CTTC has oriented their efforts to areas where they have a chance to reach an impact. Activities are clearly aligned with H2020 societal challenges and the objective is to provide extra capability to the products, essentially including communications: specialize in IoT, cloud,…, which are complementary to the physical layer approach. The alignment with the strong innovation component in H2020 helps also CTTC to integrate and match its solutions with the industry problems.
The Communications Networks Division (COMNET) is prepared to handle any network sharing scenario from a comprehensive end-to-end perspective by applying the Software Defined Network and Network Sharing paradigms. The most relevant challenges tackled by this division are to develop: i) end-to-end physical network transport and infrastructure orchestration with on-demand access network resource brokering; ii) network operating system for unified network control functions and network services in convergent networks. The testbeds of this division deserve particular attention given the substantial experimental component of the division, since experimentation is seen as an integral part of the research work and as a fundamental enabler of technology transfer.
The scope undertaken by the Communications System Division (COMSYS) is to address the challenges of innovative spectrum sharing arrangements, including both terrestrial and satellite segments. This division has a strong signal processing background and the most relevant challenges are towards interference management and mitigation without network assistance, more precisely with: i) new waveform design; ii) novel and practical multi-antenna schemes for coverage-driven communications; iii) novel coding and synchronization schemes; iv) energy management in wireless networks; v) integration of positioning and inference systems. The orchestration of these challenges is done by the required radio resource management, which introduces the short-time component that can complement the long-time one that is addressed by COMNET. From the implementation and testbed point of view, the plan of this division is to further develop the skills that they have so far on: filter bank multicarrier, multiantenna and software defined radio.
The Communications Technology Division (COMTECH) focuses on device-to-device communications, addressing the energy and bandwidth efficiency challenges by proposing innovative solutions mostly on component (subsystem) level and on PHY and MAC layers. Nonetheless, since completely decoupling the OSI layers might yield to obtain meaningless results, the division will also address topics that pertain to the NET layer (always in the RAN context) creating thus synergies with the research activities that have been previously described in COMNET, with special emphasis on the topics of infrastucture sharing and network function virtualization. Regarding the bandwidth efficiency challenge, there are many links and synergies that can be established with the research activities of COMSYS, especially those dealing with post-OFDM modulations and radio resource management. Concerning testbeds, the goal is to integrate LENA (developed by COMNET) and GEDOMIS® operate independently. The objectives would be to integrate the mentioned testbeds with the ns-3 based LENA emulator into a new compound testbed. This will be an unprecedented testbed enabling experimentation of the Mobile Radio Access Network and Mobile Core Network. Also the IoT lab is going to be strengthen.
Divisions are not strictly following OSI layers, anymore. There are positive overlaps among divisions and the collaboration among them should be dictated by the demand. Also, each division is composed of Departments and when looking into their description the richness and diversity of CTTC people stands above. This is a key factor for quick reaction to the external conditions.