Smart Low EMF Architectures
The main objective of WP5 is to investigate and design novel network architectures and management techniques aiming at reducing human exposure to EMF, without compromising the quality of experience perceived by the end-users. To this end WP5 studies a variety of existing and emerging radio access technologies (RATs) and designs new techniques and algorithms for EMF reduction.
WP5 has fostered from the very beginning a tight cooperation between partners. By starting from a two-task structure, one dealing with novel topologies and the other one with management techniques, partners working in similar topics grouped in clusters so as to enrich and broaden the achieved results. Different approaches have been followed, such as theoretical analysis, algorithm and protocol design and specification, simulation-based studies and real implementations or measurements over commercial networks. All in all, WP5 has tackled the reduction of the EI from different angles and using different approaches, thus leading to a rather broad vision of the corresponding problems.
Although the number and quality of the obtained results is remarkably high, the following ones might stand out:
- Identification of key aspects to leverage low-EMF solutions;
- The use of small-cell densification can lead to less exposure;
- Proposal of the techniques to reduce the exposure by means of optimized topologies, enhanced routing protocols and modification of link layer procedures.
The impact of the aforementioned outcomes is mostly technical, since they would certainly help the network operators and manufacturers to develop new procedures and techniques to reduce the exposure induced by wireless communications without jeopardizing the QoE perceived by the end-users. Furthermore, there might be, in some cases, collateral benefits in terms of power consumption, thus bringing about a reduction of the operational expenses.
In this case, the expected social impact of WP5 is aligned with the overall LEXNET strategy; end-users are concerned about the potentially adverse effects of the exposure to EMF, but they would unlikely accept a degradation on the perceived QoE. In addition, it can be said that the techniques that are being studied in WP5 would also reduce the passive exposure of the general public, including those who are not end-users of wireless communication systems.