Giovanni Geraci holds a competitive Junior Leader Fellowship at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain), where he works on wireless communications, networking, and signal processing. On these topics, he has co-authored over 50 between book chapters and scientific articles — attracting more than 1000 citations –, and he is co-inventor of a dozen filed patents. He earned a Ph.D. degree in telecommunications engineering from the University of New South Wales (Australia) in 2014. Moreover, he gained industrial innovation experience at Nokia Bell Labs (Ireland), where he was a Research Scientist in 2016-2018. His background also features appointments at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (Singapore) in 2014-2015, the University of Texas at Austin (USA) in 2013, Supelec (France) in 2012, and Alcatel-Lucent (Italy) in 2009. He is deeply involved in the research community, serving as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Communications Letters, and as a workshop or special session co-organizer at IEEE Globecom’17, Asilomar’18, and IEEE ICC’19. He is also a frequent speaker and his contributions include a workshop keynote at IEEE PIMRC’18 and tutorials at IEEE WCNC’18, IEEE ICC’18, and IEEE Globecom’18.
Tutorial: How to Prepare the Ground for Drone Communications
Abstract: Believe it or not, there will likely be a drone for everyone in the years to come. If you are a daredevil climber, it may make you feel safer knowing that drones could facilitate search-and-rescue missions, should something go wrong up in the mountains. If sport is not your thing, and you would rather sit in front of a TV, a drone may be shooting your favorite documentary or delivering your piping-hot take-away pizza. The advantages of drones performing such, and many more, vital functions are easy to visualize, but what will it take? One of the key answers lies in wireless communications: reliable command and control (C&C) channels allowing autonomous drone cruising — whether in the woods or in downtown Manhattan — paired with high-data-rate connections enabling real-time streaming of events like political rallies, traffic jams, or the Tour de France. Mobile network operators (MNOs) are fully aware of, and lured by, the new revenue opportunities stemming from a proliferation of drones — also known by the most tech savvy as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). MNOs are thus, more than ever, preparing the ground to tackle this new vertical market by offering cellular coverage to a heterogeneous population of users, comprising both terrestrial and aerial equipment. Every operator’s aspiration would be to support C&C and data channels of a large number of UAV users by seamlessly reusing existing, or soon-to-be-deployed, network infrastructure. However, studies undertaken by academia and key industry players have unanimously pointed out that important technical challenges may have to be overcome for cellular-connected UAVs to be more than just wishful thinking. In this one-of-a-kind tutorial, we will adopt the view of an MNO that, by rolling out its massive MIMO-based 5G network, aims to offer cellular communication services to both ground users (GUEs) and UAVs simultaneously. Here is the dilemma: Will this infrastructure suffice to meet the UAVs’ link requirements? Or should the MNO’s network, primarily catering to GUEs, undergo substantial upgrades? Well-founded answers to such — and many other — key questions will unfold as we provide a seminal evaluation of solutions that enable 5G-connected UAVs. Throughout the tutorial, the results of our extensive simulation campaigns will be overviewed, explained, and finally distilled into four essential guidelines.
Keynote: An “Unlicensed” Marriage for Massive MIMO
Abstract: The demand for wireless mobile services is nowadays copious, and it will be increasingly so in the near future. Mobile cellular operators are therefore looking at the unlicensed spectrum as an economical supplement to augment the capacity of their soon-to-be overloaded networks. The same unlicensed bands are luring internet service providers, venue owners, and authorities into autonomously setting up and managing their high-performance private networks. In light of this exciting future, ensuring coexistence between multiple unlicensed technologies becomes a pivotal issue. This issue has been so far merely addressed via inefficient sharing schemes based on intermittent transmission. In this talk, we will present the fundamentals and the main challenges behind massive MIMO unlicensed, a brand-new approach for technology coexistence in the unlicensed bands, which is envisioned to boost spectrum reuse for a plethora of use cases.