AGH UST is launching its own mobile network

photos by Karolina Stokłosa, KSAF AGH

On 13 April 2018 the Department of Telecommunications at the Faculty of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications saw the official launch of the first fully functional, university-operated mobile telephone network in Poland. The LTE network was built for research and demonstration purposes on the basis of state-of-the-art telecom solutions provided by Nokia. The launch of the network was preceded by signing an executory agreement between AGH UST and Nokia.

The ceremony was attended by, among others, AGH UST’s Vice-Rector for Cooperation Professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST’s Vice-Rector for Science Professor Andrzej R. Pach, Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications – Professor Krzysztof Boryczko, Deputy Dean for General Affairs dr inż. Piotr Pacyna and the head of the Department of Telecommunications professor Marek Natkaniec. The executory agreement on behalf of AGH UST was signed by professor Jerzy Lis and professor Krzysztof Boryczko while the Nokia Company was represented by Paweł Bień – member of the Board of Nokia Solutions and Networks Sp. z o.o.

The first mobile network developed by a Polish university is operated based on the same principles as mobile telephone networks provided by commercial operators. It has been granted licence rights to a frequency provided by the Office of Electronic Communications. The network comprises servers, (indoor and outdoor) base stations, antennas and a radio frequency licence.

The recently launched network is used by both AGH UST’s scientists and students who test the latest solutions implemented by companies focused on 5G technology. The network’s advantage over the system implemented three years ago in one of the University’s laboratories is the fact that the installation covers two buildings which house the Department of Telecommunications and the adjacent area. Thus it allows for e.g. environmental conditions or distances between the transmitting and receiving station.

According to Krzysztof Persona, Director of Kraków-based Nokia’s Research and Development Centre: “Scientists and students have received a complete solution as similar to real-life mobile networks as it is currently practicable. They can use it for experiments and scientific research into state of the art solutions based on mobile radio technologies (e.g. Mobile Edge Computing) as well as IoT applications.”

The mobile network launched by AGH UST is a common research ground on which research staff as well as the company technical personnel can test the most recent solutions for telecom infrastructure. This is the key difference between the mobile network operated by the University and commercial networks, access to which is severely limited due to restrictions protecting network stability as well as continuous user accessibility, which excludes the possibility of testing new solutions.

The project – the outcome of the many years of co-operation between Kraków -based AGH UST and the Nokia Company – has significantly benefited both science and business.

Professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST’s Vice-Rector for Co-operation stresses that “the university has been provided with a unique network, which can now be accessed not in laboratory conditions but in the field. As a result, we are now able to take our teaching activity to the next level. Our students and staff will be able to carry out studies and their findings will be used by commercial providers of telecom services”.