Vertical Testbeds: Designs, Implementation Experiences, Obstacles and the role of Open Source

One of the main goals of a testbed is to demonstrate and validate newly designed and developed technology components. Typically, in order to accomplish this objective, it includes integrating a large number of diverse technology elements in a common framework where different trial sites and components can be interconnected in a variety of configurations depending on the requirements. The resulting highly integrated platform is then used to not only experimentally validate individual components but to also, verify whether the overall system can satisfy the stringent requirements imposed by the verticals.

The integration of these diverse technology elements and their deployment can be materialized through a Testbed implementation realizing the full potential of 5G working in tandem with the open-source ecosystem.  5G networks need to support diverse requirements and services. Thus, a focus of their design is on supporting disaggregated network functions that are modular, flexible, supporting extensible open interfaces and cloud-native in all aspects. Open source must adopt and demonstrate these design principles in order to successfully integrate into advanced wireless networks.

The Testbed Vertical track intends to introduce the challenges that 5G aims to solve with regard to the spectrum demand and the convergence of different wireless communication services. In addition, the track looks for overseeing the applicability of certain open source projects in 5G.

The Testbed Vertical Invited Talks will provide a venue for leading experts in the world to showcase and discuss the design of testbeds for experimental validation and trialing of a number of emerging 5G vertical applications. These invited talks will feature highly influential speakers who have directly contributed to successful 5G Testbed deployment and vertical applications in their respective fields. The talks and discussions will focus on innovative and leading-edge, large-scale industry or government applications of 5G Testbeds in areas such as health-care, bio-informatics, public policy, infrastructure, telecommunications, automotive and transportation, rural and agriculture, aerial, public safety, education, defence, and space.


Video Index # Presentation Title
1 Introduction
2 AERPAW: Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless
3 Overview of the Indian 5G-Testbed
4 mmWave 5G: Myth or Reality?
5 India’s Ascent on the 5G Ladder
6 What can Virtualization do for 5G Networks: Our experiences of building a 5G Testbed
7 Experience sharing from Wipro’s 5G lab
8 Harnessing the Power of a Software-Defined Mobile Network
9 Wireless testbed for Next-Gen Connected Robots
10 5G for Verticals in Europe: From Federated Testbeds to Advanced Vertical Pilots


Speaker Profiles:

Speaker: Abhay Karandikar, Director, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 
Title: What can Virtualization do for 5G Networks: Our experiences of building a 5G Testbed
Abstract: In order to enhance 5G R&D capability in India and increase our participation in global standardization activities, a 5G Testbed project involving a few of the prominent technical institutions of the country was initiated by the Department of Telecom, Govt of India in the year 2017-18. Some of the other goals of the project are to boost product design & manufacturing in the country and also encourage telecom product start-ups. As a part of the 5G Testbed project, we have been working on the development of the Core Network components and the support for WiFi access in 5G Networks. We are also developing a Multi-RAT SDN Controller to control and manage multiple radio access technologies in a unified manner. The 5G Testbed utilizes SDN and NFV, two key virtualization techniques as fundamental building blocks. With the help of SDN & NFV, we have been able to virtualize the complete 5G network and deploy it fully in the cloud. Interestingly, one of the unforeseen takeaways of the virtualization is that it has enabled us to continue the development & testing activities “virtually” uninterrupted during this pandemic. The talk will highlight our experiences of using these virtualization techniques in the testbed and the advantages they may bring.
Bio: Prof Abhay Karandikar is currently the Director, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, one of the premier technical institutes of India. Prof Karandikar is also Member (Part-Time) of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Before joining IIT Kanpur as the Director in April 2018, he served as Institute Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay He spearheaded a national effort in setting up Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), India’s standards body for telecom with participation of all stakeholders. Prof Karandikar was the founding member and former Chairman of TSDSI. He serves on the board of several companies and has founded and mentored start-ups in telecom and networking. He was member of High Level Forum on 5G setup by the Government of India and Chaired the 5G Spectrum Policy Task Force. Prof Karandikar has several patents issued and pending, contributions to IEEE, 3GPP standards, contributed chapters in books and large number of papers in international journals and conferences to his credit. Prof Karandikar was awarded with IEEE SA’s Standards Medallion in December 2016 in New Jersey for his leadership role in standards and technology. 


Speaker: Subhas Mondal, Wipro Limited
Title: Experience sharing from Wipro’s 5G lab (Pre-recorded)
Abstract: 5G network is expected to transform the industry verticals by enabling new use cases with its programmable interface and its ability to offer assured network quality for demanding requirements involving low latency and high bandwidth scenarios. While network has traditionally been built and operated by communication service providers, there are opportunities for vertical industry to build and operate private 5G networks. While network slicing is expected to offer use case specific network services through a public network, the market is divided on the way private network will evolve. To bring clarity, there is a need to create reference industry use cases, learn from it and make a decision on how the vertical application can leverage the new network capabilities through the open APIs. This session will touch upon the challenges for the industry verticals in re-imagining their applications leveraging 5G edge computing, open APIs, AI and real time network analytics to enhance experiences and value. The session also will share learning from sample industry applications developed in Wipro Lab.
Bio: Subhas is a Wipro fellow and the Chief Architect of the organization-wide 5G initiative at Wipro and has over 28 years engineering experience in Telecom Research & Development. He is a Senior Member of IEEE. Subhas is a passionate technologist and has developed a variety of products & solutions in emerging technology areas such as 5G, SDN/NFV, Li-Fi, Cyber Security and AI for Network Automation. He is an engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur in Electronics and Electrical communications engineering. Prior to joining Wipro, he worked for C-DOT as a research engineer and developed a product from scratch for remote switching need.


Speaker: Dr. Ismail Guvenc, NC State University
Title: AERPAW: Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless (Pre-recorded)
Abstract: In this talk, we will overview AERPAW: Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless. AERPAW is one of the three NSF PAWR projects funded by the National Science Foundation (along with POWDER and COSMOS), to develop large-scale advanced-wireless experimentation platforms. A unique aspect of AERPAW will be to support emerging wireless and Internet of things (IoT) experimental research involving both aerial and ground mobile vehicles as well as fixed ground nodes. AERPAW users will have the opportunity to design and rapidly prototype next-generation wireless technology, systems, and applications in both emulated and real-world environments. This talk will review the overall scope and plans for the project, experimentation equipment that will be supported, deployment environments, and user interface. Use of AERPAW for IoT verticals and use cases such as smart agriculture and smart-cities will also be discussed, along with some specific examples on types of experiments that are envisioned to be supported.
Bio: Dr. Ismail Guvenc (senior member, IEEE) has been an Associate Professor at North Carolina State University since August 2016. His recent research interests include 5G wireless networks, UAV communications, and heterogeneous networks. He has published more than 200 conference/journal papers, several standardization contributions, three books, and over 30 U.S. patents. He is a recipient of the 2019 R. Ray Bennett Faculty Fellow Award, 2016 FIU COE Faculty Research Award, 2015 NSF CAREER Award, 2014 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award, and 2006 USF Outstanding Dissertation Award, and he is a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.


Speaker: Sarah Yost, Senior Business Development Manager, NI
Title: mmWave 5G: Myth or Reality?
Abstract: There has been a lot of hype around mmWave for 5G, but will it actually happen? There are a few killer applications that hinge on mmWave technology and Release 16 features, and there are still numerous technical challenges. To work on building verticals for mmWave, robust beam management techniques need to be validated. This talk will take a look at how beam management research is progressing, why this is critical for mmWave, and how open source tools can help to advance 5G verticals.
Bio: Sarah is a business development manager focused on wireless research, design, and prototyping. Sarah has spent years working with NI’s advanced wireless research team studying and promoting 5G wireless technology. Prior to joining the business development team, Sarah spent time working in marketing and time as a part of the Ettus Research R&D team, gaining a deep knowledge of SDR hardware and software. Sarah’s background is in microwave and millimeter wave technology, specifically for wireless communications.
Sarah has a BS in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University.


Speaker: Kiran Kuchi, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad
Title: India’s Ascent on the 5G Ladder (Pre-recorded)
Abstract: The advent of 4G technology has led to radical changes all over the world, especially by way of smart phones that have had a staggering impact on our lives. Far from being a mere evolutionary successor of 4G, 5G technology is slated to revolutionize the telecommunications sector in the near future. 5G technology will go much beyond connecting people – 5G applications include integrating a whole range of machines into the internet, such as smart metering (electricity/water/gas), industrial sensors, tracking of people/assets, machined farming, agri-tech, perishable goods management, pollution monitoring, healthcare applications, video surveillance etc.
Given that critical national infrastructure such as electricity grids, and various public services offered by local Government bodies will soon run on 5G, security considerations are crucial in the selection and ownership of such technology, as it will have a bearing on the nation’s ability to control the equipment as well as secure the delivery of such critical services. On the economic front, within the next decade, 5G/IoT is expected to add hundreds of Trillions of USD to the world economy. This is an unprecedented economic opportunity that India cannot afford to let go of. So far, only a few Indian entities have begun to address such opportunities in the 5G/IoT space.
Recently, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), Government of India, has sanctioned the “Indigenous 5G Testbed” program with a project outlay of 224 crores INR. This program, started yielding results in the form of prototype base stations, CPE/UE and NB-IoT chipset that are being demonstrated under lab conditions. One of the partner institutes in this project (IITH), has major contributions to key 5G technologies such as cloud RAN base station with massive MIMO capability, 5G UE prototype, and cellular NB-IoT chipset for connecting sensors and meters to the internet. IITH is expected to demonstrate these 5G prototypes during 2020.
In this talk, Prof. Kuchi will first discuss the 5G scenario in India and the unique Indian requirements that 5G is expected to address. This is followed by a tech talk that highlights his efforts in designing 5G NR technology. The talk will comprise of video “demos” followed by a Q/A session.
Bio: Dr. Kiran Kuchi, a professor at IIT Hyderabad (IITH), is a globally recognized innovator in the realm of 5G standards development. He has introduced the culture of developing wireless Standards Related Patents in India through his leadership role at Telecom Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) and has contributed towards the creation of several important technologies in the 5G standards. Dr. Kuchi has invented & co-invented over 100 patents in the 4G/5G technology, of which many patents have resulted from his work carried out in India. Among these patents, his most well recognized contribution is the introduction of a low PAPR (almost constant OFDM signal) waveform: “pi/2 BPSK with spectrum shaping” that is part of the 5G standard. Dr. Kuchi’s yet another significant achievement is the development of one of the first large scale prototypes of massive MIMO technology that operates either as an outdoor Massive MIMO, or as a distributed small cell cloud RAN (cell free MIMO) system. This experimental research system has been operational since 2017 at IIT Hyderabad.


Speaker: Radha Krishna Ganti, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Title: Overview of the Indian 5G-Testbed
Abstract: The Indian 5G testbed project, funded by the department of telecommunications (DOT) involves eight institutes and over 200 researchers. The goal is to build an end-to-end 5G testbed that can be used by academics and startups. This talk will focus on the modules being developed in this testbed along with the usage of the testbed.
Bio: Radha Krishna Ganti is an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. He was a Postdoctoral researcher in the Wireless Networking and Communications Group at UT Austin from 2009-11. He received his B. Tech. and M. Tech. in EE from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a Masters in Applied Mathematics and a Ph.D. in EE from the University of Notre Dame in 2009. His doctoral work focused on the spatial analysis of interference networks using tools from stochastic geometry. He is a co-author of the monograph Interference in Large Wireless Networks (NOW Publishers, 2008). He received the 2014 IEEE Stephen O. Rice Prize, and the 2014 IEEE Leonard G. Abraham Prize and the 2015 IEEE Communications society young author best paper award. He was also awarded the 2016-2017 Institute Research and Development Award (IRDA) by IIT Madras. He actively participates in standardisation activities in ITU and TSDSI and also leads the 5G-Testbed efforts at IIT Madras.


Speaker: Bharadwaj Amrutur, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Title: Wireless testbed for Next-Gen Connected Robots
Abstract: Ubiquitous network connectivity has changed the way we design and maintain computing systems – there is no better illustration than our computers and phones automatically downloading patches and updating themselves throughout their lifetime. We can anticipate a similar and possibly more profound impact on design of next generation intelligent autonomous machines – or robots. Unmanned vehicles like cars, drones etc will greatly benefit from ubiquitous connectivity – even more so if the latency and quality are guaranteed. However exploring these technologies, their associated challenges, and potential solutions, requires state of the art  testbeds which will allow researchers to easily create, measure and study various scenarios – both in the network side as well as the application side. Given the cost and engineering  challenges in creating and operating such testbeds, we believe an open source, collaborative and a networked approach to create the testbeds themselves, across multiple centres around  the world will foster rapid acceleration, development and dissemination of next-gen connectivity technologies and solutions. This talk will further outline this vision and our attempts at creating such a testbed in IISc for connected robots.
Bio: Bharadwaj Amrutur is a Professor in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where he chairs the Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems. His technology interests are in Systems Engineering for Next-Gen Connected Robots.


Speaker: Bob Everson, CISCO
Title: Harnessing the Power of a Software-Defined Mobile Network
Abstract: Mobile networks, and specifically Radio Access Networks (RAN) are transforming from closed, vertically integrated systems to disaggregated, and decomposed software-driven systems. This new approach allows better systems to be built in completely new ways: open interfaces allow for vendor diversity and support greater innovation, disaggregated software enables efficient cloud-based models for automation and lifecycle management, and the user experience will be improved because of better radio solutions.
Openness and abundance of choice can also present challenges to network operators trying to find their path while developing new operational models. This session will highlight how the architecture is transforming as well as lessons we’ve learned along the way as one of the early pioneers in this space. Finally, we’ll discuss approaches for simplifying the integration with multi-vendor labs and blueprints.
Bio: Bob Everson is the Senior Director – 5G Architecture for Cisco Systems; leading strategy, architecture, technology, and systems development. In this role he is responsible for defining and developing cutting edge 5G systems across both the service provider and enterprise domains.
Bob was an early pioneer in software-defined mobile networks and virtualized radio-access networks. He leads the Open vRAN ecosystem which was formed with key partners and customers to accelerate the viability and adoption of these new capabilities.
Throughout his career, Bob has remained keenly focused on finding the optimal intersection between innovative technologies and business drivers. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and loves getting outside perspectives to broaden his thinking.


Speaker: Jorge Pereira, Ph.D, DG Connect, European Commission
Title: 5G for Verticals in Europe: From Federated Testbeds to Advanced Vertical Pilots
Abstract: In order to accelerate deployment of 5G, the EU 5G Action Plan has identified the need for early trials and the importance of addressing and involving Verticals. Building upon the early FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experimentation) testbeds, the European Commission launched 5G end-to-end facilities (federated testbeds) to create an experimental infrastructure open to all Verticals, allowing them to check their requirements as well as test and validate early services and applications in real-world scenarios. Besides 5G cross-border corridors for Connected and Automated Mobility, specifically targeted by the Action Plan, a number of Advanced Vertical Pilots have already been launched across a large variety of verticals. The presentation will describe the approach from testbed to pilots, and the focus and scope of the funded projects on 5G Verticals.
Bio: Jorge Pereira has been with the European Commission since 1996, becoming Principal Scientific Officer in 2005. Since 2016, he is in the area of Future Connectivity Systems, focusing on 5G and beyond, being responsible for the areas of Advanced Spectrum Management; optical-wireless convergence; Connected and Automated Mobility; and Public Protection and Disaster Relief.
He obtained the Engineering and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon, Portugal in 1983 and 1987, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering-Systems from the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, in 1993.


Workshop Co-Chairs:

Aloizio P. Silva
NSF PAWR Project Office/ Northeastern University

Ivan Seskar
Rutgers University


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