, which have been continually updated.
WaveComBE is offering the recruited researchers the opportunity to join a relevant topic of the current progress of the Wireless and Mobile Network Technologies. This means that these ESRs will have experience and knowledge for which a high demand of professionals may be foreseen. The secondments are also organised with the aim of enriching their skills according to their respective CDPs. In this sense, every ESR will have worked in at least two companies and one university research lab, combining the scientific and technical skills with practical aspects.

In the industrial sector, Ranplan, Gapwaves, and Televic play an important role in the diffusion of the activity developed within the project through events in which they exchange with the attending public. This bidirectional exchange not only contributes to improve the research work of our consortium but also enhances the impact of the project at the societal level.

The WaveComBE's technical results obtained during the project are described in:
- D1.1 Report on massive MIMO antenna numerical models
- D1.2 Report on Guidelines for OTA characterization of massive MIMO antennas (to be submitted to CTIA and 3GPP)
- D1.3 Report on massive MIMO antenna prototype and characterization
- D1.4 Report on Network performance impact of massive MIMO antenna
- D2.1 Report on scattering model of mmW
- D2.2 Report on estimated channel parameters in the built environment
- D2.3 Report on precipitation effects and potential interference between mmW radio links
- D2.4 Technical documents to be submitted to the ITU to be incorporated in ITU-R 1411 & 1238
- D3.1 Report on the fundamental performance limits of dense 3D mmW SC deployment
- D3.2 Recommendation on optimal MIMO configurations for mmW SCs in 3D BEs
- D3.3 Recommendation (to 3GPP, NGMN, Small Cell Forum, etc.) on optimal mmW SC deployment in typical BEs
Chunxia Qin (ER10) Presentation
2nd WaveComBE Training School (WATS-2)
Danaisy Prado (ESR6) Presentation
Samuel Romero (ESR7) Presentation
Mohammad Poordaraee (ESR2) Presentation
Mid-term Review Meeting
Othman Zahid (ESR5) Presentation
WaveComBE Leaflet
2nd WaveComBE Training School (WATS-2)
PMC meeting in Valencia