Wireless communications

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Proposal for the Joint Doctoral Programme


Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Adriano Moreira, UM Manuel Ricardo, UP Rui L Aguiar, UA

A. Programme
1. Theme, justification and comparable subjects

The main objective of this course is to provide the students with the competences required for understanding and using the communications component of an universalcommunications environment. Students will be provided, in particular, with the knowledge required to understand (a) emerging communications networks, (b) their computational demands, (c) the classes of distributed services and applications enabled by these networks, and (d) the computational means required to create the new networks and the new applications. Emerging communications networks can be classifiedin 3 types: integrated access networks, ad-hoc networks, and peer-to-peer networks. Integrated access networks evolve from current telecom networks, and they aim at offering telecom services through multiple access technologies such as, Ethernet, WLAN, WMAN, UMTS, and DVB. As a result, the user becomes always connected to his operator and to the Internet, most of the times through a high bit rateconnection. The access flexibility demands a unified management system which, for instance, enables a single bill to be issued. Ad-hoc networks refer to a new class of communications networks where radio access points or terminals, randomly and gradually displaced at home, in a building, in vehicles, or in a city, owned by one or multiple entities, are able to automatically detect each-other, toself-configure, and to collaborate in providing better networks. Peer-to-peer networks are virtual networks, offered over existing communications infrastructure, usually dedicated to a set of applications and having switching points which can be located at the user premises. The emerging communications networks can be seen as distributed systems where some of their components move. They are mostlyimplemented in software and demand advanced computational and programming techniques for terminals, user servers, network elements, and telecom operator servers. These networks demand, for instance, functionality for authorizing the access to the network, to provide secure communications, to manage the mobility and the quality of the service, to discover services and redirect data, to accounttraffic, to adapt voice and video contents, and to support localisation procedures. The communications services used by such universal communications environments will rely on these new functions. Aspects such as bandwidth availability and QoS assurances, permanent service access (always-best-connected), and mobility independence, all will strongly impact on the definition of future services.Moreover, the increasing availability of custom equipment containing also communications devices such as game consoles or digital cameras, combined with their multifeature capabilities demand new software capabilities at the network and service levels. Moreover, the new terminals will use different networking technologies, and the user expects seamless service support. This intelligent communicationsupport enables the provisioning of increased functionalities to the user such as localization awareness.

Proposal for the Joint Doctoral Programme


The characteristics of the new communication devices, the availability of high bit rate connections, the support of mobility, and the localization services, all lead to new applications. These applications help supporting personalcommunications services, and professional, social and amusement activities. Common objects will become increasingly inter-connected and lead to intelligent ambient; when, for instance, deployed at home the object can obtain information from other objects, and collaborate on the provisioning of personalised ambient. Communications, the technologies, the protocols, and their limitations and potentialities,...