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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

  • Online lectures on Mondays at 12-14 and Wednesdays at 14-16 (streamed, active participation expected)
  • Exercises on Fridays at 10-12
  • Examination 16.10. at 16:30-19:30
  • Quizzes, pre-lecture activities, project assignments, homework

More information on the Aalto University course page.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.


Alexis Dowhuszko

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Mika Nupponen

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Fanny Qvickström, Opintoasioiden suunnittelija
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Langaton teknologia
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Kuka voi hakea:
BSc level knowledge on some technology area (=basic university mathematics)
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