Introduction

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) of the United Nations has defined system requirements for 4th generation (4G) wireless systems in what is known as IMT-advanced. These requirements are very challenging to satisfy by today’s current technologies. This research project focuses on a subset of the core technologies needed for evolving current wireless systems, as realized in the third generation partnership project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) system, towards 4th generation system as defined in the ITU IMT-advanced. LTE is currently being evolved to LTE-Advanced as the core response of 3GPP to meet the requirements of the ITU IMT-advanced system.

We tackle three inter-related research areas in the 4G++ project: 1) channel-aware radio resource management/scheduling particularly for the LTE uplink. This area also includes coordinated multipoint transmission/reception (CoMP) and Carrier Aggregation (CA) RRM, 2) inter-cell interference coordination including autonomous power control, interference alignment, and autonomous radio resource management in femto-cells, and 3) exploitation of relays and network coding for capacity and coverage enhancement. The chosen focus areas are essential for the successful realization of 4G wireless systems in terms of the expected high capacity spectral efficiency in the vicinity of 10 bits/sec/Hz. The explored autonomous and self-organizing network (SON) concepts are also important for reduced system operational expenses (OPEX) for operators.

The expected outcomes of the 4G++ project shall comprise new methodologies and schemes for solving many of the significant challenges of LTE and LTE-Advanced systems. We expect to produce high-quality publications in the chosen areas of research and to explore patenting some of the ideas for possible adoption by the wireless industry. The targets for the exploitation of the results are the wireless system developers and mobile operators in Egypt and abroad. Some of the explored ideas in the area of SON could potentially act as a basis for a commercial LTE/LTE-Advanced SON product. We also plan to contribute some of the developed methods in the appropriate tracks in the 3GPP LTE-Advanced standardisation work groups.

The above will be accomplished by a well-balanced talented team of researchers consisting of a full professor acting as the primary investigator and three assistant professors. The research team has complementary skills covering the areas of wireless communications, systems and networks and the researchers come from three different departments in Egyptian public universities. The base research team will be augmented by a pool of research assistants from the three departments.

The 4G++ project is funded by the Egyptian National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) with a duration of two years.