5G IoT technology gets solid testing platform. And some nifty wireless mesh tech - Wirepas

5G IoT technology gets solid testing platform. And some nifty wireless mesh tech

Juho Pirskanen

5G IoT technology gets solid testing platform. And some nifty wireless mesh tech

At the beginning of 2019, the 5G Open Research Collaboration Ecosystem (5G-FORCE) research project had its kickstart. The overall goal of 5G-FORCE and its world-class partners is ambitious: to be an open platform for exploring and verifying new 5G technologies as well as researching new solutions. Filling the gap between laboratory-based 5G testing environments and commercial network deployments. The platform offers trialing support and tailored infrastructure configurations for telecom and vertical industries as well as scientific communities to make use of 5G radio and core network technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and wireless mesh networks. We at Wirepas are proudly part of this project, pushing massive IoT networks to new limits, and with use cases utilizing Wirepas Massive technology.

Wirepas Research in 5G-FORCE

5G has been lacking massive IoT characteristics. But during the project, Wirepas Massive proved it could complete the 5G ecosystem to cover all aspects of connectivity needs. What’s in it for Wirepas? 5G-FORCE provides a vital research collaboration environment with two parallel activities that strongly support each other. The first part of the project addresses the system research of a massive-scale autonomous IoT mesh network, pushing the limits of massive machine type communication (mMTC) well beyond existing 5G target values. Yes, we were excited too.

This research work should significantly accelerate Wirepas future 5G IoT technology development as, during the research, we can address several new technical and computing paradigms that were not available earlier and thus not used in current IoT networks. Now we can exploit new radio interface technologies, edge computing with local decision making and self-learning & self-healing algorithms to obtain optimum balance in terms of key performance indicators shown in Figure 1. At Wirepas, we strongly believe that massive IoT systems shall operate without centralized control of the system to enable extensive scalability of the mesh network and be able to automatically tune to correct balance between different key performance indicators. That’s how we roll.

In some use cases the node power consumption is the key, as the node will have to operate for long times with a coin cell battery or even just using energy harvesting. The typical use case is environmental sensors either indoors or outdoors. However, for example in a smart lighting use case, the latency of the communication is the key rather than power consumption as command needs to be delivered in tens or hundreds of milliseconds. Finally, as spectrum is a scarce resource, the optimum system capacity and how to co-exist and avoid disruptive interference between different systems is an essential subject for any IoT system aiming to scale truly massive deployments.

But we don’t stop there. Wirepas also actively participates in several ETSI standardization groups where the results of studies are essential in influencing future technologies, and to ensure that progress in regulations are favorable for massive-scale IoT networks.

Wirepas Test Network in 5G-FORCE

The second part of the project extends the 5G-FORCE test network platform to support real massive-scale IoT networks with realistic data. The massive-scale test networks are deployed on the Tampere University campus utilizing different vendors’ commercial and pre-commercial devices, all using Wirepas Massive for communication.

The work lets Wirepas and Tampere University evaluate, understand and improve the real system performance, interoperability and usage of a mesh network composed of different kind of nodes developed for different use cases by different device vendors. With massive scale, testing is not done with just a few nodes, but on networks containing several hundred or even thousands of nodes. With different use case, a single network is composed of nodes developed for asset management, indoor / outdoor positioning of objects, person monitoring tags, lighting control and building automation for example.

This activity extends the existing 5G test network platform done by other project members, to support a real massive-scale IoT network with realistic data as the mesh network is integrated with the overall 5G test network platform maintained by the 5G-FORCE project. Further network and obtained data can be used by Tampere University for teaching and education purposes.


The very first six months have already given us several exciting results in both system research and test network area. Don’t worry. We’ll start publishing these results in upcoming blogs and other media. And if you find this research and 5G IoT technology as interesting as we do and would like to know more, just get in touch. At Wirepas, we’re open for collaboration.

For more information visit: https://5g-force.org/


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