CTTC and Interdigital expand joint research to tackle 5G/Wi-Fi spectrum challenges


Barcelona-Based Research Institute and InterDigital to Develop Solutions for Spectrum Sharing in Unlicensed Millimetre Wave Bands

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 1, 2019 — The Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC) and InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDCC), a mobile technology research and development company, have expanded their joint research efforts to advance the next generation of wireless technology.  CTTC and InterDigital are developing solutions for 5G cellular technologies (including NR, MulteFire) and Wi-Fi/WiGig to cooperate effectively in millimetre wave unlicensed spectrum (NR-U for mmWave) for contribution to global standards efforts.

The new research project between CTTC and InterDigital will focus on NR and NR-U, and coexistence studies with Wi-Fi/WiGig, including technology development, system proof-of-concepts, and simulation work, among other areas. An important result of the work is the design and development of a 3GPP-compliant NR network simulator, with NR-U capabilities, designed as a pluggable module to ns-3, the network simulator popular in research and academia. ns-3 is important given that it offers multi-RAT (Radio Access Technologies) and multi-band simulation capabilities, including NR, Wi-Fi/WiGig, LTE (LTE-A, LAA, LTE-U) and other technologies.

“While 5G wireless technology is just beginning to launch in 2019, our work with InterDigital aims to deliver an enhanced mobile broadband experience that will enable 5G wireless to reach its full potential upon mass rollout over the next three to five years, said Lorenza Giupponi, Senior Researcher and Director of Institutional Relations, CTTC.  “We are working towards making standalone cellular in unlicensed mmWave a reality, which will pave the way for new verticals like Industry 4.0, among others.”

In terms of standards contributions, CTTC and InterDigital are developing Beyond 5G extensions to the 3GPP NR standard that build on the existing Release 16 3GPP Work Item by extending NR-U to mmWave unlicensed spectrum (NR-U for mmWave). NR, the global standard being driven by 3GPP for a new 5G air interface, is a continuing part of the mobile broadband evolution to deliver on the requirements of 5G. According to 3GPP’s standardization timeline, Release 16 will submit an initial full 5G system by early 2020. In December 2018, 3GPP successfully concluded a Study Item, and has recently committed to a Work Item on NR-U. Researchers at both CTTC and InterDigital have evaluated and publicized work that highlights the performance and capabilities of advancing NR-U into millimetre wave spectrum.

“This expanded project highlights InterDigital’s role as an important, trusted research partner, and underscores our specific focus on testbeds and capabilities that are a fit for academic research and multi-party consortia,” said Doug Castor, Senior Director, InterDigital Labs. “The interoperability of various wireless technologies in unlicensed spectrum is a key area of research, and one where the combined abilities of CTTC and InterDigital can make a huge impact.”

The expanded research project builds on an already strong collaboration. InterDigital and CTTC have been working together on 5G development since 2017, and have an established history and highly-respected research relationship that stems from consortium collaborations, such as in European H2020 5G-Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.

About CTTC

The CTTC is a non-profit research institution based in Barcelona, resulting from a public initiative of the Regional Government of Catalonia. The research group involved in the collaboration agreement with InterDigital is the Mobile Networks Department of the Communication Networks Division of CTTC. This group has a long track record of experience in the area of access to unlicensed band with LAA (Licenced Assisted Access) and LTE-U, based on previous collaborations with the Wi-Fi Alliance and Spidercloud Wireless. For more information on CTTC’s Mobile Networks department, visit http://networks.cttc.es/mobile-networks/

About InterDigital®

InterDigital develops mobile technologies that are at the core of devices, networks, and services worldwide. We solve many of the industry’s most critical and complex technical challenges, inventing solutions for more efficient broadband networks and a richer multimedia experience, years ahead of market deployment. InterDigital has licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world’s leading wireless companies. Founded in 1972, InterDigital is listed on NASDAQ and is included in the S&P MidCap 400® index.  For more information on InterDigital’s wireless R&D efforts, visit http://www.interdigital.com/wireless/


[1] S. Lagen, L. Giupponi, N. Patriciello, LBT Switching Procedures for New Radio-based Access to Unlicensed Spectrum , in Proceedings of IEEE Global Communications Conference (IEEE GLOBECOM), 9-13 December 2018, Abu Dhabi (UAE).

[2] S. Lagen, L. Giupponi, B. Bojovic, A. Demir, M. Beluri, Paired Listen Before Talk for multi-RAT Coexistence in Unlicensed mmWave Bands , IEEE Int. Conf. on Commun. (ICC) – WDN-5G WS, Kansas City (USA), 20-24 May 2018.

[3] S. Lagen, L. Giupponi, Listen Before Receive for Coexistence in Unlicensed mmWave Bands , 2018 IEEE Wireless Commun. and Networking Conf., Barcelona (Spain), 15-18 Apr. 2018.

[4] https://www.nsnam.org/

InterDigital is a registered trademark of InterDigital, Inc.

 For more information, visit: www.interdigital.com.

InterDigital Contact:

Patrick Van de Wille

Email: patrick.vandewille@interdigital.com

+1 (858) 210-4814


CTTC Contact:

Laura Casaus

Email: laura.casaus@cttc.es

+34 93 645 29 28