We recently announced a long term strategic collaboration with the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), which we believe will be a watershed moment for Ammbr Research Labs in their efforts to develop mesh networking technologies for global markets.

Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)

The Distributed Systems research group (DSG) at UPC has done research in community mesh networks since 2011, under a strategic partnership with the guifi.net Foundation. Among others, DSG operated the Community-Lab testbed for Community Networks, developed and maintains the Cloudy software for community clouds and is part of the guifi.net mesh networks in Barcelona.

Research in the group has contributed to the development of software like the QMP distribution for mesh routers, the BMX7 routing protocol, among others. The group has produced many peer-reviewed publications about characterization, algorithms, systems, organizational models, etc. in these areas.

AmmbrTech has been licensed by the Ammbr Foundation to develop key technologies for the Ammbr Mesh Network and we have always placed great emphasis on the role of research and development (R&D) in our efforts to build a successful decentralised ecosystem. As part of our commitment, Ammbr Research Labs was established to carry out cutting edge R&D to address the key research challenges in providing universal connectivity as well as establish strategic academic partnerships to carry out joint R&D activities.

UPC has an outstanding reputation for their contributions to the field of wireless mesh networks and distributed systems, and we believe that the collaboration will address several key research challenges related to:
-mesh deployments at scale,
-integration of blockchain in mesh networks,
-economic and sustainability models,
-governance models,
-decentralized edge computing, and, finally,
-integration of Internet of Things (IoT) in mesh networks.

As part of the collaboration, Prof Leandro Navarro has also been appointed as the Research Director at Ammbr Research Labs. Prof Navarro and his team have been at the forefront of carrying out pioneering research work in community wireless mesh networks and distributed systems. Their close association with guifi.net and other community networks around the globe gives us an unique opportunity to work together in co-designing technologies and successfully piloting our Ammbr network across these communities.

In addition to the UPC partnership, we will also be collaborating with the guifi.net community network. guifi.net is the largest community network in the world, with more than 34,000 nodes connecting more than 100,000 users in Catalunya. The network combines wireless links and meshes, including optical fiber backbone and FTTH.

Thanks to our friends at UPC and guifi.net, we will also be able to conduct our first pilot trials in Catalunya – initially in UPC and then at the largest guifi.net mesh island in Barcelona. This represents a major leap forward for the growth of the Ammbr Mesh Network and the team is eagerly anticipating the first complete implementation of the Ammbr network in a production-quality network. The pilot will also include a field test, at scale, of the edge computing capabilities of the Ammbr Mesh Network. The Ammbr Research Labs team and the UPC team have already carried out considerable R&D efforts around decentralized community cloud infrastructure, which will be used as part of the Ammbr edge computing platform. There are additional plans to extend the Ammbr network to be connected to the The Things network (a LoRaWAN IoT network) in Barcelona. Over and above our efforts in Catalunya, a further pilot trial will be conducted in Antwerp.

We will also conduct extensive research activities surrounding the economic and governance models for the Ammbr network over the coming months – models that will help define a range of economic and governance models, among others, to be supported by the Ammbr ecosystem.

The collaboration with UPC is a unique opportunity to apply, integrate and leverage the efforts and lessons of many networking activists, developers, practitioners, researchers, as well as many experimental and stable networking infrastructures over the last 10-20 years. Given this accumulated experience, AmmbrTech will deliver consolidated, integrated, robust, self-organized, socially and economically sustainable solutions to enable universal access to high speed broadband for all.