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Wireless systems

Yksittäinen kurssi

Max amount of FITech students: 15 adult learners

This introductory course on wireless systems provides a comprehensive understanding of radio communications in general, starting from an overview of regulations and standardisation activities, and including details of the wireless channel modeling, link-level connectivity aspects, as well as the key features that differentiate cellular systems (e.g., 4G/5G) from wireless systems (e.g., Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.)

Course contents

  • Unit 1: Introduction. Wireless (WLAN) vs. cellular (mobile): Similarities and differences; Evolution path from 2G (GSM) to 5G (NR); 4G/5G targets and standardization; Cellular concept and network architecture (mobility); IMT Vision (ITU) and 3GPP/IEEE standardization and licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum.
  • Unit 2: Wireless channel. Low- and mid-band spectrum (FR1); Millimeter-wave spectrum (FR2); Physical modeling of wireless channel; Stochastically modeling of wireless channel (mean path loss, shadowing, multipath fading); Frequency- and time-selectivity; Effect of frequency on channel bandwidth and range and link-budget computations for different wireless systems.
  • Unit 3: Wireless link. Functional blocks of a wireless link (modulation and coding); Link-level figures of merit (Shannon Capacity, Throughput, Bit Error Rate); Multiple Access Methods (TDMA, CDMA, OFDMA); Duplexing methods (FDD and TDD) and comparisons and challenges.
  • Unit 4: Cellular systems. Interference in cellular networks; 5G verticals; Overview of 5G Radio Access Network and Core Network; 5G technology components (Massive MIMO, Carrier Aggregation, millimeter wave) and Machine-type communications and Narrowband-IoT.
  • Unit 5: Wireless systems. WLAN (Wi-Fi) and WPAN (Bluetooth); Optical Wireless Communications (Free Space Optics and Visible Light Communications); Non-terrestrial networks (GEO/LEO satellites, high-altitude platforms/drones) and passive network elements (backscatter communications, intelligent reflective surfaces).

Learning outcomes

After the course, the student

  • can recognise the difference between mobile and wireless communication systems and know the role that international organizations (such as ITU, 3GPP, IEEE) have in their development
  • is aware of the (licensed/unlicensed) frequency bands in which most of contemporary wireless communications take place and understand the relation that exist between communication bandwidth (data rate) and coverage in each frequency band
  • knows the principles of physics that govern the propagation of radio signals, understand how to model them statistically, and use them to compute simple link budgets in radio systems
  • can recognise the difference between the different multiplexing, multiple-access and duplexing methods that guarantee the connectivity in contemporary wireless communication systems
  • is aware of the target, technology components, spectrum and use cases of 5G standards, as well as most popular WPAN (Bluetooth), WLAN (Wi-Fi) and LPWAN (MTC/NB-IoT) standards
  • knows how to do simple practical measurements and scientific research on wireless communication systems (5G), and develop team-work and multi-cultural communication skills.

Completion methods

  • Lectures on Mondays at 12-14 and Wednesdays at 10-12 (on campus & online, active participation expected).
  • Exercises on Fridays at 10-12 (on campus & online).
  • Examination 14.10. at 16:30-19:30 on campus.
  • Quizzes, pre-lecture activities, project assignments and homework.

You can participate either remotely or on campus in the lectures and excise sessions. The final exam is only on campus.

More information on the Aalto University course page.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.


Alexis Dowhuszko

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Fanny Qvickström, Opintoasioiden suunnittelija
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BSc level knowledge on some technology area (=basic university mathematics)
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