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FREEDOM is an Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. The goals of FREEDOM are aligned with the objective ICT-2007.1.1 "The Network of the Future". FREEDOM is a consortium of 8 partners coordinated by UPC. The planned activities target at providing a new vision of a femto-based network, giving solutions to the major concerns about the foreseen mid-term (2011-2012) massive deployment of Femto Access Points (FAPs).
In the recent years there has been an increasing demand for mobile traffic due to the large nomadic population and the type of applications to be employed. This has motivated that the near-future 4G networks must enhance their efficiency in terms of spectrum, energy and cost. The solution addressed in this project is the use of femtocells and it is also considered by several mobile operators (e.g. T-Mobile Europe, TELECOM-Italy and Vodafone in Europe; NTT DoCoMo and Softbank in Japan; O2/Telefonica, Sprint, AT&T Mobility and Verizon in the US; and Chunghwa in Taiwan) and different standards, such as IEEE 802.16m and LTE-Advanced.
Currently, femtocells and macrocells are seen as isolated networks, competing for the resources available in the common spectrum band, at the cost of injecting interference to the whole system. FREEDOM project faces key technical and industrial concerns about the foreseen mid-term massive deployment of femtocells by adopting a new approach based on cooperative/coordination paradigms, enabled by the quality-limited ISP backhaul link. The project does not disregard the approach of isolated networks because it is met when there is not enough backhaul link connecting femtocells and macrocell.s In order to guarantee a strong focus and efficiency, FREEDOM focuses on:
- Advanced interference-aware cooperative PHY techniques,
- Improvement of the control plane procedures for seamless connectivity, and
- System-level evaluation and hardware demonstrator of the proposed femto-based network architecture.