Mobile Communications

In the broad field of mobile communications our group focuses on three main topics within the scope of next generation mobile cellular networks: (i) physical layer channel measurements and characterizations, (ii) link- and system level simulations and optimizations of wireless networks, and (iii) traffic analysis, simulation and optimization at the IP layer.

The research group enjoys a long standing cooperation with A1 Telekom Austria. Within this cooperation our research focus lies on beyond 5G and 6G mobile communication technologies, such as, transmissions in the mmWave band, application of machine learning techniques for mobile network optimization, massive and distributed multiple-input multiple-output technologies, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. Of special interest is the modeling of future performance of actual network deployments using such technologies and its optimization.

The Christian Doppler Laboratory for Dependable Wireless Connectivity for a Society in Motion is also part of the mobile communications research group. Within this CD-Lab, we cooperate with Nokia Solutions and Networks, ÖBB Infrastruktur AG and A1 to develop new technologies that support dependable and efficient wireless communications.

The dedicated course plan in mobile communications attracts students from all over the world. International socializing is an activity already in the master program: together with ETH Zurich and TU Munich we offer an International Seminar on Mobile Communications. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Technical Universities of Bratislava and Brno, we conduct a seminar series in Bratislava, Brno, and Vienna, as part of the Mobile Communications Seminar lecture.

Research Topics

Our current research in mobile communications focuses on the following areas:

  • Measurement based wireless channel characterization and modeling, as well as, field trials of novel technologies
  • Link and system-level simulation and optimization of wireless communication technologies
  • Application of machine learning techniques for mobile network optimization
  • Wireless localization and location-aware wireless communications

In cooperation with the networking group of the Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (ftw.) we refine analysis methods and traffic models for packet switched traffic in next generation cellular mobile networks together with industry partners such as Kapsch Carrier Com (KCC), Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) as well as Mobilkom Austria and Telekom Austria (now A1 Telekom). The DARWIN3 (Data Analysis and Reporting for Wireless Networks) project, a successor of the METAWIN and DARWIN projects, is a measurement system for data and signaling traffic within the packet-switched LTE/UMTS/GPRS core network. At the current state this system is capable to detect and track data flows and derive service parameters for old (e.g. email) and new (e.g. online gaming) services on a per user level. The anonymized measurements drawn from a live mobile network are used for further research on optimization of performance and security as well as anomaly detection. The information obtained from this research is also used to evaluate and develop enhanced receiver concepts for UMTS HSDPA and LTE, and we are building models for simulation and optimization of these networks based on traffic maps extracted in the live network.

The research topic of Traffic Generation and Modelling is studied within the LOLA project. The LOLA (Achieving LOw-LAtency in Wireless Communications) project is an FP7 project in collaboration with seven different partners all over Europe, namely: EURECOM, Thales, Linköping University, AT4, Ericsson and Telecom Serbia. The focus of LOLA is on access-layer technologies targeting low-latency robust and spectrally-efficient transmission in a set of emerging application scenarios. Research is focused on LTE-A and meshed networks technologies in support of gaming services and machine-to machine (M2M) applications in mobile environments. The Institute participates as a work package leader in the area of Traffic Generation and Modeling.


H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020: Future Wireless Communications Empowered by Reconfigurable Intelligent Meta-Surfaces (MetaWireless)

META WIRELESS pursues the idea of designing wireless networks by treating the environment itself as a quantity to be controlled and optimized. Precisely, the manipulation of the wireless environment can be made possible by incorporating reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. These are planar structures, made of meta-materials and electromagnetically discontinuous, which do not adhere to conventional reflection and diffraction laws; rather, they can modify in a controllable fashion the phase and wavefront of impinging radio waves. If deployed to coat objects, walls, or building facades, they could allow customizing in real-time the electromagnetic response of environments.

Current wireless networks are designed based on communication-theoretic frameworks that optimize the transmitter/receiver behaviour given a wireless channel, but in reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS)-based networks the transmission paths are optimized. To quantify the performance of RISs in wireless networks, a system-level simulator that integrates the re-engineered WiSE ray tracing module with realistic network topologies, city maps, and standard-compliant modulation schemes and transmission protocols is necessary but, as of today, not available yet.

This Early Stage Researcher (ESR) project is focused on re-engineering the open-access Vienna System-Level Simulator developed by TUW to make it suitable for analyzing and optimizing RIS-based wireless networks. This is a major research effort from the programming standpoint, and requires the collaboration of experts in programming, physics, radio propagation, wireless communications, and networks. New software modules will be developed that integrate the “WiSE” ray tracing module, the three-dimensional indoor and outdoor EMS’s network planning tool that features three-dimensional maps of realistic network topologies and geographic datasets, along with the empirical channel models obtained from first RIS-based hardware platforms, and the innovative analytical models of radio propagation and manufactured RISs supplied by the other projects of the ESRs. Please see the project partners webpage for information about other research partners.

The MetaWireless simulator will be available through an open-access/open-source license to the entire research community, and will be accessible and free for download from the project website. A user manual and an installation guide will be provided. The application of RIS in various challenging transmission scenarios is to explore and possibly exact analytical frameworks are to develop.

Contact: Markus Rupp, Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.


H2020 ADWICE: Advanced Wireless Technologies for Clever Engineering

The project Advanced Wireless Technologies for Clever Engineering (ADWICE) is aimed to create a strong partnership between the research center of Sensor, Information and Communication Systems (SIX, Czech Republic) and Vienna University of Technology (TUW, Austria). QS World University Rankings sets TUW on the 91st position among engineering faculties worldwide. The partnership will result in the transfer of excellence in research from TUW to SIX.

SIX is located in the region of South Moravia. The regional innovation strategy 2014-2020 (RIS) identifies (1) electrical engineering, (2) information technologies, (3) mechanical engineering and (4) life sciences as dominant sectors of the regional economy. SIX contributes (1) to (3).

Smart specializations of South Moravia identified by RIS are (1) Advanced manufacturing & engineering, (2) Accurate instruments, (3) Hardware & software, (4) Pharmaceuticals, medical care & diagnostics, and (5) Aeronautical technologies. Wireless technologies can find exploitation in all these specializations which is documented by letters of intent provided by companies.

The ADWICE project consists of work-packages covering (1) Sensor systems, (2) Signal processing, (3) Radiofrequency applications, (4) Mobile communications and (5) Cyber security. Work-packages:

– Are co-supervised by a TUW leader and a SIX one;
– Contribute to (1) Smart cities, (2) Mobility for growth, and (3) Digital security;
– Are associated with companies.

The ADWICE project will result in a sustainable network comprising companies, SIX and TUW. The network will strengthen the innovation potential of companies thanks to the applied research of SIX and TUW. The network will cooperate on common research, education and dissemination. Operation of the network will be financed from private sources (contributions of companies) and public ones (national funds, HORIZON 2020). Research in the initial phase (2015-2019) will be funded by the National Sustainability Program.

Contact: Philipp SVOBODA, Projektass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.


Methodical Solution for Cooperative Hybrid Performance Analytics in Mobile Networks

This project is funded by the FFG in the context of BRIDGE. The ITC joins forces with the A1 Telekom Austria AG. In the scope of this project, we will try to answer the question of how well crowdsourced measurements can be improved by combining different measurement sources.

In this project, we enable monitoring of services and customers in mobile networks. The main objectives of this project can be summarized as follows:

  • Mathematical framework for modelling and analysis of benchmarking methods in reactive networks.
  • Study of the automatic detection of service classes based on machine learning algorithms.
  • Development of a method to combine active and passive measurement systems to a hybrid distributed measurement system.
  • Investigation of correlation between generic benchmarking of network parameters and quality of experience (QoE) metrics.
  • Derive methods for machine learning of QoE metrics in real-time.
  • Advance the methodology towards a distributed measurement system, which allows for crowd sourced data analysis.
  • Evaluation through experiments: Providing tools that either identify the actual network state or advise how to reach the optimal state for high quality solutions.
  • Forecasting the network state by using time series approaches, to serve the right resources at the right time.

Contact: Philipp SVOBODA, Projektass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.


EU FP7 Project LoLa: Achieving Low-Latency in Wireless Communications

The focus of LOLA is on access-layer technologies targeting low-latency robust and spectrally-efficient transmission in a set of emerging application scenarios. We consider two basic types of wireless networks, namely long-range LTE-Advanced Cellular Networks and medium-range rapidly-deployable mesh networks. Research on low-latency transmission in cellular networks is focused firstly on transmission technologies in support of gaming services which will undoubtedly prove to be a strategic revenue area for operators in the years to come. Secondly, we also consider machine-to-machine (M2M) applications in mobile environments using sensors connected to public infrastructure (in trains, busses, train stations, utility metering, etc.). M2M is an application area of extremely high growth potential in the context of future LTE-Advanced networks. A primary focus of the M2M research is to provide recommendations regarding PHY/MAC procedures in support of M2M to the 3GPP standardization process. The rapidly-deployable mesh topology component addresses M2M applications such as remote control and personnel/fleet tracking envisaged for future broadband civil protection networks. This work builds upon ongoing European research in this important area. Fundamental aspects of low-latency transmission are considered in addition to validation on real-time prototypes for a subset of the considered application scenarios. The cellular scenario validation is carried out using both live measurements from an HSPA test cell coupled with large-scale real-time emulation using the emulator for both high-performance gaming and M2M applications. In addition, a validation testbed for low-layer (PHY/MAC) low-latency procedures will be developed. The rapidly-deployable wireless mesh scenario validation makes use of the real-time RF platform and the existing FP6 CHORIST demonstrator interconnected with commercial M2M equipment.

Contact: Philipp SVOBODA, Projektass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Christian Doppler Laborator for Dependable Wireless Connectivity for a Society in Motion

The CD-lab was established in 2016 with the goal to enhance the dependability (reliability and timeliness) of wireless communications even at high mobility, such as to support applications that require beyond best-effort services, e.g., road-safety applications, augmented and virtual reality, UAV control and communication. Our main focus thereby is on 5G and beyond mobile communication technologies. The CD-lab is currently supported by Nokia Solutions and Networks, A1 Telekom Austria AG and ÖBB Infrastruktur AG, with former partner Kathrein SE. The lab consists of three research modules focusing on (i) PHY enhancements, (ii) innovative technologies and (iii) location awareness of mobile communication technologies. More information is available on our dedicated CD-lab webpage.

Contact: Stefan Schwarz, Projektass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

The Vienna Cellular Communications Simulators (VCCS)

The Vienna Cellular Communications Simulators are a suite of Matlab-based Link and System Level Simulators for 3GPP LTE and 5G. For academic use, the simulators are freely available for download and support reproducibility of research in wireless communications and signal processing for mobile networks. Please see our dedicated VCCS webpage for additional details and more information.


Link Level Simulator: Mariam Mussbah, Univ. Ass. Dipl.-Ing.

System Level Simulator: Agnes Fastenbauer, Proj. Ass. BSc.

Research Collaboration with Austrian Broadcasting Services (ORS)

Since 2019, a contract research project with ORS is running within our research group. The research project focuses on the utilization of mobile communications technology in TV broadcast systems. We perform link level simulations and optimizations of mobile network technologies to efficiently support broadcasting, and we verify our simulation based studies by measurement based test-trials within the real-world TV broadcast network of ORS. Our findings contribute to the 3GPP standardization of future 5G broadcast technologies.

Contact: Stefan SCHWARZ, Asst. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.