Murcia campus at 5G speed

A team from the UMU launches a 5G network on the Espinardo Campusso that companies and emergency services can test their applications and adjust them to this technology.

Researchers from the Intelligent Systems and Telematics group at the University of Murcia.

The 5G network It will multiply the possibilities that mobile communications offer today. Its implementation will make the autonomous vehicle much safer. It will put an end to the problem that today occurs in large concentrations, such as football matches or music festivals, in which the network is saturated or will multiply the capacity of the Internet of Things systems.

It will undoubtedly be the technology with which the digital society and technological solutions based on communication systems will further strengthen.

Experiments with a 5G test network

However, although there are very notable advances in this regard, it is still a question of an immature technology, for whose consolidation it is necessary to experiment in situations very similar to the real onesor with controlled networks, closely observed by researchers, in charge of polishing the imperfections detected in their operation.

This is exactly what he is doing Research Group on Intelligent Systems and Telematics, from the University of Murcia. These researchers are participating in a European project, which has enabled them to create an experimental 5G network on the campus of the University of Murcia, open to a group of companies, with the aim of testing and adapting their applications to this new, more advanced ecosystem, which in a few years will be the usual formula in mobile communications.

This technology is allowing them to achieve great advances, but it is also testing the capacity of both the researchers and the companies participating in the project, explains the group’s researcher, Jorge Gallego Madrida participant in this project called 5GASP, thanks to a pre-doctoral contract of the Seneca Foundationcharged to Grants for hiring post-doctoral researchers and innovation managers co-financed by the European Social Fund at 91.89%.

Jorge Gallego Madrid, who enjoys a pre-doctoral contract financed by the Seneca Foundation.

Get familiar with the 5G network

“From the project we give them support so that they become familiar with the technology and can adapt their applications within this system,” he explains.

The type of companies that participate in this experiment is very varied. Participates a company that has developed a network traffic analyzer, focused on the detection of “malicious traffic”, whose effectiveness is being tested in this most advanced network ecosystem. A couple of applications for vehicle geolocation have also joined the project.

In these cases, 5G technology has allowed reduce latency, that is, the time between when the signal is emitted and received, something essential in this area. Thus, vehicles have been able to issue location and speed data in real time, information that will be key to the implementation of autonomous mobility.

Safety in disasters and emergencies

Another of the lines of work framed in this research project is related to safety in the face of catastrophes. In such a situation, communication networks may be affected or even saturated.

How could you act? This team from the University of Murcia has managed to design a system that makes it possible to give priority to certain users over the rest.

“From the project it is intended that in the face of any type of catastrophe in which the network falls, another is automatically displayed, to give priority service to emergency services. They would never be left without connection”, affirms Jorge Gallego.

Image taken by the drone tested with the Murcia firefighters, which broadcasts video in 5G.

In this same line, experiments have also been carried out with a drum that emits a video signal in real time, in collaboration with the Murcia fire brigadeand that could be used to monitor fires, search for missing persons and control the evolution of a flood, for example.

With 5G technology, it is possible to ensure this quality of service to priority users. “If there is a saturation in the network, we can prioritize emergency services. 5G technology gives us mechanisms that allow us to establish a certain quality of service and prioritize resources for certain people or certain devices, in this case the emergency services, which would operate with the maximum capacity of the network”.

Differences between 5G and 4G

Therein lies one of the main differences between the 4 and 5G network, in what specialists know as terms of network virtualizationwhich makes it possible to have a much more flexible network, “even if it is at a virtual level”, which allows technicians finer control of the entire system.

We went from a more static approach to a much more dynamic onewhich is what allows us this flexibility, to adapt it to other uses”, adds this researcher whose contract finances the Seneca Foundation of the Region of Murcia.

Antennas for the 5G network on the Espinardo Campus.

To deploy this 5G network on the campus of the University of Murcia two base stations have been installed, through which wireless service is offered. These antennas are connected by fiber optics to the data center of the University of Murcia, where this research team has installed the “core of the network”, that is, its central part.

The equipment at the campus level has been possible thanks to the collaboration with the operator Más Móvil, which has given them a part of the radio spectrum, in order to use that telephone band.

Besides, they have a laboratory network, for which they use free software and software-defined radios, which allow them to broadcast in a variety of bands, designed and manufactured by themselves. Because one of the problems being encountered in this project is the lack of devices available on the market adapted to this emerging technology.

By the time this ultra-fast Internet browsing speed technology is implanted in society, the 5G networks must be fully fine-tuned, something that this group from the University of Murcia is taking care of.

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