The Nigerian Communications Commission, the Regulator of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, supports amongst other things, telecommunications-based research innovations from tertiary institutions in the country that are practical, locally realisable and have clear potential of contributing to the development of the telecommunications industry.
Pursuant to this objective the Commission invites proposals from academics in tertiary institutions that have feasible research ideas, capable of replacing or enhancing foreign technologies in the telecommunications ecosystem in Nigeria. It is envisaged that the initiative will help build capacity in the tertiary institutions and promote Nigeria’s contribution to the pool of technologies in use in the communications industry.
Focus Areas of Research
To improve the quality of the submissions, the Commission has included the specific topics in each of the Focus Areas of Research that should addressed in the responses to this Request for Proposal as shown below:
- Interference mitigation for cell edge users in 5G Networks: Like 4G networks, 5G also uses a universal reuse factor (i.e. surrounding cells/sites use the same frequency bands). Thus, users at the cell edge are susceptible to interference from neighbouring cells/sites. It is vital to research on algorithms to mitigate this effect for better spectrum efficiency and achieve a uniform experience across the network.
- Distributed Antenna Coordination for 5G network deployment: Based on ITU recommendation, 5G networks is to be deployed in relatively higher frequency bands (from mid-bands up to millimeter waves). These bands have short propagation range and low penetration power rate properties, which requires a lot of infrastructure to achieve complete coverage. Thus, coordination of surrounding antennas to achieve high data rates is essential for 5G network performance.
- Massive MiMo for higher data rates in 5G Networks: In theory, high antenna configurations of 16 x 16 and up to 64 MiMo order is proposed for the deployment of 5G networks. It is essential to research this areas and determine the coordination, feasibility and actual effect of this on the network.
Innovative Clean Energy:
- Optimization of Battery discharge and charging time of Electronic Vehicles for clean Energy: This area has seen a lot of attention globally in the research community as it provides a clean alternative to the regular high carbon emitting vehicles. Research areas to be deduced from this include high-storage battery, optimized charging and discharging battery behavior amongst others.
- Bio-oil Produced from Biomass Pyrolysis Technology: Fast pyrolysis utilizes biomass to produce bio-oil which is used both as an energy source and a feedstock for chemical production. In contrast to fossil fuels, the use of bio-oil for energy provides significant environmental advantages which can be further investigated and harnessed for clean energy.
- Enhancement of Smart Meters/Grids: This area focuses on the flow of electricity and data with digital communications technology so as to detect, react and pro-act to changes in usage and multiple issues in power. An interesting topic to be deduced from this area is enhancing storage capacity, and intelligent interactions of smart meters with users, especially with the 5G adoption of Internet of Things (IoT).
Advanced Method of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience Management and Test Mechanism:
- Adaptive Scheduling of QoE/QoS in Next Generation Networks (NGN): With the robustness and capacity of the current 4G and NGN, it is essential to develop optimized/adaptive methods to determine and prioritize instantaneous level of services in the network for prime performance.
- Reduced Latency in allotting QoE/QoS levels in cellular networks: With the extremely low latency of NGNs, it is essential to research on reduced time to determine and prioritize different service levels, and provide a complementing QoE/QoS in the networks for users.
- Optimized Packet Identification/marking for efficient QoS Management: A fundamental aspect of delivering good QoS is by identifying and marking packets for classification. Continuous improvement on this would immensely support good delivery of QoS.
IoT Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technology:
- Advanced Power Control Algorithms for LPWAN: One of the most essential aspect of IoT or machine-to-machine Communication in general is the ability to retain power for a prolonged period of time while in operation (either on the sensor side or the device itself). This is a good research area to optimize the sustainability of the device/sensor power.
- Low Cost devices for Low Power Wide Area Network: LPWAN's simplified, lightweight protocols reduce complexity in hardware design and lower device costs. Its long range combined with a star topology reduce expensive infrastructure requirements, and the use of license-free or licensed bands reduce network costs.
- Advanced protocols to combat interference in Low Power Wide Area Network: Devices in the unlicensed spectrum (including the Bluetooth protocol) and licensed spectrum generally have issues with interference, especially the former. Continues research and implementation of interference mitigation protocols is essential to the sustainability of LPWAN communication.
- Practical Applications of Internet of Things in Nigeria: this is one thematic track that is gaining more popularity as it is being used in different applications like health, Aviation, Agriculture
Monitoring and Localizing of Drones:
- Image Sensor Accuracy in Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) Localization: Investigate and improve accuracy of vision sensors functionality in drone localization relative to detection by RF and radar.
- UAV in Modern Warfare: With the height of insecurity in the country, the use of UAVs to support the military in eliminating this vice cannot be overemphasized.
- Unmasking Radar Shadows: There is currently a lot of challenges in localizing radar drones due to effects such as shadows, mountains etc. or when the drones are at low altitude. This is a good area of research so as to combat the limitations for localization.
Interested researchers are required to submit their proposals which must:
- Come from teaching Academics in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions; and
- Have a two-page executive summary. One page will be on the research proposal which should include Introduction, Problem description, methodology, novelty, relevance of research to telecom and research output (prototype) and the second page would be on the project timeline, deliverables and detailed cost schedule.
The criteria for the evaluation of the research submissions include the following:
- The area must fall within the specified areas of research;
- Adherence of proposal to stated requirements above;
- Novelty of research proposal (comprehensive literature review to bring out clearly the novelty of the research);
- Clear statement and explanation of the problem;
- Proposed solution to the problem;
- Proposed approach and methodology;
- Each project including prototype development must be concluded within 2 years;
- The project cost should not exceed a maximum of fourteen million naira (₦14,000,000.00) only. (The Commission reserves the right to review this maximum amount)
- Any academic Institution with an on-going research project with the Commission SHOULD NOT apply. Please visit the Commission’s website www.ncc.gov.ng/technical-regulation/research to verify if your institution has an on-going research.
- Total cost (including all costs) of the project must be clearly stated and broken down in details, for which there can be no variation;
- Proof of concept (feasibility of idea with diagram, algorithm etc.)
- Clear relevance to the telecommunications industry; Evidence of local realization up to prototype;
- Cost reasonableness (cost of actualizing the idea including hardware and software requirements but excluding purchase of vehicles, Furniture or Internet data, foreign trips and allowances);
- Schedule of project organization;
- Coherent presentation/packaging of concept. Integration of research with education (capacity building of students via the implementation of the project in the institution);
- Allowance for researchers should not exceed 20% of cost of actually doing the research; and
- Evidence of competence of team in executing the project (include past work and CVs of team members); and
- A certification that the prototype which would be the final deliverable would be presented and submitted to the Commission.
Submission Of Proposal
Submissions will meet the following structure.
Executive Summary – First page. (Content of the executive summary should include, Introduction (2) paragraphs (P), Problem description (2P) methodology (4P), novelty (2P), relevance of research to telecom (2P) and final deliverable (1P) [max. 800 Words]
Summary of the Proposal
- Background [max. 500 Words])
- Explanation of the Problem [max. 200 Words]
- Proposed Solution to the Problem [max. 200 Words]
- Novelty of the Research Proposal [max. 200 Words]
- Relevance to the Telecom Industry [max. 200 Words]
Detailed Research Proposal
- Introduction [max. 1000 words]
- Literature Review (min 20 review papers, include meta table as necessary) [max. 1500 Words]
- Research Objectives [max. 200 Words]
- Research Methodology (must show block diagrams, equations and necessary diagrams) [max. 2500 Words]
- Expected Outcomes (include pictures or sketch) [max. 200 Words]
Proof of concept of the project
- Evidence of proof of concept (3D, Autocad + Reviewers comments)
- Preliminary results (Video, graphs, plots, published work)
Evidence of Local Realization up to Prototype Stage [max. 500 Words]
Relevance to the Telecom and related Industry.
- Relevance to Telecom Industry [max. 500 Words]
- Relevance to Related Industry [max. 500 Words]
Detailed cost estimate for the project.
Detailed Schedule of project implementation
- Summarized Project Schedule
- Detailed Project Schedule and milestones
Integration of research and education [max. 500 Words]
Evidence of Competence of Team.
- List of past work Profile of key research team and related peer-reviewed publication [CV of maximum of 3 pages per team member]
Lead Researcher of the submissions may be invited for defence of their proposals before a decision is concluded.
Interested researchers are invited to submit ELECTRONIC (neatly saved inside a USB in PDF format) and HARD copies of their research proposals on or before 31 August, 2021 to the address below:
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO
Attention: Director, Research and Development,
Nigerian Communications Commission,
Plot 423, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Please note that any proposal submitted after the deadline will be rejected automatically. Where the electronic and hard copy differs, the hard copy would be used as the original submission.