ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
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Cooperation for Better Wireless Networks

Wireless Innovation between Finland and the United States

Read more about the Wireless Innovation between Finland and the United States (WiFiUS) on their website.

The wireless spectrum bands are already overcrowded, yet demand for wireless capacity continues to increase. This increase won’t be sustainable indefinitely. In collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Wireless Communications at the University of Oulu in Finland, ECE professor Luiz DaSilva and associate professor Allen MacKenzie have received a $290,000 NSF grant to research ways to meet the significant demand for high data rate mobile connectivity brought about, at least in part, by the ubiquity of smart phones. MacKenzie and DaSilva are exploring technical solutions and economic incentives to enable seamless heterogeneous wireless networks managed by different operators.

Heterogeneous wireless networks involve multiple wireless services in a single network. The project involves developing models to show the benefit of cooperation between large- and small-scale operators, developing pricing models to study incentive structures for such cooperation, and studying the security threats that might threaten a heterogeneous network. According to MacKenzie, “this work will be immediately applicable to real networks.”

MacKenzie and DaSilva have built the collaboration with the University of Oulu over the past few years, and have both traveled to Oulu multiple times. They have co-authored 10 journal and conference papers with their Finnish colleagues. “It has already been an extremely fruitful collaboration, and now it is nice to see this formalized,” says DaSilva.