How do you best take advantage of the new possibilities with 5G technology? In the project Performance and Anonymity in future 5G Networks (PAF5G), researchers at Karlstad University will study how users' performance can be improved by using multiple connections, while protecting personal integrity.
The 5G network will offer more flexible solutions, which means that users will be able to adapt the technology to their needs.
- Users will be able to prioritize what is important to them, says Per Hurtig, senior lecturer in computer science at Karlstad University, and one of the researchers in the project. For self-driving cars and industry, for example, low latency is very important, while high speed is a priority for those who want to watch movies through ultra HD. For smart cities with connected street lighting and dustbins, which signal when they need to be emptied, it is important that the networks can handle a large number of connected devices.
During the project, Per Hurtig will investigate different ways of distributing the data sent over different connections, something that can result in smaller delays and higher speeds. A mobile phone that is connected to 5G and WiFi could, for example, benefit from sending a certain amount of data over the 5G network while the rest of the data is sent over the WiFi network.
- A challenge with this type of multipath communication is to know how data should be distributed across the different paths, says Per Hurtig. Factors that affect are, for example, how close to a base station you are, how many others use the network, what technology do you use such as 5G or WiFi?
Stronger privacy protection
Another part of the project is to understand how to use multiple paths in the best way in anonymity networks. Tor, with millions of daily users worldwide, is an example of anonymity network that is important for people in vulnerable situations, for example to avoid surveillance or censorship. For anonymity networks, there are both risks and opportunities with several paths. On the one hand, traffic becomes more accessible to attackers. On the other hand, if an attacker only sees parts of the traffic, it becomes more difficult to analyze.
- When we understand how to divide the traffic across different roads for best performance, we can use the knowledge to make anonymity networks faster and more secure, says Tobias Pulls, also a senior lecturer at Karlstad University and researcher in the project. The hope is that we can find solutions that both improve performance and provide stronger privacy protection.
The project, which is funded by the Internet Foundation, will run for three years and has a budget of SEK 2.5 million.