Each of the FLEX testbeds is providing access through dedicated portals or services. Using these capabilities is essential as it minimizes the complexity of the experimentation process, nevertheless the resources that can be accessed are significantly less. Below, you can find some information on each testbed's features and experimentation capabilities that are available in FLEX.
NITOS Future Internet Facility is an integrated facility with heterogeneous testbeds that focuses on supporting experimentation-based research in the area of wired and wireless networks. NITOS is remotely accessible and open to the research community 24/7. It has been used from hundreds of experimenters all over the world. It is comprised of three different deployments, the Outdoor Testbed, the Indoor RF Isolated Testbed and the Office Testbed.
The main experimental components of NITOS are:
- A wireless experimentation testbed, which consists of 100 powerful nodes, that feature multiple wireless interfaces and allow for experimentation with heterogeneous (Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE, Bluetooth) wireless technologies.
- A Cloud infrastructure, which consists of 7 HP blade servers and 2 rack-mounted ones providing 272 CPU cores, 800 Gb of Ram and 22TB of storage capacity, in total. The network connectivity is established via the usage of an HP 5400 series modular Openflow switch, which provides 10Gb Ethernet connectivity amongst the cluster’s modules and 1Gb amongst the cluster and GEANT.
- A wireless sensor network testbed, consisting of a controllable testbed deployed in UTH’s offices, a city-scale sensor network deployed in Volos city and a city-scale mobile sensing infrastructure that relies on bicycles of volunteer users. All sensor platforms are custom, developed by UTH, supporting Arduino firmware and exploit several wireless technologies for communication (ZigBee, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, IR).
- A Software Defined Radio (SDR) testbed that consists of Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) devices attached to the NITOS wireless nodes. USRPs allow the researcher to program a number of physical layer features (e.g. modulation), thereby enabling dedicated PHY layer or cross-layer research.
- A Software Defined Networking (SDN) testbed that consists of multiple OpenFlow technology enabled switches, connected to the NITOS nodes, thus enabling experimentation with switching and routing networking protocols. Experimentation using the OpenFlow technology can be combined with the wireless networking one, hence enabling the construction of more heterogeneous experimental scenarios.
The testbed is based on open-source software that allows the design and implementation of new algorithms, enabling new functionalities on the existing hardware. The control and management of the testbed is done using the cOntrol and Management Framework (OMF) open-source software. NITOS supports evaluation of protocols and applications under real world settings and is also designed to achieve reproducibility of experimentation.
NITOS is providing the following experimental scenarios with LTE technologies in FLEX:
- Experimentation with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment for LTE (eNodeBs, EPC and UEs) compatible with Rel. 10. NITOS is equipped with two small-cell setups by ip.access, one macro-cell setup by Airspan, and uses the LTEnet EPC from SiRRAN.
- Experimentation with open source LTE networks. NITOS is equipped with 14 RF front-ends compatible with OpenAirInterface (4 ExMIMO2 boards, 8 USRP B210 and 2 USRP X310). Any NITOS node can be configured to act as the OAI-Core Network.
- Real mobility experiments can take place using the macro cell setup, whereas emulated mobility is available for specific nodes through programmable attenuators. The testbed's frameworks support replication of real-world traces over the static testbed nodes.
- mmWave Equipment, comprised of 6 nodes using the 60GHz V band, used for the efficient back/front-hauling of the LTE connections.
In order to access the NITOS portal for getting an account, or the respective testbed documentation, visit the pages below.
The w-iLab.t is an experimental, generic, heterogeneous wireless testbed deployed in the iMinds building and at a second, remote location. w-iLab.t provides a permanent testbed for development and testing of wireless applications via an intuitive web-based interface. w-iLab.t hosts different types of wireless nodes: sensor nodes, Wi-Fi based nodes, sensing platforms, and cognitive radio platforms (that are limited to operating in the ISM bands due to license restrictions.) The wireless nodes are also connected over a wired interface for management purposes. Each of the devices can be fully configured by the experimenters. As the Ethernet interfaces that are put in place for management reasons can also be used during experiments as a wired interface, heterogeneous wireless/wired experiments are possible. As such, a very large number of (wireless) network experiments may be executed. The two locations that are currently available in the w-iLab.t are:
- The original “Office” deployment; Nodes (both sensor nodes and embedded PCs with Wi-Fi interfaces) are installed at 200 spots over three floors of an office environment.
- A new deployment located in Zwijnaarde, nearby Gent, Belgium. All nodes at this location are more powerful in terms of processing power, memory and storage. Nodes are located at 60 spots throughout a utility room.
w-iLab.t is providing the following experimental scenarios with LTE technologies in FLEX:
- IBCN provides a commercial LTE Access Network, which comprises of four (4) femtocells (LTE 245F) provided by ip.access. These femtocells can be configured in two LTE spectrum bands (7 and 13). Test frequencies in the licensed LTE band 7, are assigned by the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT), to be used for experimental purposes. Hence, the femtocells are configured to operate in that band.
- The Qosmotec LTE Network has been deployed in the Mobility Emulation Framework of IBCN. This framework consists of 4 shielded boxes that are interconnected over coax cables to RF splitters and combiners, as well as compputer controlled variable attenuators. This setup comprises of two femtocells (LTE 245F) provided by ip.access, two nodes equipped with Huawei E398u1 LTE USB dongles and the SiRRAN EPC software.
- Some nodes in w-iLab.2 are of type MOBILE. These nodes can be used in the same way as the other testbed nodes, while having the extra capability of moving across the testbed floor during the experiment.
In order to access the w-iLab.t testbed for getting an account, or the respective testbed documentation, visit the pages below.
OpenAirInterface (OAI) 5G is the open source solution adopted by FLEX to provide flexible experimentation with real and fully configurable LTE networks. OAI can be used for simulation/emulation, as well as real-time experimentation on off-the-shelf software defined radio cards, like the ExpressMIMO2 card but also the popular (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) USRP from National Instruments/Ettus, LimeSDR, BladeRF, and other RF platforms. It comprises of the fully compliant LTE protocol stack from the physical to the networking layer and can interoperate with commercial LTE terminals and can be interconnected with OAI core network (CN) or closed-source Evolved Packet Core (EPC). To give remote access to experimenters from all over the world, EURECOM has proceeded to OAI LTE testbed implementation. In addition, NITOS Scheduler, a tool that is responsible for managing the OAI testbed resources, was adopted.
In order to access the OAI testbed and the respective documentation, visit the following links.
PerformNetworks (formerly PerformLTE) is a FIRE+ experimental platform, designed to offer a realistic experimentation environment covering LTE, LTE-A and future networks. The testbed is based on commercial off-the-shelf solutions (both in the radio and core network), software defined radio equipment and conformance testing equipment. The testbed offers a wide range of possibilities covering pilots, interoperability, performance evaluation, QoS, QoE and more. PerformNetworks is operated by the MORSE research group at the Universidad de Málaga.
The PerformNetworks methodology follows a holistic approach, combining different lines of research, commercial and emulated equipment, and featuring LTE radio access emulation, Evolved Nodes B (eNBs), User Equipments (UEs), and an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) emulation system. All these elements can be combined to enable experimentation with all the components of a LTE network.
In general terms, LTE connectivity is provided through three different solutions, each one focusing on a different research aspect, moving between emulation and real-world environments. Three main scenarios can be differentiated based on the radio access type:
- Scenarios based on conformance testing equipment that provides a full LTE end-to-end emulation, including channel emulation with different fading profiles and operation on all the standardized LTE bands, both FDD and TDD. This equipment allows the configuration of multiple levels of the LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) stack, so researchers can study the effect of different parameters as well as the motorization of the full network.
- Scenarios based on commercial off-the-shelf eNBs. These scenarios provide functionality close to that provided by operators. Configuration is based on OAM interfaces, some proprietary, others based on standards like TR.069. Researchers can test the policies that operators are able to setup and can provide highly complex configurations of the EPC network.
- Scenarios based on commercial LTE networks, in which the testbed offers applications and tools to extract information from the state of the network and correlate it with performance indicators from IP and application levels.
A detailed list of the measurement equipment available in the PerformNetworks testbed consist:
- An Agilent E2010 conformance tester. This equipment emulates a complete LTE eNodeB and can perform different measures in the signal quality of the UE connected to it. As part of the Fed4FIRE effort the University of Malaga has instrumented a Resource Controller (RC) compatible with the OMF/OML technologies to automatize experiments.
- Various Android devices with a RC also developed by us that allow the remote control and measures from the UE point of view.
- Two Pixie small cells by Athena Wireless and one experimental pico cell by Alcatel Lucent, which can be offered depending on its availability. All the equipments work in LTE band 7 (2.6GHz)
- A Core Network Emulation System by Polaris Networks, that provides full LTE core network functionality, it enables the definition of multiple core network elements, even with different PLMN, including MME, SGW, PGW, PCRF and HSS.
- The Keysight N3705B power analyzer by Keysight technologies, that can be used to extract measurements of certain UEs.
- Several UEs in different LTE bands (see table 1).
- Vodafone SIMS available for experimenters that wants to make testing on live commercial networks, which are deployed on band 7 and band 3.
For accessing the testbed and the respective documentation, visit the following links:
The Future Seamless Communication (FUSECO) Playground offers a unique, independent and open testbed for research and prototype development of mobile broadband communication and service platform. The flexible and modular design of the FUSECO Playground allows fast prototyping and simplified Proof-of-Concept (PoC) validation spanning from devices over access- and core network technologies to services domains of physical or virtualized telecommunication environments. Integrated multi-access network environments (DSL/WLAN/2G/3G/4G-LTE/LTE-A and very soon 5G), Machine to Machine (M2M) communication systems/IoT, sensor networks, SDN/OpenFlow&NFV cloud environments help to shape the vision of a Future Internet in areas like Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, Automotive, eHealth, eGovernment, Smart Metering and more.
The FUSECO Playground covers the entire technology spectrum of a Next Generation Mobile Network - from end devices across various access & core networks up to an open set of application platforms, supporting data, multimedia streaming and mobile cloud applications, including mobility and handover testing. It integrates various state of the art wireless broadband networks into a 3GPP Evolved Packet Core (EPC) prototype platform, offering the benefits of the latest developments in Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN) and cloud technologies. It also features an Open IMS Core solution including relevant enablers. The following Toolkits are part of the FUSECO Playground:
- 5G Playground, together with its own 5G Related Toolikts:
- Open Source IMS Core
- OpenStack-based Cloud Testbed
The FUSECO Playground and its Toolkits comply with 3GPP, OMA, ETSI and OneM2M specifications. External internet or cloud-based service platforms can be connected to this testbed in order to prototype new service concepts end to end across various network topologies.
For accessing the testbed and the respective documentation, visit the following links: