The main objective of the Action was to increase the knowledge of radio system aspects for flexible personalised communications, capable of delivering different services, exploiting different bandwidths, and to develop new modelling techniques and related planning tools, in order to guarantee the continuity (and quality) of services, delivered by networks of widely different capabilities and structures, across a number of different environments. Furthermore, in the perspective of a fast evolving demand for interfacing the photonic (glass fibre) network with the wireless network, investigations on the mutual interactions were carried out, as well. In fact, in the medium/long term scenario envisaged for Telecommunications by the European Commission, the time period 2000 - 2005 would be characterised by the emergence of PCS, with a full integration of user mobility, the Integrated Broadband Communications (IBC) network and the Intelligent Network(s), followed by the Photonic Network implementation at all levels (regional, national and international). In such an environment, this Action has played, in connection with the progressive deployment of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and the Mobile Broadband System (MBS), the role performed in the past by: COST Action 207, in connection with the development of GSM; COST Action 231, in connection with the deployment of GSM1800 and the development of UMTS.
The activities had a significant impact in terms of basic Research & Development and degree of innovation for the Signatories and the whole mobile communications community, with particular reference to the specification bodies. In addition, the typical benefits of a multi-disciplinary work were experienced, involving a high number of participating countries and institutions (including Central and Eastern Europe), at least equal to those active in COST Action 231. As a secondary but not negligible effect, the support to standardisation bodies from a large community of researchers has provided further stimulation of the personal communication market growth, taking into account the impact of technologies on the life of citizens of the member states, as well as their needs and the economical effects of such technologies.
The above objectives were reached by co-ordinating the Signatories research in several areas, which cover the following:
(i) Radio System aspects, including study on advanced access schemes, bandwidth on demand, equalisation, interference limitation.
(ii) Network aspects, in terms of investigations on spectrum efficiency, identification of channel allocation strategies, study of efficient protocols for high data rates and distributed networks.
(iii) Propagation studies and simulations, using novel promising approaches and the development of models for a sound characterisation of the short range communications radio channel (micro- and pico-cellular environments), together with concurrent validation measurements campaigns.
(iv) Research on intelligent/adaptive antennas, with particular attention on the possible diversity countermeasures they are able to offer and their influence on network planning activities.
(v) Advanced planning tools for a variety of environments, including strategies for optimised frequency assignments.
Work was carried out grouped into the 3 initially foreseen Working Groups, as follows:
WG 1: Radio System Aspects
WG 2: Propagation and Antennas
WG 3: Network Aspects
As far as Sub-Working Groups are concerned, some changes were done from the initial plan, to make the Action more functional and to address specific topics that were not foreseen on the proposal but that were found to be of interest to a group of participants. They are listed below:
SWG 2.1: Directional Channel Models
SWG 2.2: Test Methods for Handset Antennas
SWG 3.1: Standard Scenarios for Frequency Planning
A n organisation flow is shown below, where the interaction among the various Working Groups and Sub-Working Groups can be seen.
Liaisons with other bodies were established, not only with other COST Actions in the area of Telecommunications, but also with projects in the European ACTS and SMT frameworks, as well as with ETSI, ITU and URSI.
The Secretariat of the Action was done externally, at Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon , Portugal, the functions of Secretary being cumulated by the Chairman.
4. PARTICIPATION AND COORDINATION
4.1 Management Committee
Chairman: Prof. Luis M. Correia
Instituto Superior Tecnico - Tech. Univ. Lisbon
IT/DEEC - Torre Norte
Av. Rovisco Pais
P - 1049-001 Lisboa
Vice-Chairman: Dr. Jean-Frederic Wagen
Fribourg School of Engineering and Arquitecture
Boulevard de Pérolles, 80, CP 32
CH – 1705 Fribourg
Secretary: Prof. Luis M. Correia
Instituto Superior Tecnico - Tech. Univ. Lisbon
IT/DEEC - Torre Norte
Av. Rovisco Pais
P - 1049-001 Lisboa
WGs and SWGs Chairmen:
WG 1: Prof. Stephen K. Barton, Univ. of Leeds, United Kingdom
WG 2: Prof. Ernst Bonek, Tech. Univ. of Vienna, Austria
WG 3: Dr. Thomas Kürner, E-Plus, Germany
SWG 2.1: Mr. Martin Steinbauer, Tech. Univ. Vienna, Austria
SWG 2.2: Mr. Matthias Schneider, IMST, Germany
SWG 3.1: Mr. Andreas Eisenblätter, ZIB, Germany
Members (from 18 countries):
Austria: Prof. Ernst Bonek, Tech. Univ. of Vienna; Dr. Boris Nemsic, Mobilkom
Belgium: Prof. Luc Vandendorpe, Univ. Cath. Louvain; Prof. Emmanuel Van Lil, Kath. Univ. Leuven
Denmark: Mr. Jens Andresen, Tele Denmark; Prof. Joergen Bach Andersen, Aalborg Univ.
Finland: Dr. Seppo Karhu, VTT; Dr. Jaakko Talvitie, Elektrobit
France: Mr. Jean-Claude Bic, CNET; Mrs. Laurence Delaunay-Ledter, CNET
Germany: Dr. Andreas Czylwik, Deutsche Telekom; Mr. Jorg Pamp. IMST
Greece: Prof. Philip Constantinou, National Tech. Univ. Athens; Prof. Niovi Pavlidou, Aristotle Univ. Thessaloniki
Ireland: Prof. Cyril Burkley, Univ. of Limerick; Dr. Peter Cullen, Univ. of Dublin
Italy: Mr. Eraldo Damosso, CSELT; Dr. Mario Frullone, Fondazione Ugo Bordoni
The Netherlands: Mrs. Suzana Grujev, KPN; Prof. Ramjee Prasad, Tech. Univ. Delft
Norway: Mr. Rune Rakken, Telenor R&D; Mr. Per Hjalmar Lehne, Telenor R&D
Poland: Prof. Krzysztof Wesolowski, Poznam Univ. of Tech
Portugal: Prof. Luis M. Correia, IST- Tech. Univ. Lisbon; Prof. António Rodrigues, IST- Tech. Univ. Lisbon; Prof. José C. Neves, Univ. of Aveiro
Slovenia: Mr. Tomaz Javornik, Institut Josef Stefan; Dr. Gorazd Kandus, Institut Josef Stefan
Spain: Prof. Ramon Agusti Comes, Univ. Politecnica de Catalunya; Prof. Fernando Casadevall Palacio, Univ. Politecnica de Catalunya
Sweden: Dr. Christian Bergljung, Telia Research; Dr. Peter Karlsson Telia Research
Switzerland: Mr. Andreas Jarosch, Swiss Federal Institute of Tech.; Dr. Jean-Frédéric Wagen, EIF
United Kingdom: Dr. David Bacon, Radiocommunications Agency; Prof. Stephen K. Barton, University of Leeds
4.2 Participating Institutions
Participating institutions are more than 80, as follows:
Austria: MobilkomAustria, Technical University of Vienna.
Belgium: K.U.Leuven, Université Catholique Louvain, University of Gent
Denmark: Aalborg University, L.M. Ericsson, Telecom Denmark Mobile
France: Alcatel, France Telecom / CNET, CEGETEL / SFR, INSA de Rennes, Institut National des Telécommunications, TDF-C2R
Germany: Aachen University of Technology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Deutsche Telekom, E-plus Mobilfunk, IMST, Ilmenau University of Technology, Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum Berlim, Mannesmann Mobilfunk, Siemens, Technical University of Harburg-Hamburg, Technical University of Braunschweig, Technical University of Munich, University of Hannover, University of Kaiserslautern, University of Karlsruhe, University of Kassel, University of Stuttgart, University of Ulm
Greece: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, National Technical University of Athens
Ireland: ComSearch, University of Dublin / Trinity College, University of Limerick
Italy: CORITEL, CSELT, Ericsson Telecomunicazioni, Fondazione Ugo Bordoni, Italtel, Omnitel, Politecnico di Milano, University of Bologna
The Netherlands: Delft University of Technology, KPN
Poland: PTK Centertel, Poznan University of Technology
Portugal: IST- Technical University of Lisbon, Telecel, University of Aveiro
Slovenia: Institute Jozef Stefan
Spain: Escuela Universitaria de Gandia, Politechnical University of Catalunya, Politechnical University of Valencia, Telefonica I & D, University of Les Illes Baleares, University of Vigo
Sweden: Allgon, ComOpt, Ericsson Radio Systems, Lulea University of Technology, Lund University, Telia Research, Uppsala University
Switzerland: EPFL, ETZ Zurich, Swisscom
United Kingdom: Aethos Communications, Motorola, Radiocommunications Agency, Roke Manor Research, University of Bradford, University of Bristol, University of Leeds, University of York, Vodafone
4.3 Meetings of the Management Committee
The meetings of the MC during the period of this report were:
1st Meeting, 3 Apr. 1997, Brussels, Belgium
2nd Meeting, 26-26 May 1997, Turin, Italy
3rd Meeting, 24-26 Sep. 1997, Lisbon, Portugal
4th Meeting, 2-4 Feb. 1998, Bern, Switzerland,
5th Meeting: 21-24 Apr. 1998, Bradford, United Kingdom
9th Meeting, 23-24 Sep. 1999, The Hague, The Netherlands
10th Meeting, 19-21 Jan. 2000, Valencia, Spain
11th Meeting, 26-28 Apr. 2000, Bergen, Norway
4.4 Meetings of the Working Groups
The meetings of the WGs and SWGs took place within the MC meetings mentioned above, except for SWG 2.1, which had an extra meeting in 24-26 Mar. 1999.
Although some tasks were due to be finished by the end of Year 2, work has continued to be presented in all of them, and a decision was taken to keep them open until the end of the Action. Final models and algorithms have been achieved, and many results have been obtained in some of the areas addressed in the Action, as for example: OFDM transmission techniques, enhancement of TDMA systems, and near-far resistant techniques in CDMA, within WG 1; propagation characteristics for broadband radio access at mm waves, test scenarios for systems with adaptive antennas, characterisation of directional radio channels, and evaluation of adaptive antennas for GSM and wideband CDMA, within WG 2; traffic modelling and its influence in planning optimisation, planning algorithms for interference reduction in cellular networks, comparison of frequency assignment algorithms, and spectral compatibility of DECT and UMTS services, within WG 3. All of these results are part of the many Temporary Documents that were discussed throughout the project, and are summarised in the Technical Final Report.
The total number of Temporary Documents presented at the MC is as follows: 97 in 1997, 119 in 1998, 121 in 1999 and 59 in 2000. These numbers, together with the fact that meetings are usually attended by 80 to 100 people, show that the Action was very much alive, and the work being done within it was of interest to many people and institutions, besides the official members of the MC.
Continuing the COST 231 policy of having the yearly Workshop in conjunction with other Actions that have common areas of interest, COST 259 organised its 1st Workshop together with COST 252 (Apr. 1998, Bradford, UK), and the 2nd with COST 260 (Apr. 1999, Vienna, Austria). Both were a success, the latter having been attended by more than 150 people; this number of attendees shows that there is great interest in the work being done in the Action (together with the companion ones).
It was the belief of the MC that the work being carried out within the Action was of top quality at the international level, which can be measured by the following. According to a suggestion of the MC to the Chairman of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference 99 - Fall, papers from the Action were submitted to the conference, and were evaluated by the usual rules of refereeing. From a total of 20 papers, 19 were accepted for presentation (i.e., only 5% rejection), and 2 specific sessions devoted to COST 259 Indoor and Outdoor Propagation will be set up in the conference. A similar situation occurred for the AP 2000 Symposium: 12 out of 12 papers were accepted for presentation, and a specific session on COST 259 was held.
The Technical Final Report, which is structured as a book (around 500 pages), as it was the case of the previous COST 207 and COST 231, had chapter and section editors appointed by the Working Groups. It will be published by John Wiley.
6. DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS
6.1 Publications and Reports
The total number of technical documents presented to the MC, was mentioned above. The complete list of documents (title, authors and its affiliation, and abstract) is available at the Action web site, and can be sent upon request.
Also, as mentioned before, the Technical Final Report, be published by John Wiley, which clearly meets the criterion for a good dissemination of the work done.
6.2 Conferences and Workshops
Three Workshops were organised:
1st COST 259 Workshop, joint with COST 252, 21-22 Apr. 1998, Bradford, UK, attended by more than 120 people;
2nd COST 259 Workshop, joint with COST 260, 20-21 Apr. 1999, Vienna, Austria, attended by more than 150 people;
3rd COST 259 Workshop, 27-27 Apr. 2000, Bergen, Norway, attended by more than 70 people.
Besides this, 2 Technical Sessions were organised at VTC’99 Fall - 50th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Sep. 1999, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (COST 259 Outdoor Propagation, COST 259 Indoor Propagation), and 1 at the AP2000 Symposium, Apr. 2000, Davos, Switzerland (COST 259 Propagation).
6.3 Web site
The Action web site address is: http://www.lx.it.pt/cost259.
From a front page, one can have access to several pages, described below with the respective contents:
News: last changes on the general web site, as well as various news of interest
Working Groups: description of the WGs, and SWGs, including Chairmen, activities, list of documents, and possible SWGs.
Meetings: list of all MC meetings and workshops, with the respective Agenda, Minutes, lists of participants and documents; before the meetings it contains also invitation, general information, and registration form, which is done on-line.
Status: list of signatory countries, respective members, and date of signature of the MoU; list of chairmen; list of participating institutions.
Temporary Documents: list of temporary documents, organised by year
Official Documents: MoU, Technical Annex, Annual Reports, Workplans.
Documents Download: various documents for download (e.g., forms for applications of Short-Term Missions), in several formats (*.html, *.rtf, *.ps, *.pdf).
Related Links: links to other web sites of interests, namely other COST Actions, other European frameworks (e.g., ACTS), standardisation bodies (e.g., ITU, ETSI), and international fora (e.g., UMTS, GSM).
Related Conferences: list of conferences in the area of the Action, with dates, locations, deadlines, links and so on.
E-mail Page: email addresses for contacting the Action.
6.4 Scientific and Technical Cooperation
There were formal liaisons with other projects within European frameworks, COST 252, COST 255, COST 260, ACTS/MEDIAN, ACTS/SUNBEAM, ACTS/FRAMES and SMT/METAMORP, besides other less regular contacts.
6.5 Transfer of results
There were formal liaisons with standardisation bodies, not only at the European level, i.e., ETSI/BRAN, ITU/SG3, URSI/C, besides other less regular contacts.
The main European operators in the area of mobile/wireless communications were present in the Action: Mobilkom Austria, Telecom Denmark Mobile France Telecom / CNET, CEGETEL / SFR, TDF-C2R, Deutsche Telekom, E-plus Mobilfunk, Mannesmann Mobilfunk, CSELT, Italtel, OMNITEL, KPN, Telenor R&D, PTK Centertel, Telecel, Telefonica I & D, Telia Research, Swisscom, Vodafone.
Also main European manufacturers in the area of mobile/wireless communications were present: Nokia, Alcatel, Siemens, Allgon, Ericsson, Motorola.
7. ECONOMIC DIMENSION
The estimated effort for the entire Action is 50 person/year.
The funds granted by the Commission since the beginning of the Action was as follows: 1997 - 50 kEuro; 1998 - 115 kEuro, to which an amount of 11.5 kEuro was added specifically for Short-Term Missions; 1999 - 92 kEuro.
8. SELF EVALUATION
COST 259 was devoted to an area of huge expansion in Telecommunications, the wireless/mobile one, which allows very close contacts between universities and research labs on one hand and operators and manufacturers on the other, thus enabling conditions for a successful cooperation and very fruitful development of research. However, it also imposes an increased responsibility to the participants, due to the expectations that are created to the results of the Action, as it happened with the previous ones, COST 207 and COST 231. The work that was carried out has shown that the same level of quality in the final results was maintained: the large attendance of the workshops and the MC meetings (over 80), the number of technical documents being discussed at each MC meeting (around 40), and the recognition by international referees of the quality of the work (only 1 out of 20 papers coming specifically from COST 259 was rejected for presentation at IEEE VTC’99-Fall, and no rejections at AP2000), among other things. Besides this, the work on the Technical Final Report was accomplished in due time, and it is being published by a commercial publisher, John Wiley.
As a consequence of what was stated above, the Action did not face serious difficulties. The fact that a large group of people participated posed some additional management problems, as well as increased difficulties in organising the meetings, not only from the logistic point of view (in finding rooms for the plenary and for the parallel sessions of the WGs and SWGs meetings) but from financial one as well (since the Commission was not funding the meetings organisation, external sponsoring had to be found, and although the sponsoring for the MC meetings was always successful, it is not as easy as for a small group of people). Nevertheless, all these problems have been dealt with in a satisfactory manner.
However, the Action did face a major problem, coming from the uncertainties and problems posed by the European commission. The (very minor) funding coming from the EC came always late, and still it was not cleared the situation concerning the funding of the final workshop. It is expected that these problems will be solved in a satisfactory manner.
9.1 Evaluation panel and evaluation procedures
Members of the Panel:
Peter Wintlev-Jensen, Scientific Secretary of TC TIST
Prof. Kalman Fazekas, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Tel.: +36-1-4631559; fax: +36-1-4633289; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. José M. Costa, Nortel Networks, Tel.: +1 613 763-7574, FAX: +1 613 765-1225, E-mail: email@example.com
COST-Telecommunication Action 259 “Wireless Flexible Personalized Communications”, Final Report, Period: Dec. 1996 to Apr. 2000.
List of Documents (the input temporary documents).
Minutes of Meetings.
COST Action 259 Memorandum of Understanding and its Technical Annex.
Annual Reports and Workplans.
Web site: http://www.lx.it.pt/cost259
9.2 Results versus objectives
Considering the contents of the Final Report to be published by John Wiley, the results of the action are a good match to the objectives. The three main areas identified in the objectives are addressed, namely radio systems, antennas and propagation, and network aspects. The one area that seems a bit weak compared with the others is that related to the personalization aspects and what this implies in terms of protocols for multimedia applications and people on the move. Also the important aspects related to the integration of wireless access and optical fibre transport, which are identified in the MoU, are not covered in any depth. Instead, the networking aspects concentrate on the deployment planning of a radio access network.
9.3 Outcome and achievements
In the area of radio transmission systems the Action has addressed two important areas of technology: OFDMA and CDMA which will play increasing roles in radiocommunications. The achievements within the action will serve to guide the deployment of emerging systems for both mobile communications and fixed broadband wireless access. A significant part of the Action is devoted to analysing both theoretical and practical aspects of the deployment of radio access networks. The final report does an excellent job in bridging the state of the art and the emerging radio technologies which will play an important role in the evolution of both second generation and third generation wireless systems, such as IMT-2000 and UMTS, as well as fixed broadband wireless access. (See also 9.7 on dissemination of results).
9.4 Impact of the Action
The areas addressed by the Action have considerable international interest in view of the increasing importance that wireless access is having in telecommunications and very active research is in progress in many parts of the world. The results of the work of the Action will serve to augment the global knowledge. The studies are not only useful to advance the technical knowledge, but the results will also contribute to the understanding of the characteristics of radiation, which will be useful for those who study the biological effects of radiation (e.g., COST 244), for example, as it was demonstrated at the technical workshop in Bergen, Norway, on 26-28 April 2000.
9.5 European added-value
This Action has clearly shown how European cooperation can result in an invaluable result, which would have been impossible to achieve by any one country or organization. Considering the breath of the input contributions (Temporary Documents) and the variety of authors/sources from the participating countries, this is clearly demonstrated.
9.6 Coordination and management
The Action has been managed very well, even though it had an initial delay due to sickness of the main coordinator, the new coordinator was able to produce results quickly and steadily as demonstrated by the significant number of contributions and the workshops organized. The progress is well documented in the web site, where the minutes of the main meetings, annual reports, and lists of contributions may be found. The web site is very well organized, which makes it easy to find the information.
9.7 Dissemination of results
The results of the Action has had a very impressive dissemination record, through special sessions at two conferences, three workshops, and liaison with ACTS projects. The publication of the Final Report will be the culmination of the process and it is essential that this publication is not delayed and proper publicity is given to the availability of the publication to avoid the problem encountered by other COST Actions where the publication of the Final Report was delayed thus reducing the impact. Based on the information provided it is not clear what specific contributions to standardization have resulted from this Action to-date, but this may be seen in the near future in the standardization bodies. Also, it is expected that industry participants already have exploitation plans in place to take advantage of the Action results in the deployment of their telecommunication systems.
The number of participants and contributions in this Action is very impressive. It has also considered the results of other relevant COST Actions and ACTS projects.
9.8 Strengths and weaknesses
One significant strength of this Action has been the balanced mix of industry and academic participants, which have allowed the Action to concentrate on real industry needs and to introduce advanced research results into the solutions. The Action has produced a significant amount of work in key areas of technology, which will serve to foster the cooperation among the contributing signatories and will also be a valuable tool to educate others in the state of the art in this key area of technology.
One weakness noted is some inaccuracies (e.g., correct definitions should be BER = Bit Error Ratio, CATV = Community Antenna TeleVision, and “FWA” should be used instead of “WLL” as the latter has been deprecated by the ITU), but this should not detract from the overall value of the results.
It is recommended that the TC TIST accepts the Final Report of this Action. The Final report should be published on a timely basis in order to have an impact, including impact on standardization, because technology advances very quickly.
It is essential that this work be continued through New Actions. The market demands are increasingly exponentially and the technology has to keep pace in order to deliver the most advanced services at low prices.
New actions could concentrate on specific aspects of the new telecommunication revolution, including but not limited to:
More in depth analysis of the powerful combination between communications by optical fibre, which provides very high capacity at low cost in network connections, and wireless technology, which allow access by the population at large, including those who are nomadic or mobile, also at a very low cost.
Enhancements to networking protocols to ensure seamless access to multimedia services across multiple networks.
Continue to investigate the use of more spectrally efficient technologies and methods, as well as techniques to ease the deployment of radio access networks and ease their evolution to meet future market demands and accommodate advances in technologies.
Technical impacts of the convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting, and information systems, by which new market models may need to be established and there is potential for synergism between the services and technologies used in the different fields.
TC TIST REMARKS
The Final Report of COST 259, to be published in the form of a book by John Wiley, constitutes a fundamental piece of work, which will be very much welcomed by the industry and standardisation bodies in the field of wireless communications. The three main areas covered by the book are radio systems, antennas and propagation, and radio network aspects, with particular emphasis on the efficient deployment planning of radio access networks.