发表时间:2014-08-08 阅读次数:1000次

LUCNet: A Large-scale University Campus Network for Wireless Innovations

  

The  Need

The flux of social media and the convenience of mobile connectivity has created a wireless data phenomenon that is expected to overwhelm the mobile cellular networks in the foreseeable future. In addition to its sheer volume, the wireless data characteristics has also changed drastically in recent years. Media contents now constitute the lion's share of today's mobile traffics as a result of bandwidth hogging video services. Other applications such as vehicular networks and wireless Internet-of-Things will connect millions of devices to the cloud in the near future. The so-called "mobile data tsunami" has driven the wireless operators and researchers around the world to the edge: how can the wireless infrastructures and radio communication technologies advance fast enough to keep up with this phenomenon?
  
Various innovative capacity-increasing solutions have been proposed and investigated. Among other promising techniques, wireless HetNet, C-RAN, and massive MIMO are widely regarded as the key enabling technologies for next generation mobile cellular networks. While these solutions may indeed deliver the much hyped 1000 times capacity increase within this decade, it is unlikely that the wireless data bottleneck can be averted solely by cellular infrastructure expansions.

  


The Objectives

The complexity of the wireless data challenges, coupled with the even-evolving services and applications, as well as the limited sustainability of infrastructures development, calls for wireless innovations beyond traditional boundaries. In particular, it is paramount for the future wireless networks to address the following fundamental shifts, both from the network architecturel and the design philosophy standpoints:

  1. From connection-centric to content-centric: mobile applications are shifting from the conventional "connection- centric" behaviors (e.g., phone calls, text messages) to a more "content-centric" usage model. However, the cellular networks of today are optimized for connection-based services (so that unique information can be delivered to individual users), making it less than ideal in providing content-centric wireless data services.
  2. From cellular network to hybrid networks: It can be argued that the logjam of the cellular networks is not due to the lack of "connection" capability (i.e., unicasting). Instead, the real problem is the ineffectiveness of the current cellular architecture in delivering diversified services. A hybrid network, e.g., a converged broadcast and cellular network akin to an integrated high-speed train and highway transportation system, might be the most efficient combination.
  3. From technological innovations to application innovations: the ultimate goal of the wireless networks is to provide services valuable to the end users or devices. As such, the driving force beyond wireless innovations should always be the value-added applications. As history has shown, ingenious applications have been the catalyst for many technological breakthroughs, and will be increasingly so in the modern IT era.

In light of the above observations, the prime objective of our large-scale wireless campus network is to provide a state-of-the-art research facility and an innovation platform for both wireless technologies and applications.


The Architecture

In collaboration with Huawei, a large-scale campus network for wireless innovations has been established on the 3 square-kilometer campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Dubbed the “LUCNet”, the heterogeneous wireless network is comprised of a futuristic cellular system, a single-frequency digital broadcasting system, a WiFi network, and ad hoc wireless systems, providing the unique capacity to conduct a wide range of wireless related research. In particular, the campus network features

  • 80+ micro- and pico- stations, providing blanket coverage of the entire campus
  • over 66 kilometers of fiber, connecting all cellular RF transceivers to form a truly cloud-based radio access network (C-RAN)
  • 3 single-frequency-network (SFN) digital broadcasting stations
  • 2500+ WiFi APs across the campus
  • Indoor and outdoor high-precision positioning system

Besides being one of the most advanced and comprehensive wireless testbed, the most salient feature of LUCNet is the integration of three elements essential for wireless application innovations: mobility, cloud, and society. Currently, technical trials that involves about 500 users, ranging from network electrical vehicles, smart campus applications, and student social groups, etc. are underway on the campus converged network.  

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