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Special Issue "Experimentation in 5G and beyond Networks: State of the Art and the Way Forward"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Communications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giuseppe Caso
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Mobile Systems and Analytics, Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering, 0167 Oslo, Norway
Interests: heterogeneous networks; IoT; cognitive communications; game theory; artificial intelligence; multi-agent learning
Prof. Dr. Özgü Alay
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, NorwayDepartment of Mobile Systems and Analytics, Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering, 0167 Oslo, Norway
Interests: 5G; IoT; low-latency networking; mobile multimedia; multipath transport
Prof. Dr. Anna Brunstrom
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Karlstad University, 65188 Karlstad, Sweden
Interests: internet architectures and protocols; low-latency communication; multipath communication; performance evaluation of mobile systems; 5G; IoT
Dr. Harilaos Koumaras
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
NCSR "Demokritos", Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, Patriarchou Grigoriou E' & 27 Neapoleos Str., 15341 Agia Paraskevi, Greece
Interests: 5G; mobile communications; virtualization; cloud computing; quality of experience; multimedia; networking
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Almudena Díaz Zayas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronics Technology, University of Malaga, 29071 Malaga, Spain
Interests: mobile communications and protocols; testbeds; testing; quality of service
Dr. Valerio Frascolla
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Intel Deutschland GmbH, Lilienthalstraße 4, 85579 Neubiberg, Germany
Interests: 5G and beyond system design; business models; dynamic spectrum management; edge technology; artificial intelligence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards in the Release 15 specifications, only recently has the first phase of the 5th Generation (5G) of cellular systems started to be deployed worldwide. Each country, based on its own needs and local market requests, has decided on its own deployment roadmap of 5G services. For instance, as of August 2020, not all European countries have launched commercial 5G services. This ongoing first phase of deployment will be followed by enhanced versions of the standards in the following years. Therefore, in parallel with the commercial rollout, the capability to experiment and validate the planned new features, thanks to data-driven analyses based on field trials and measurements, is of extreme interest to the whole 5G ecosystem, including researchers, standardization bodies, network operators, small and medium-sized enterprises, technology and equipment providers, and verticals. These analyses make it possible to identify correlations between deployment choices and achievable 5G key performance indicators (KPIs), while guiding towards system optimization and enhancement. The definition of KPIs, as well as measurement and validation methodologies, are complex tasks in 5G scenarios, due to intrinsic dependencies with specific use cases, services, and applications.

Within the above context, this Special Issue aims to collect original contributions on experimental aspects of 5G and beyond networks and systems. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Design, implementation, and usage of 5G and beyond experimental testbeds and platforms (e.g., those in the scopes of EU 5G-PPP and US PAWR programs);
  • Design, implementation, and usage of 5G open-source tools for automated resource instantiation, management, monitoring, and data analysis;
  • End-to-end measurement and validation frameworks for 5G KPIs;
  • Experimental analysis and ML/AI-based modeling and optimization of 5G technologies and paradigms, including:
    • 5G New Radio (NR) and 5G Core (5G Core);
    • Network slicing, management and orchestration, and SDN/NFV;
    • MEC, fog and edge computing;
    • 5G multi-access and multi-connectivity at different network layers (e.g., 5GNR-LTE interworking, 5GNR-WiFi aggregation, and multipath transport protocols applied to 5G);
    • Spectrum sharing, coexistence, and management mechanisms;
    • mmWave communication and networking;
  • Experimental analysis and ML/AI-based modeling and optimization of 5G vertical-specific applications, including
    • High-demanding multimedia applications;
    • Smart cities;
    • Industrial automation;
    • Intelligent transport systems and vehicular applications;
    • E-health;
    • Mission-critical services;
  • 5G and beyond standardization activities towards KPI measurement and validation;
  • Description and usage of 5G open datasets.

The Special Issue seeks original, unpublished papers addressing key issues and challenges in 5G and beyond experimentation. Survey, review, and tutorial papers on aspects related to the above topics will also be considered for publication. Papers shall contain original material, not currently submitted elsewhere. All submissions will be judged by their technical merit and relevance to the Special Issue.

Dr. Giuseppe Caso
Prof. Dr. Özgü Alay
Prof. Dr. Anna Brunstrom
Dr. Harilaos Koumaras
Dr. Almudena Díaz Zayas
Dr. Valerio Frascolla
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 5G
  • 5G and beyond
  • KPI measurement and validation
  • Testbed design and usage
  • Empirical analysis
  • ML/AI-based optimization
  • Experimentation
  • Open source tools

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Low-Latency QC-LDPC Encoder Design for 5G NR
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6266; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186266 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
In order to meet the low latency and high throughput requirements of data transmission in 5th generation (5G) New Radio (NR), it is necessary to minimize the low power encoding hardware latency on transmitter and achieve lower base station power consumption within a [...] Read more.
In order to meet the low latency and high throughput requirements of data transmission in 5th generation (5G) New Radio (NR), it is necessary to minimize the low power encoding hardware latency on transmitter and achieve lower base station power consumption within a fixed transmission time interval (TTI). This paper investigates parallel design and implementation of 5G quasi-cyclic low-density parity-check (QC-LDPC) codes encoder. The designed QC-LDPC encoder employs a multi-channel parallel structure to obtain multiple parity check bits and thus reduce encoding latency significantly. The proposed encoder maps high parallelism encoding algorithms to a configurable circuit architecture, achieving flexibility and support for all 5G NR code length and code rate. The experimental results show that under the 800 MHz system frequency, the achieved data throughput ranges from 62 to 257.9 Gbps, and the maximum code length encoding time under base graph 1 (BG1) is only 33.75 ns, which is the critical encoding time of our proposed encoder. Finally, our proposed encoder was synthesized on SMIC 28 nm CMOS technology; the result confirmed the effectiveness and feasibility of our design. Full article
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Article
5G Standalone and 4G Multi-Carrier Network-in-a-Box Using a Software Defined Radio Framework
Sensors 2021, 21(16), 5653; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21165653 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
In this work, an open Radio Access Network (RAN), compatible, scalable and highly flexible Software Defined Radio (SDR)-based Remote Radio Head (RRH) framework is proposed and designed. Such framework can be used to implement flexible wideband radio solutions, which can be deployed in [...] Read more.
In this work, an open Radio Access Network (RAN), compatible, scalable and highly flexible Software Defined Radio (SDR)-based Remote Radio Head (RRH) framework is proposed and designed. Such framework can be used to implement flexible wideband radio solutions, which can be deployed in any region, have common radio management features, and support various channel bandwidths. Moreover, it enables easier access for researchers to nonsimulated cellular networks, reduce system development time, provide test and measurement capabilities, and support existing and emerging wireless communication technologies. The performance of the proposed SDR framework is validated by creating a Network-in-a-Box (NIB) that can operate in multiband multicarrier 4G or 5G standalone (SA) configurations, with an output power of up to 33 dBm. Measurement results show, that the 4G and 5G NIB can achieve, respectively, up to 883 Mbps and 765 Mbps downlink data transfer speeds for a 100 MHz aggregated bandwidth. However, if six carriers are used in the 4G NIB, 1062 Mbps downlink data transfer speed can be achieved. When single user equipment (UE) is used, maximum uplink data transfer speed is 65.8 Mbps and 92.6 Mbps in case of 4G and 5G, respectively. The average packet latency in case of 5G is up to 45.1% lower than 4G. CPU load by the eNodeB and gNodeB is proportional to occupied bandwidth, but under the same aggregated DL bandwidth conditions, gNodeB load on the CPU is lower. Moreover, if only 1 UE is active, under same aggregated bandwidth conditions, the EPC CPU load is up to four times lower than the 5GC. Full article
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Article
Random Access Using Deep Reinforcement Learning in Dense Mobile Networks
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3210; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093210 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
5G and Beyond 5G mobile networks use several high-frequency spectrum bands such as the millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands to alleviate the problem of bandwidth scarcity. However high-frequency bands do not cover larger distances. The coverage problem is addressed by using a heterogeneous network which [...] Read more.
5G and Beyond 5G mobile networks use several high-frequency spectrum bands such as the millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands to alleviate the problem of bandwidth scarcity. However high-frequency bands do not cover larger distances. The coverage problem is addressed by using a heterogeneous network which comprises numerous small and macrocells, defined by transmission and reception points (TRxPs). For such a network, random access is considered a challenging function in which users attempt to select an efficient TRxP by random access within a given time. Ideally, an efficient TRxP is less congested, minimizing delays in users’ random access. However, owing to the nature of random access, it is not feasible to deploy a centralized controller estimating the congestion level of each cell and deliver this information back to users during random access. To solve this problem, we establish an optimization problem and employ a reinforcement-learning-based scheme. The proposed scheme estimates congestion of TRxPs in service and selects the optimal access point. Mathematically, this approach is beneficial in approximating and minimizing a random access delay function. Through simulation, we demonstrate that our proposed deep learning-based algorithm improves performance on random access. Notably, the average access delay is improved by 58.89% from the original 3GPP algorithm, and the probability of successful access also improved. Full article
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Article
Deploying an NFV-Based Experimentation Scenario for 5G Solutions in Underserved Areas
Sensors 2021, 21(5), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21051897 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
Presently, a significant part of the world population does not have Internet access. The fifth-generation cellular network technology evolution (5G) is focused on reducing latency, increasing the available bandwidth, and enhancing network performance. However, researchers and companies have not invested enough effort into [...] Read more.
Presently, a significant part of the world population does not have Internet access. The fifth-generation cellular network technology evolution (5G) is focused on reducing latency, increasing the available bandwidth, and enhancing network performance. However, researchers and companies have not invested enough effort into the deployment of the Internet in remote/rural/undeveloped areas for different techno-economic reasons. This article presents the result of a collaboration between Brazil and the European Union, introducing the steps designed to create a fully operational experimentation scenario with the main purpose of integrating the different achievements of the H2020 5G-RANGE project so that they can be trialed together into a 5G networking use case. The scenario encompasses (i) a novel radio access network that targets a bandwidth of 100 Mb/s in a cell radius of 50 km, and (ii) a network of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAV). This set of SUAVs is NFV-enabled, on top of which Virtual Network Functions (VNF) can be automatically deployed to support occasional network communications beyond the boundaries of the 5G-RANGE radio cells. The whole deployment implies the use of a virtual private overlay network enabling the preliminary validation of the scenario components from their respective remote locations, and simplifying their subsequent integration into a single local demonstrator, the configuration of the required GRE/IPSec tunnels, the integration of the new 5G-RANGE physical, MAC and network layer components and the overall validation with voice and data services. Full article
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Article
A Modular Experimentation Methodology for 5G Deployments: The 5GENESIS Approach
Sensors 2020, 20(22), 6652; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226652 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
The high heterogeneity of 5G use cases requires the extension of the traditional per-component testing procedures provided by certification organizations, in order to devise and incorporate methodologies that cover the testing requirements from vertical applications and services. In this paper, we introduce an [...] Read more.
The high heterogeneity of 5G use cases requires the extension of the traditional per-component testing procedures provided by certification organizations, in order to devise and incorporate methodologies that cover the testing requirements from vertical applications and services. In this paper, we introduce an experimentation methodology that is defined in the context of the 5GENESIS project, which aims at enabling both the testing of network components and validation of E2E KPIs. The most important contributions of this methodology are its modularity and flexibility, as well as the open-source software that was developed for its application, which enable lightweight adoption of the methodology in any 5G testbed. We also demonstrate how the methodology can be used, by executing and analyzing different experiments in a 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) deployment at the University of Malaga. The key findings of the paper are an initial 5G performance assessment and KPI analysis and the detection of under-performance issues at the application level. Those findings highlight the need for reliable testing and validation procedures towards a fair benchmarking of generic 5G services and applications. Full article
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