Tallinn University of Technology

For many years already, TalTech has actively been performing research on the possibilities of the Internet of Things and 5G technologies and now researchers are inviting companies to test their new products and services on a special platform. Businesses can contact Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics to use the test platform and agree on more specific cooperation.

TalTech researchers and students have launched a test platform in cooperation with Telia's experts. Start-ups and other companies can test their products and services in real time, as well as collect feedback from the industry and also from researchers.

"We constructed together with Telia a test network, with the assistance of which we have developed a more detailed energy use model.  We learned how much energy an NB-IoT device uses, when contacting the base station, exchanging data, reconnecting or being in sleep mode", explained Professor Muhammad Mahab Alam, who leads the research group within TalTech, which deals with research in the so called Narrowband Internet of Things.

The research group of TalTech’s Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics is researching how the NB-IoT functions under different conditions, and what is the extent of the network based on it. The researchers have to date measured in detail and empirically how the energy use of IoT devices changes under different conditions.

The energy use of similar devices previously has not been studied in such detail, according to Alam. “The energy model provides important information to the user of the NB-IoT device, how long does its battery run and the device forwards data”, noted Alam, who brought as an example a smart house or a greenhouse, where it is possible to remotely monitor the house internal temperature, humidity or electricity use.

The Master’s theses of several TalTech students are for example being prepared, based on the ongoing research of user stories of the NB-IoT, which focus on the application of the IoT in different fields. The focus of one research is on smart waste containers. A special algorithm was created for the purpose, with the assistance of which the waste collection company can obtain information on the fullness of waste containers and plan their emptying more efficiently.

A second Master's thesis, which is due to be completed this winter, deals instead with forecasting the maintenance needs of cars. The car is equipped with sensors for this purpose, with the assistance of which concrete parameters are monitored and in the case of deviations, data is transmitted to the car service. "It is then the role of the service to contact the car owner, to book a time for the repairs and avoid the person and car being stuck on the road”, explained Alam.

The research group of Professor Alam, in addition to the IoT deals with another new technology, namely the research of the 5G field. TalTech in cooperation with Telia and Ericsson, two years ago, opened the first 5G pilot network in Estonia, on TalTech campus. Its aim is to be open to research and furthering innovation, for companies as well as for research institutions. Results have currently been achieved, which assist to kick-start new start-ups and further the digitalisation of industry.

5G is a flexible and easy to set technology, according to Professor Alam that allows, in comparison to until now, up to 20 times faster data transmission and up to 10 times less latency (reference to information flow). “This means that 5G allows for real time information exchange, between hundreds of machines or devices”, explained Alam.

Alam confirmed that the Internet of things and 5G play an important role in many TalTech projects and subjects of focus. "These new technologies are so called umbrella technologies, in projects such as Iseauto, digital twins or the TalTech smart campus", noted Alam, adding that only in cooperation and through sharing knowledge, with research groups of other faculties, it will be possible to realise a vision of a digitalised Estonia and the whole world.

Further information:
Prof. Muhammad Mahtab Alam
Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics

Sirli Kasepuu
Business specialist of the School of IT