1/2018

More devices, more data – and critical research problems

A 5G-ready mobile network has recently been constructed in Tampere. Professor Evgeny Kucheryavy and his research group are developing technologies that pave the way for new, reliable and effective 5G services.

Evgeny Kucheryavy

 

Evgeny Kucheryavy and his research group explore technologies that enable the development of new services for 5G. He enjoys working in his laboratory that churns out new knowledge and helps generate new research-based business.

 

WHO: Evgeny Kucheryavy, 43 years

  • Professor of Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Born in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Education: Doctor of Science in Technology, TUT, 2005.
  • Family: Wife, two sons and a daughter.
  • Hobbies: Reading, philosophy, art and travelling.
 

The ultra-fast network will be taken into use in Finland in 2020. The eventual full-scale deployment of 5G is expected to usher in a digital revolution that equals or even surpasses the arrival of smartphones a decade ago.

“Smartphones brought wireless communication into the palm of our hands, whereas 5G will bring it everywhere. The main change is that 5G will create a seamless fabric of connectivity,” says Evgeny Kucheryavy. He has advanced along the tenure track of Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and was promoted to a full professorship last year.

The 5G infrastructure is not without challenges, as the network must accommodate a vast number of devices and Big Data. In addition to base stations, mobile access points will be needed to provide services to the locations where people use the devices and data.

“We need to develop technology that enables quick and uninterrupted device-to-device communication without wasting energy or spectrum resources. If technology is not optimal, it’s expensive.”

Cars change while homes stay the same

New services will emerge as 5G opens up new business opportunities, cost-saving potential and positive impacts on society.

Will smart homes become widely deployed promptly? According to Kucheryavy, that seems unlikely because people prefer to make their own decisions in their homes and smart homes will become the new standard mostly through the new constructions. Cars, however, are a different matter.

“I believe that we’ll see a profound transformation in personal mobility in the next 5-10 years. The majority of new models released, for example, by Tesla, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are already connected to the internet. The high average age of cars as well as the taxation of older cars are speeding up the developments.”

Traffic and logistics will change dramatically. 5G is set to make not only robot cars and buses but also unmanned ships that navigate the world’s oceans an everyday reality.

Safety first

The risks associated with autonomous devices are related to safety: imagine that you steer your car to the side of the road, but your car obeys the computer and continues straight ahead. Or your internet connection breaks and promptly renders your device inoperable.

“Safety is critical. Automation should not go too far. For example, a car damaged by an electromagnetic pulse must remain functional and steerable.”

“I also don’t like the idea of someone being able to stop my car without my permission. When Tesla helped its drivers flee Hurricane Irma in Florida with a software update that extended their battery range, I realized it is also possible to do the reverse.”

From industry to healthcare

The 5th generation network is part of the fourth industrial revolution that will usher in automated and optimised production and logistics.

 

“The 5th generation network is part of the fourth industrial revolution that will usher in automated and optimised production and logistics. The networking of production systems improves quality, cuts costs and reduces emissions and the other negative effects of production.”

In addition, wireless technology can ease the strain on healthcare systems that are struggling to meet the needs of the ageing population.

“Patients who need hospital care must be treated in hospitals, but outpatient monitoring is a viable option for others. We’re developing home-use biosensors and systems that measure patients’ physiological parameters for telediagnostics.”

One of the challenges is to determine how to best transmit the information collected by implantable sensors, or perhaps nano-sized devices travelling in the bloodstream, first outside the patient’s body and then to medical professionals over the internet.

What is a tolerable delay?

Quality standards are different for different types of services. While we are not bothered by a delay of a few seconds when we send emails, we quickly switch services providers if we experience constant interruptions and buffering while watching films.

“But in medical care delays are unacceptable. For example, ambulance staff must be able to send information on the vital functions of a critically ill patient en route to a hospital to medical professionals in real-time and without interruptions.” 

Text: Kati Vastamäki
Photo: Mika Kanerva

 
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