Wireless Innovation and 5G is a research lab at MEC focusing on key aspects and challenges related to the future mobile networks and emerging wireless technologies. Active research can be conducted related to MIMO communication, radio resource & interference management, design of wireless systems using machine learning and artificial intelligence-based control and management algorithms, cognitive radio & spectrum management and address issues related to PHY & MAC layer.

Equipment available:

•    5-Nines Radio

•    5NR – IoT Bridge

•    Wi-Guy

•    IoT Network

•    Spectrum Analyzer

•    USRP

1. 5-Nines Radio

5-Nines Radio (5NR Radio) is a highly scalable 5G Testbed for emulating 4G/5G networks in real-time in our lab.

5NR Radio based 4G/5G Testbed
5NR Radio based 4G/5G Testbed

Fifth generation (5G) New Radio (NR) is a promising cellular technology which includes several challenging use cases such as enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) and Ultra Reliability and Low Latency (URLLC) for offering faster speeds and highly reliable connections on smartphones and other devices [1, 2]. The high throughput, low latency requirements of 5G are fulfilled by advanced signal processing concepts such as MIMO beamforming and mmWave networking, and efficient network functionalities such as network slicing. The commercial deployment of 5G networks throughout the world will begin in 2020. One important aspect of 5G networks is that its ability to support huge number of internet-of-things (IoT) devices. Moreover, successful deployment and operation of 5G networks will depend on elegant interference management schemes since all closely located cells in the network use single frequency reuse for achieving high cell throughput.

An initial version of the 5NR Radio based 4G/5G testbed with minimal configuration (FDD, 2x2 MIMO, 5/10/20 MHz BW) contains a core network (CN), an access network (AN), and a User Equipment (UE). 5G-CN emulator consists of mobility management entity (MME) and serving gateway (S-GW). The 5G-CN manages the authentication of subscribers and end devices before routing the traffic to operator services and Internet. The MME manages the mobility of subscribers. The 5G AN emulator consists of the scheduler and RF transceiver. The main functionalities of the AN are routing of user plane data towards S-GW, Scheduling and transmission of paging messages, and radio resource management including: Radio Bearer Control, Radio Admission Control, Connection Mobility Control, Dynamic allocation of resources to UEs in both uplink and downlink (scheduling).


•    Platform for UG/PG/PhD thesis projects 

•    Innovation in 5G wireless technologies such as M2M communications and IoT 

•    Algorithm development for interference management in 4G and 5G cellular systems

Components of 5-Nines Radio:

•    4G/5G Core network emulator

•    4G/5G Access network emulator

•    4G/5G UE emulator

Technical Specifications:

•    Frequency range: 800 MHz – 3800 MHz

•    Duplexing mode: FDD & TDD

•    Bandwidth: 5, 10, and 20 MHz

•    Sampling rate: 30 Msps

•    MIMO support: 2 x 2

•    ADC: 16 bits

•    Max. Tx. Power: 10 dBm

Additional components:

•    LTE Dongle

•    Smartphones

•    Telescopic antennas

Software modules:

•    5-Nines Radio TM Core Network Package

•    5-Nines Radio TM Access Network Package

The testbed is for 4G or 5G?  

The testbed will emulate both 4G and 5G.
4G: Currently, real-time operation of complete 4G systems has been tested.  
5G: All software modules of the setup such as Core Network, Access Network and UE are active and simulation of 5G network can be performed. As of now, 5G access network module is not tested in real-time.

What about bandwidth supported? 

The testbed can run with 5 MHz, 10 MHz and 20 MHz configurations. However, it can be extended to support 100 MHz bandwidth.

How many User Equipment (UEs) can be connected with the Testbed?  

We have tested with simultaneous maximum connections of eight UEs (combination of smart phones and IoT devices) along with the Testbed. In reality, it is expected to connect with several tens of smartphones and IoT devices.

What is the coverage distance of the eNB/gNB? 

With the transmit power of 10 dBm, the coverage distance is around 30m. 

Can the Testbed be expanded?  

The testbed is highly scalable. You can keep on increasing any number of eNBs/gNBs and UEs.

What are the capabilities of the Testbed?

  4G 5G
Simulation Yes Yes
Real-time Emulation Yes Yes, with additional high-end USRPs

Photo Gallery

5NR Radio Access Network

5NR Radio Testbed

 Emulation of 4G/5G Access Network

 Emulation of 4G/5G Core Network

5NR Software Package

5NR Radio User Interface

Emulation of 5 NR Radio Access Network

2. 5NR-IoT Bridge

5NR-IoT Bridge is an interface unit to connect and control IoT sensor network with the 5-Nines Radio. The IoT network consists of a coordinator, several routers and end nodes. All the nodes in the IoT network are connected to various types of low-cost and low-power sensors such as temperature, humidity, air quality, vibration, light level, etc. to read various measurement data and send them to the coordinator via the routers. The 5-Nnies Radio consists of a 4G/5G core network, an Access network (eNB/gNB) and UEs.

5NR-IoT Bridge

Integration of IoT Network with 5 Nines Radio

Illustration of 4G/5G IoT Network

3. Wi-Guy: 

Wi-Guy is a portable software defined radio-based platform developed by Chandhar Research Labs, Chennai. It is capable of scanning a range of electromagnetic spectrum for creating radio coverage map and decoding various type of signals transmitted by present day communication systems such as FM radio, GSM, LTE, GPS in real-time.

By using the in-built SDR, the Wi-Guy units read the RF samples in real-time from various frequency bands and process the samples to decode signals and to extract system information.  Python programming language is used to acquire and process the real-time signals are transmitted by commercial FM stations, GSM, LTE base stations, and GPS satellites. The Wi-Guy stores the extracted information in the required file formats. The files generated by the Wi-Guy units can be accessed from a PC/Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone.

Technical Specifications
SDR Receiver
•    Frequency range: 50 – 950 MHz
•    Max. sampling rate: 2.7 MSps
•    ADC: 8 bits 

•    GPS Receiver: L1 frequency (1.5742 GHz), C/A code
•    GPS sensitivity: -160 dBm

Power Requirements
•    Input power: 5V, 2.5A

Experiments that can be carried out using Wi-Guy

Channel modelling 
1.    Additive white Gaussian noise (L) 
2.    Verification of small scale fading distribution (L) 
3.    Auto-correlation of small scale fading (L) 
4.    Verification of shadow fading distribution (L) 

Analog Communication 
1.    Morse code translator 
2.    Amplitude modulation and demodulation 
3.    SSB-SC modulation and demodulation 
4.    VSB-SC modulation and demodulation 
5.    Demodulating FM stations (L) 
6.    Frequency response of analog band-pass filter 
7.    Frequency response of analog band-stop filter 

Digital Communication 
1.    Line encoding 
2.    Eye diagram 
3.    Matched filter 
4.    Digital modulation 
5.    ASK modulation and demodulation 
6.    QPSK modulation and demodulation 
7.    LDPC coding and decoding in AWGN channel 
8.    DoA estimation using MUSIC and ESPRIT algorithms 
9.    Monitoring GSM channels (L) 
10.    Decoding GSM signals (L) 
11.    Monitoring LTE frequency bands (L) 
12.    Decoding LTE signals (L) 
13.    GPS decoding (L) 

Digital Signal Processing 
1.    Sampling theorem (L) 
2.    FIR filter design (L) 
3.    Down sampling (L) 
4.    Discrete Fourier Transform (L)

Cognitive Radio
1.    Spectrum scanning (L) 
2.    Energy detector based spectrum sensing (L) 

Machine Learning 
1.    Text processing 
2.    Speech Recognition (L) 
3.    Face Recognition (L) 
4.    RF fingerprinting (L) 
5.    RF signal Classification (L) 

1.    ZigBee communication (L) 
2.    IoT Gateway (L) 

Data Server 
1.    Generate samples for offline processing (L) 
2.    I/Q spectrum server (L) 
3.    Spectrum on web browser (L)

(L) indicates that the experiments process the live wireless signals. The remaining experiments are simulation based.

Photo Gallery


Spectrum scanning using Wi-Guy

GSM samples captured using Wi-Guy

Power spectral density plot of GMS channels generated using Wi-Guy

IoT Network

IoT Testbed is a highly scalable wireless sensor network (WSN) laboratory Testbed for understanding the basics of wireless networking and for developing internet-of-things (IoT) applications. The Testbed can be used for prototyping and evaluation of developed protocol solutions for advanced wireless technologies such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and IoT in 5G and beyond wireless systems.

The IoT network consists of one coordinator and several routers and end nodes. All the nodes in the network can be connected to various types of sensors. The low-power sensor nodes read various measurement data such as temperature, humidity, air quality, vibration, light level, etc., and send them to the coordinator via the routers. The coordinator maintains the communication between the end nodes and the routers. The sensor nodes can be monitored and controlled via the web interface. 

The different types of network topologies (star, mesh, multi-hop, etc.) can be implemented and tested with the set-up. Moreover, the sensor network can be integrated with the 5G Testbed to enable the development of IoT applications.

ZigBee transceiver                            - 10 units
ZigBee explorer board                      - 1 unit
ZigBee level converter board           - 4 units  
Arduino Xbee Shield                        - 6 units
ZigBee sniffer USB device               - 1 unit
Arduino uno board                           - 10 units
Arduino uno plastic case                 - 6 units
Bluetooth low energy USB board    - 1 unit
WiFi dongle (ESP8266)                   - 1 unit
RFID reader/writer                           - 1 unit
RFID key tag (13.56 MHz)              - 2 units
RFID card (13.56 MHz)                   - 5 units
GPS receiver                                   - 5 units
GPS antenna (3m)                           - 1 unit
GPS antenna (patch)                       - 4 units
UFL to SMA cable                           - 1 unit
TTL to USB adapter                        - 1 unit
Micro USB OTG cables                   - 10 units
Type-C OTG cables                         - 6 units
Micro USB to Type- C adapter         - 5 units
Type-A male to Type-B male USB cable - 10 units
Temperature sensor                         - 1 unit
Accelerometer sensor                      - 1 unit
Sound sensor                                   - 1 unit
Proximity sensor                               - 1 unit
Air-quality sensor                              - 1 unit
Analog temperature sensor              - 1 unit
Thermistor                                        - 1 unit
Humidity sensor                               - 1 unit
Vibration sensor                               - 1 unit
Heartbeat measuring sensor            -1 unit
9V Battery case                                - 2 units
7V Battery case                                - 1 unit
3V Battery case                               - 2 units

5. USRP- Software Defined Radio device

USRP – 2901 
Frequency range                         70 MHz to 6 GHz
Frequency step                           < 1 KHz
Maximum output power              20 dBm
Gain range                                  89.75 dB
Gain step                                     0.25 dB
Frequency accuracy                    2.5ppm
Maximum instantaneous 
real-time bandwidth                    56 MHz
DAC  12 bits
One channel                               61.44 Msps
Two channels                             30.72 Msps
Streaming                                  15 Msps


Frequency range                        70 MHz to 6 GHz
Frequency step                          <1 KHz
Gain range                                 76 dB
Gain step                                    1.0 dB
Maximum input power                -15 dBm
Noise figure                                5 dB to 7 dB
Frequency accuracy                  2.5 ppm
Maximum instantaneous 
real-time bandwidth                   56 MHz
ADC                                           12 bits
One channel                              61.44 Msps
Two channels                            30.72 Msps
Streaming                                 15 Msps


Typical                                      3 W to 3.5 W
Maximum                                 4.5 W
Power requirement accepts 6V, 3A external DC power connector


Dr. Subbarao Boddu
Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Email: subbarao.boddu@mahindrauniversity.edu.in
Phone: +91 40 6713 5207