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NCC calls for academic proposal on telecommunications-based research innovations.

To boost local content in technologies for the communication industry, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) is inviting proposals from Nigerian tertiary institutions with feasible research ideals capable of replacing foreign communication technologies.

NCC said it will support amongst other things, telecommunications-based research innovations from tertiary institutions in the country that are practical, locally realisable and have clear potential of contributing to the development of the telecommunications industry.

To improve the quality of submission, the commission said it has included specific topics in each of the focus areas of research should addressed in the response to request for proposal that includes:

5G Deployment:

Interference mitigation for cell edge users in 5G Networks: Like 4G networks, 5G also uses a universal reuse factor (i.e. surrounding cells/sites use the same frequency bands). Thus, users at the cell edge are susceptible to interference from neighbouring cells/sites. It is vital to research on algorithms to mitigate this effect for better spectrum efficiency and achieve a uniform experience across the network.

Distributed Antenna Coordination for 5G network deployment: Based on ITU recommendation, 5G networks is to be deployed in relatively higher frequency bands (from mid-bands up to millimeter waves). These bands have short propagation range and low penetration power rate properties, which requires a lot of infrastructure to achieve complete coverage. Thus, coordination of surrounding antennas to achieve high data rates is essential for 5G network performance.

Massive MiMo for higher data rates in 5G Networks: In theory, high antenna configurations of 16 x 16 and up to 64 MiMo order is proposed for the deployment of 5G networks. It is essential to research this areas and determine the coordination, feasibility and actual effect of this on the network.

Innovative Clean Energy:

Optimization of Battery discharge and charging time of Electronic Vehicles for clean Energy: This area has seen a lot of attention globally in the research community as it provides a clean alternative to the regular high carbon emitting vehicles. Research areas to be deduced from this include high-storage battery, optimized charging and discharging battery behavior amongst others.

Bio-oil Produced from Biomass Pyrolysis Technology: Fast pyrolysis utilizes biomass to produce bio-oil which is used both as an energy source and a feedstock for chemical production. In contrast to fossil fuels, the use of bio-oil for energy provides significant environmental advantages which can be further investigated and harnessed for clean energy.

Enhancement of Smart Meters/Grids: This area focuses on the flow of electricity and data with digital communications technology so as to detect, react and pro-act to changes in usage and multiple issues in power. An interesting topic to be deduced from this area is enhancing storage capacity, and intelligent interactions of smart meters with users, especially with the 5G adoption of Internet of Things (IoT).

Advanced Method of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience Management and Test Mechanism:

Adaptive Scheduling of QoE/QoS in Next Generation Networks (NGN): With the robustness and capacity of the current 4G and NGN, it is essential to develop optimized/adaptive methods to determine and prioritize instantaneous level of services in the network for prime performance.

Reduced Latency in allotting QoE/QoS levels in cellular networks: With the extremely low latency of NGNs, it is essential to research on reduced time to determine and prioritize different service levels, and provide a complementing QoE/QoS in the networks for users.

Optimized Packet Identification/marking for efficient QoS Management: A fundamental aspect of delivering good QoS is by identifying and marking packets for classification. Continuous improvement on this would immensely support good delivery of QoS.

IoT Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technology:

Advanced Power Control Algorithms for LPWAN: One of the most essential aspect of IoT or machine-to-machine Communication in general is the ability to retain power for a prolonged period of time while in operation (either on the sensor side or the device itself). This is a good research area to optimize the sustainability of the device/sensor power.

Low Cost devices for Low Power Wide Area Network: LPWAN’s simplified, lightweight protocols reduce complexity in hardware design and lower device costs. Its long range combined with a star topology reduce expensive infrastructure requirements, and the use of license-free or licensed bands reduce network costs.

Advanced protocols to combat interference in Low Power Wide Area Network: Devices in the unlicensed spectrum (including the Bluetooth protocol) and licensed spectrum generally have issues with interference, especially the former. Continues research and implementation of interference mitigation protocols is essential to the sustainability of LPWAN communication.

Practical Applications of Internet of Things in Nigeria: this is one thematic track that is gaining more popularity as it is being used in different applications like health, Aviation, Agriculture

Monitoring and Localizing of Drones:

Image Sensor Accuracy in Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) Localization: Investigate and improve accuracy of vision sensors functionality in drone localization relative to detection by RF and radar.

UAV in Modern Warfare: With the height of insecurity in the country, the use of UAVs to support the military in eliminating this vice cannot be overemphasized.

Unmasking Radar Shadows: There is currently a lot of challenges in localizing radar drones due to effects such as shadows, mountains etc. or when the drones are at low altitude. This is a good area of research so as to combat the limitations for localization. The deadline for submission of research proposals is 18 August 2021. Interested researchers can visit the commission website for details.

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