You are here

< Go back

Cisco Systems is funding a UOC research project to optimize data transfer between electronic device networks

Researchers are promoting a system that determines which network should be used based on its cost or potential congestion

Technology that counts the number of cars on the street and reports this data to drivers in real time. This could be just one of the many uses of the technology being studied at the UOC through this project, which is receiving funding from Cisco University Research Program Fund, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The fund – part of American telecommunications giant Cisco Systems, which posted a turnover of close to 50 billion dollars in 2018 – has approved a proposal from the Wireless Networks research group (WiNe) to maximize the performance of data transfers between networks, such as mobile phone networks.

“In our environment we are covered by various communications networks that are used for different services by different users; for example, the mobile phone network. Our technology aims to use one network or another depending on the intended purpose. The idea is to guarantee the arrival of information in real time while also minimizing the economic cost of making the data transfer”, explained Cristina Cano, researcher at WiNe, a group affiliated to the UOC’s Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3). The research team -Cristina Cano, Marc Guerrero and Xavier Vilajosana-  aims to develop a low-cost technology which exploits so-called dual-band communications in order to maximize the performance of the data transfer between networks. Dual band allows a device to operate on two different frequency bands, like roaming on mobile phones, which allows you to use a telephone service outside the country in which it normally operates. The university project also hopes that these dual bands will be able to use different network technologies in order to optimize data transfer in the event that any of the networks suffer from interference.

Optimizing data transfer

The UOC research project covers the sphere of low-power, wide-area networks (LPWAN), wireless local networks that are optimized for power consumption and designed to allow long-range communications at a low bit-rate between connected objects, like battery-powered sensors. According to the researchers, the current use of these networks makes it difficult to decide which technology should be used to transfer data effectively, making it necessary to choose between a high-cost solution, such as licensed mobile technologies, or to compromise the guaranteed performance by opting for unlicensed solutions. The UOC project aims to take advantage of dual-band communications to allow electronic devices to choose one network or another depending on the intended purpose and to have a solution in the event that any of them become congested. The research project aims to optimize the transfer of information between networks and devices, which will in turn improve efficiency and reduce economic costs.

“The fact that one of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies positively values a research proposal from our group is a great opportunity to gain exposure for what we do and showcase our work internationally”, Xavier Vilajosana, the head researcher at WiNe, pointed out. “Beyond project funding, this is an opportunity to analyse the industrial focus of research projects in an attempt to offer industrial value and direct our research towards achievable results”, Vilajosana concluded.