BUNGEE: an innovative EU-funded projectNovember 18, 2013
Funding Scheme: 2013-11-18
BUNGEE aims to improve the overall capacity of the mobile network. It is funded by FP7, the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technology for 2007-2013.
Almost one in four Europeans used mobile phones to access the internet in 2012, according to EUROSTAT, the EU’s statistical service. Today’s mobile broadband networks allow people to connect to their workplaces, to the internet or e-mail, no matter where they are.
With access widening, prices falling and regulations being simplified, increasing the capacity of Europe’s mobile broadband is now a priority for service providers and users alike.
The goal of the EU-funded project BUNGEE (‘Beyond next generation mobile broadband’) was to dramatically improve the overall capacity of the mobile network from the current 100 megabytes per second (Mbps) to a full gigabyte (1000 megabytes) per second per square kilometre (Km2). The project succeeded in getting close enough to this very ambitious target.
Current emerging technologies, LTE and WiMAX, can only support 100Mbps/Km2 in ordinary cellular deployment. This is insufficient, particularly in dense urban areas where the market demand for wireless broadband access is the highest.
This lack of capacity is a serious obstacle to the wide-scale uptake of so-called ‘IMT-Advanced’ technologies. These fourth-generation (4G) technologies are expected to provide ultra-broadband internet access, online telephony, gaming services, and streamed multimedia to laptop computer wireless modems, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
To achieve the objective of a high-capacity mobile network that is cost-, spectrum- and energy-efficient, BUNGEE’s researchers developed a novel, heterogeneous broadband architecture, integrating both licensed and open radio spectra.
The project devised a novel, mobile radio system architecture, and a new and extremely high-capacity antenna system. A new deployment strategy was also developed, based on below-rooftop access base stations, using existing structures such as utility poles. This approach results in a significantly lower cost per bit of data transmitted.
To evaluate the effectiveness of its new approach, BUNGEE carried out a live test in a real-life mobile environment, using a high-capacity prototype system. Project partners say the resulting technologies have been put forward as the new standard for high-capacity, radio-access broadband networks.
BUNGEE received about EUR 3 million in EU funding and was completed in June 2012. The project team was coordinated by Alvarion, a company based in Israel. Companies from five EU countries were also involved in the project.
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