Smart Cities

Smart Cities








ICT plays an important role as an ‘enabling technology’, driving innovation in a wide range of sectors. The ICT domain includes research on future internet technologies, cloud computing, mobile applications, networked enterprise applications and infrastructure. The techno-economic group has been active in the field of both wired and wireless networks, ranging from core to access and spanning all layers of the network, from physical infrastructure to software-defined networks.

Some example projects:

  • Sat5G - Satellite and Terrestrial Network for 5G (European 5GPPP project - 2017-2020)

SaT5G will bring satcom into 5G by defining optimal satellite-based backhaul and traffic offloading solutions. It will research, develop and validate key 5G technologies in order to take the best value of satcom capabilities (e.g. multicast for content and VNF delivery, ubiquity and resiliency) and mitigate its inherent constraints (e.g. latency). It will identify novel business models and economically viable operational collaborations that integrate the satellite and terrestrial stakeholders in a win-win situation. SaT5G will validate, through specific research pillars, the required technology bricks that will enable the targeted markets to be addressed. This research will progress the techno-economic expertise on business models for virtual (satellite) operators and cost allocation in SDN-enabled multi-operator networks. The project summary can be downloaded here.

  • RECODIS - Resilient Communication Services Protecting End-user Applications from Disaster-based Failures (European COST Action, 2016-2020)

This COST Action, driven by researchers from academia and industry in strong cooperation with governmental bodies, aims to fill the gap by developing appropriate solutions to provide resilient communications in the presence of disaster-based disruptions of all types for existing and future communication network architectures. The techno-economic work is focused on the trade-off between cost and resilience.

  • Bilateral project with Orange - Techno-economic evaluation of Wi-Fi deployment in public spaces (bilateral project, 2016-2017)

The goal of this project is to study the techno-economic trade-off for a telco whether or not to deploy a Wi-Fi network and, by extension, where to make this Wi-Fi deployment (in football stadiums, shopping malls, train stations, the entire city, etc.). Furthermore, we want to indicate the suitable business model for this Wi-Fi offer. Techno-Economic work includes a study of existing cases for Wi-Fi offered by a telco, description of relevant business models and value networks, definition of the scenarios and an analysis via game theory.

  • Bilateral project with Proximus - Transmission network planning tool (bilateral project, 2016-2017)

Within this project, a tool will be developed facilitating the work of the long-term design engineers and strategy managers, while giving support to planners. The tool should be able to model the Proximus transmission network, taking into account traffic throughput and volume increases, capacity dimensioning incl. the impact of re-routing after failure and cost considerations

  • CrossPlanIT - extending FiberPlanIT to other domains (Vlaio O&O, 2016-2017)

Based on the results of our previous IWT KMO feasibility study “CrossPlanIT”, our goal is to further gain in- depth technical knowledge on electricity networks and smart grids and to develop the necessary algorithms which extend our current software FiberPlanIT to these domains. Furthermore, we intend to study the feasibility (business as well as technical) for heat networks and, if positive, develop such algorithms for heat networks as well. The task of the Techno-Economic is to detail the technical requirements for planning smart grids.

One of the largest technological trends in the telecom sector is virtualization of the network via software-defined networking and network function virtualization. In this exploratory study the goal is to provide a better understanding of the impact of this technological trend in several domains: new revenue opportunities, impact on the competitive landscape, identification of the points of control, impact on net neutrality, etc. Our work focuses on the description on the different technological concepts (software-defined networking and network function virtualization) as well as providing an overarching architecture which unifies technologies with the competitive landscape. The final report can be found here

  • MENDHOSA - Media and Entertainment Delivery over Hetnet with Optimized Satellite Architecture (ARTES study, 2016)

The main objectiv of the MENDHOSA study is to elaborate a vision and propose a strategy for the future of the satellite telecom sector. The Techno-Economic group assisted in this project by providing comparative Lifecycle Cost-Benefit Analysis for different technological options (fiber, microwave, satellite) in different geographical and demographical settings.

  • UNIFY - Unifying Cloud and Carrier Networks (European FP7 project, 2013-2016)

The FP7 UNIFY project aims to facilitate network control and service creation by pursuing full network- and service virtualization. The consortium of industry- and scientific partners researches, develops and evaluates means to orchestrate, verify and observe end-to-end service delivery from home and enterprise networks through aggregation and core networks to data centers. The techno-economic task focuses on the evaluation of the economic aspects of the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) in a carrier environment. This includes cost analysis of the orchestration framework, evaluation of the economic consequences of automation, the concept of Service Provider DevOps, the universal hardware/node concept and the economic influence of the open software approach.

  • Fed4Fire - Federation for future internet research infrastructures (European FP7 project, 2012-2016)

Fed4FIRE will deliver open and easily accessible facilities to the FIRE experimentation communities, which focus on fixed and wireless infrastructures, services and applications, and combinations thereof. The techno-economics task in the project is to understand the sustainability requirements, build the business models and identify technical constraints to obtain sustainable, federated, Future Internet experimentation facilities in Europe.

  • Flamingo - Flamingo (European FP7 project, 2012-2016)

FLAMINGO is a network of excellence which consists of a small group of scientific partners who have leading positions in the area of network- and service management. Flamingo aims at shaping the European research in the network management discipline. The techno-economic work package focuses on the evaluation of economic, legal and regulative constraints to determine the boundary of network management solutions existing today. Our work focuses on the creation of a dynamic pricing approach for virtual network requests and cost-optimal network planning of caching infrastructure deployed inside the network of an ISP.

  • AmpliFIRE - Amplifying Future Internet Research and Experimentation for a Sustainable Future (European FP7 project, 2013-2015)

The objective of the AmpliFIRE Support Action is to prepare FIRE for year 2020, in strengthening the exploitation and impact creation capacities of Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) facilities. The techno-economic research work addresses the (future) capabilities, collaboration models and the service offering portfolios that are required for the FIRE facilities to become the backbone of European research and innovation ecosystem.

  • CREW - Cognitive Radio Experimentation World (European FP7 project, 2011-2014)

The main target of CREW is to establish an open federated testbed, which facilitates experimentally-driven research on advanced spectrum sensing, cognitive radio and cognitive networking strategies in view of horizontal and vertical spectrum sharing in licensed and unlicensed bands. The techno-economic task in this project comprises of investigating the economic viability of the federated testbed during the course of and beyond the project duration, as well as seeting up a quantitative model for the federated testbed, evaluating different aspects like costs, tariff schemes and business policies.

  • BEMES - Business Modeling and Simulation (European project under the Fi-Ware umbrella, 2012-2014)

The goal of the BEMES project is to develop a business model simulator and calculator, which allows to assign actors and roles, and calculate the cost for each role in detail.

The aim of this project was to compare the developments of broadband markets in Europe, by drawing out longitudinal case studies for different countries. The techno-economic group contributed by writing the Flemish chapter.

  • Public benefits of broadband (NGInfra project, 2011-2013)

This project was executed in collaboration with TU Eindhoven and aimed at quantifying the indirect benefits of broadband and Fiber-to-the-Home networks for eGovernment, eBusiness, eHealth, eEducation and eEntertainment

  • RAILS - Railway Applications Integration and Long-term networkS (iMinds ICON project, 2012-2013)

The ICON project RAILS investigated a broad spectrum of applications on board the train, using wireless technologies to communicate to the wayside. It included research in the areas of on-board and train-to-wayside network optimizations and the development of railway application support and a management platform as well as a proof of concept. The techno-economic analysis focused on two tasks, the cost- and revenue aspects of installing UMTS/HSPA and LTE femtocells on the train on the one hand and the evaluation of the economic viability of applications via value network- and business model analysis.

  • OASE - Optical Access Seamless Evolution (European FP7 project, 2010-2012)

This project assessed and developed next-generation optical access (NGOA) network architectures, that will span at least 100km and serve Gbit/s services to a minimum of 1000 customers. The techno-economic work was focused on cost and business modelling, with specific attention for multi-actor analysis and indirect benefits

  • TERRAIN - Techno-Economic Research for futuRe Access Infrastructure Networks (iMinds ICON project, 2010-2012)

TERRAIN will focus on a better cooperation between all actors involved to optimize the rollout of new telecom, like fiber to the home, and other utility networks, and to align operational processes in a more consistent way. All aspects will be analysed from a techno-economic point of view, considering the whole picture: technical, social, economic and regulatory sub-problems are tackled.

  • Econ@Tel - A Telecommunications Economics COST Network (European COST Action, 2007-2011)

This COST605 project, a large collaboration between European research institutes, focused on finding methodologies and best practices for techno-economic research in the field of telecommunication networks.