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GENI WiMAX Projects Provide Researchers with Tools to Build Next-Generation Internet

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Left to Right: Meilong Jiang (NEC Laboratories USA); Shridatt Sugrim (WINLAB, Rutgers University); Jaskaran Singh (WINLAB, Rutgers University); Ivan Seskar (WINLAB, Rutgers University); Sampath Rangarajan (NEC Laboratories USA); Rajesh Mahindra (NEC Laboratories USA); Gautam Bhanage (WINLAB, Rutgers University)

Left to Right: Meilong Jiang (NEC Laboratories USA); Shridatt Sugrim (WINLAB, Rutgers University); Jaskaran Singh (WINLAB, Rutgers University); Ivan Seskar (WINLAB, Rutgers University); Sampath Rangarajan (NEC Laboratories USA); Rajesh Mahindra (NEC Laboratories USA); Gautam Bhanage (WINLAB, Rutgers University)

The GENI WiMAX projects are creating open, programmable, GENI-enabled “cellular-like” infrastructure at eight major research university campuses.  PI Prof. Dipankar Raychaudhuri (Rutgers WINLAB) has championed the inclusion of wireless infrastructure into GENI for many years, recognizing that it will be essential in building the next-generation Internet.  Raychaudhuri, Sampath Rangarajan  (NEC Laboratories America) and Ivan Seskar (Rutgers WINLAB) are responsible for the GENI WiMAX projects that will make this deployment possible.

Open and programmable WiMAX base stations are being installed at Rutgers University, Columbia University, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, UCLA, the University of Colorado at Boulder, UMass Amherst, the University of Wisconsin, Stanford University, and at the Raytheon BBN Technologies campus in Cambridge, MA.  The WiMAX systems use software developed at Rutgers that allows researchers to try out new ideas in capacity allocation, quality of service, handover, and other wireless networking functions.

Each WiMAX base station provides network researchers with wide-area coverage and the ability to support both mobile and fixed end users.  Campus-wide WiMAX coverage makes it possible to quickly extend GENI services for “opt-in” by many end users with a relatively low capital investment. The base stations operate in the Educational Broadband Services band using experimental licenses obtained from the FCC.

Each base station can be virtualized to simultaneously support multiple concurrent experiments, e.g., a mobility research experiment and a social networking experiment.  Furthermore, a base station can simultaneously support experiments by local researchers and by GENI researchers from across the United States.

Researchers access the base station via the GENI-supported ORBIT Management Framework (OMF) portal and use available ORBIT scripting, experiment control, management, and measurement tools to run their experiments using compatible WiMAX mobile stations within the WiMAX coverage area.  Several types of WiMAX mobile stations are being evaluated for use by experimenters, including Linux laptops with integral WiMAX modem cards, mobile vehicular Linux PCs with USB-connected WiMAX modems and WiMAX-compatible Android handsets.

Each campus is provided a WiMAX base station kit that includes commercial WiMAX 802.16e radio hardware and interface software provided by NEC, plus a server containing data-path and control software developed at Rutgers WINLAB.  The NEC WiMAX radio hardware is tuned to operate in the 2.5 GHz Educational Broadband Services band, and can be configured for a 5, 7 or 10 MHz channel.