Field trials and test methods in vertical driven 5G and beyond mobile network research

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

IT115, Linnanmaa

Topic of the dissertation

Field trials and test methods in vertical driven 5G and beyond mobile network research

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Marjo Heikkilä

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, CWC-NS

Subject of study



Research Associate Professor Harilaos Koumaras, Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications of NCSR “Demokritos”


Professor Ari Pouttu, University of Oulu

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Field trials and test methods in vertical driven 5G and beyond mobile network research

New end user types, new use cases and dynamic technologies of the Fifth Generation (5G) and beyond 5G mobile networks change network testing. Experimental trialling and field testing are essential because the performance of these complex networks cannot be ensured reliably by modelling only. The 5G technology brings new challenges to testing due to complexity but also due to the requirement of Over The Air (OTA) testing and dynamicity. When the number of non-public networks and small cells is increasing, the need for network testing is also growing. Guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) is crucial for mobile networks as these networks have become critical infrastructures in digitalized societies and industries.

When novel mobile technologies are researched and developed, the target is to aim for solutions to meet the service level of end user. This must be ensured by verifying the performance and functionality of novel solutions in close to real-life circumstances, environment and scenario in experimental studies such as in field trials. Trialling includes field environment development, the implementation of novel technology to field environment, and verification by different testing methods. Testing under field trials enables the evaluation of novel communications technologies from the end users’ point of view and practical evaluation of QoS during research.

The present study aims to understand the communication scenarios, use cases, needs and requirements of different end user groups. The study will produce a practical understanding about drive testing and trials in industrial use cases. The novelty of the study compared with State-of-Art is the extension of current knowledge by performing field trials of multiband, multi-application, and multivendor setups with the Third Generation (3G), the Fourth Generation (4G) and 5G technologies for various use cases and by doing a broad analysis based on an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). In the first phase of the research, the broad active antenna experimental studies were performed to evaluate antenna performances with different technologies and environments. These active antenna studies revealed a need for the measurement methods for dynamic network elements. In the second phase of the study, UAS-based measurement methods were developed for dynamic Three-Dimensional (3D) antenna measurements and site evaluation and for monitoring the spectrum usage and finding the interference location. In the third phase, UAS-based measurement methods were used for broad network analysis in the critical communications use case.
Last updated: 23.1.2024