LTE-Assisted WiFi-Direct: A unique trial of network-assisted D2D technology

As the dust around 5G communications technology settles, it becomes clear that it will be a synergistic integration of diverse techniques and solutions, rather than one killer technology, with the goal to dramatically improve the performance of next-generation wireless networks. In this space, network-assisted device-to-device (D2D) infrastructure is seriously considered now as part of future 5G ecosystem, due to its capability to offload expensive cellular bands, as well as owing to next-generation applications and services that it enables, thus leading to new market opportunities. In particular, LTE-assisted WiFi-Direct is a promising technology that creates unprecedented benefits, for both operator and end user, at the stages of device/service discovery, connection establishment, and service continuity. Correspondingly, cellular network may automate pairing of proximate devices, maintain their security, and improve the battery lifetime of D2D peers sharing their desired content.

Working Group

Inspired by the rich potential of network-assisted D2D, and building on our recent rigorous research in this area [1-6], we have committed in summer 2014 to thoroughly demonstrate this promising technology and comprehensively conclude on its practical benefits. Along these lines, we have completed a full-scale practical trial of network-assisted WiFi-Direct on a live 3GPP LTE deployment in Brno, Czech Republic. This unique trial unites partners from Tampere U. of Technology, Brno U. of Technology, and Intel Labs US, while we have successfully shown some of its functionality at Mobile World Congress in early 2014.

Actual offloading operation was also presented:

A short video of the trial is also published here and the direct link to download is here.

At the end of the trial, to discuss the lessons learned and decide on the way forward, we have conducted a summary seminar at Brno U. of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic. This seminar has brought together selected representatives of mobile network operators, service providers, vendors, and manufacturers, who engaged into fruitful discussions on the potential of LTE-Assisted WiFi-Direct as well as its capabilities to enrich applications and services in current mobile ecosystem.

The summary slides of the seminar are available for download here.

Post provided by Brno University of Technology can be found here.

Our recent publications on the topic:

  1. S. Andreev, et al., Cellular Traffic Offloading onto Network-Assisted Device-to-Device Connections, IEEE Communications Magazine, April, 2014
  2. S. Andreev, et al., Analyzing Assisted Offloading of Cellular User Sessions onto D2D Links in Unlicensed Bands, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, September, 2014
  3. A. Pyattaev, et al., Network-Assisted D2D Over WiFi Direct, in Smart Device to Smart Device Communication, Springer, 2014
  4. A. Pyattaev, et al., Network-Assisted D2D Communications: Implementing a Technology Prototype for Cellular Traffic Offloading, IEEE WCNC, 2014
  5. A. Pyattaev, et al., Proximity-Based Data Offloading via Network Assisted Device-to-Device Communications, IEEE VTC-Spring, 2013
  6. A. Pyattaev, et al., 3GPP LTE Traffic Offloading onto WiFi Direct, IEEE WCNC, 2013

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