Mobile communications and wireless networking technology have seen a thriving development in recent years. Driven by technological advancements as well as application demands, various classes of communication networks emerged. This includes sensor networks, ad hoc networks, and cellular networks, each of which class represents a solution to important chapters in the mobile and wireless communications challenge.

Currently, we observe that the fixed, mainly infrastructure-based networks are complemented and enhanced with infrastructure-less (ad-hoc) networking structures to form novel communication networks. At the same time, users get more and more mobile and nomadic, they demand the ability to use applications anytime and anywhere, posing additional resource demands onto the network while on the move and changing the nature of applications. Obviously, this gives rise to several challenging problems, which have to be solved first. Not only feasible applications and end-systems have to be developed, but also smart network technology has to be devised.

The lecture addresses the above-outlined problem scope. The characteristics and principles underlying the problems are discussed in detail and practical solutions are presented. Hereby, our focus is on the network layer, which is often regarded as the glue of communication systems. In addition to describing the state of the art in technology, we discuss actual research problems and learn about methodologies to approach such problems systematically.

Teaching and learning contents:

  • Introduction to mobile and wireless communications: Applications, history, market vision.
  • Overview of wireless transmission: frequencies and regulations, signals, antennas, signal propagation, multiplexing, modulation, spread spectrum, cellular systems.
  • Medium access control in the wireless domain: SDMA, FDMA, CDMA, TDMA (fixed, Aloha, CSMA, DAMA, PRMA, MACA, collision avoidance, polling).
  • Wireless local area networks: IEEE 802.11 standard including the physical layer, MAC layer and access schemes (PCF and DCF), quality of service and power management.
  • Mobile ad hoc networks: Terminology, basics and applications, characteristics of ad hoc communication, ad hoc routing paradigms and protocols (AODV, DSR, LAR, OLSR).
  • Millimeter-wave communication: signal characteristics in the 60 GHz band, beam steering, MAC, IEEE 802.11ad.
  • Low-power wireless communications. Bluetooth classic (BR/EDR), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies as well as Bluetooth mesh networking.
  • IEEE 802.15.4 protocol: Zigbee protocol
  • Efficient algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), compare WSNs and the Internet of Things (IoT), and learn how Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWANs) like LoRaWAN can help enable new applications for the IoT, LPWANs and LoRaWAN.
  • Cellular networks: LTE, 5G networks.


Students will familiarize themselves with mobile communication networks. They will gain insights into media access control mechanisms dedicated to wireless communication and have a thorough understanding of mechanisms based on the network and the transport layers, focusing on ad hoc and mesh networks. Moreover, the students will acquire knowledge about the connections between the different protocol layers and will be able to apply the acquired knowledge on methodological analysis of real communication systems. The students will therefore be conversant with the characteristics and basic principles of wireless and mobile communications in theory and practice.

The exercise deepens the theoretical foundations by means of literature work, calculations as well as practical experiments.


Selected chapters from the following books:

  • Jochen Schiller. "Mobile Communications" 2nd Ed. (ISBN 0-321-12381-6)
  • Raj Jain. "The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling" (ISBN 0-471-50336-3)
  • James F. Kurose. "Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet" 5th Ed. (ISBN 978-0136079675)
  • Selected journal articles and conference papers