Dual connectivity to improve network access speed

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The Communication Circuits and Systems Research Group (CIRCUIT) has launched the first free, open dual connectivity platform that will enable experiments to be carried out in real conditions.

Dual Connectivity is a new technology that enables a mobile device to be connected to two network stations simultaneously. This improves the rate of data transport and therefore the service experience.

Current mobile devices can only be connected to one base station of those available within the coverage area. They select the station with the strongest signal, which tends to be the one that is closest geographically. When the signal gets weaker, mobile devices automatically connect to the strongest signal from the next closest station.

Dual Connectivity enables a simultaneous link to be established between the mobile device and two base stations, whether they are 4G, 5G or a combination of both. In this way, information can be transmitted to the mobile from the best base station or via both stations. This improves the data rate (data aggregation) and or/or involves changing to the fastest station (fast switching).

The testbed developed by Dual Connectivity is fully implemented in open code, which means that any person or company can collaborate in the project. It is expected that the solution that is developed will save researchers and developers around 4 months of work.

The testbed was developed by Dr. Ilker Demirkol and the doctoral student Carlos Pupiales of the UPC. Other collaborators in the project were Eurecom (France), National Instruments (Germany) and the Rutgers University of New Jersey (USA). The Dual Connectivity project won the Best Demo Award at the IEEE MASS Conference 2019.

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