Unwired Research Consortium

* This laboratory has been completed.

Open Wireless Broadband Platform Laboratory


Using actual networks to research the construction of open-architecture wireless network which allow for the actualization of “transmitting information to a place” and “collecting information from a place,” the applications that use the network, and its impact it has on society.


Today disseminating information widely, searching for that information and connecting to other individuals has become far easier and cheaper compared with five years ago, let alone 20, since the development of the Internet and mobile communications. Regardless of distance, we can communicate via email, and mobile phones have allowed us to contact someone no matter where they are in the world. This is one vision of the future, in which the destination of communication is defined as a “person” and technological development has been “individual-oriented” (whenever, wherever, whoever) with the aim of enabling communications regardless of where that person is or the circumstances they are in. Measures with the goal of dissolving the digital divide in order to make that ideal a reality are being implemented. And that goal will surely be achieved in the near future. The following questions then remain. Is it enough? Isn’t there anything missing?

Even though places in urban areas where broadband is not available are disappearing, there are many things even people who have computers and mobile phones cannot find out or cannot do in their daily lives. For example, if you want someone to read the documents you forgot in your room to you, or when you want to invite the person who is “now” in the next room to dinner, a computer or mobile cannot help you. Or what if you want to find out if the next bus is full, or if that item you have wanted is sold at a bargain in the store you pass on the way to work or not? Or find out if there is a line for the bus headed for Keio at Shonandai. They cannot help you in these situations either. Individual-to-individual communications is of course important and as necessary in the future as it is now. However, means for communication to the place we are in (or to a person or thing with the condition of being in that place) is also necessary.

Communication to a place can be actualized by fully utilizing wireless communications. With wireless communication, information can be transmitted and received everywhere as long as it is within the range of the signal. There are technological challenges but by combining wireless communication with network technology, and if it can be placed geographically without any openings, place-to-place communications is possible. Conventional wide-area wireless networks have been provided by a carrier from a terminal to a wireless device, network and in some cases applications too, through a vertically integrated model. However, recently, international standards that support open-architecture have been developed, there are established radio regulation laws, and there are also products available that can be used. This gives us an excellent opportunity to lead this field. However, in addition to solving the technological problems, it is also necessary to research a new application business model that can be actualized through this new communication model, the unavoidable problems of data ownership from making a “place” an end point as well as the social impacts such as the construction of a sustainable infrastructure and privacy.

This concludes the aims of this research consortium, and the background leading up to those aims. At the Keio Research Institute at SFC we have already established an open wireless platform laboratory. This research consortium will act as a liaison to business and municipalities conducting technological and social scientific research using actual networks.

Outline of Research Activities Plan

  • Identify the requirements for an open wireless network via an Open-Architecture WG to conduct technological examinations, and a Society and Application WG to examine social impact, business and applications. And through desktop studies and experiments using closed wireless networks, conduct preliminary experiments of actual networks in use.
  • Implementation of connectivity and performance tests of devices used in actual networks
  • Research related to network technology to actualize place-to-place communications
  • Preliminary experiments related to regional communications
  • Examination of ownership and sharing of area information
  • Experiments related to the safety and convenience in regions that share regional information
  • Research and experiments on information platform services

Researchers, managers and professors

Jun Murai (Representative) Dean/Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Osamu Nakamura (Leader) Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Jiro Kokuryo (Leader) Dean/Professor, Faculty of Policy Management
Kenji Kohiyama (Leader) Emeritus Professor

Open-Architecture Working Group
Research related to the means to build wireless networks in an open-architecture system, performance evaluation methods and provisioning as well as research relating to networking aimed at connecting place to place through the use of wireless access

Jin Mitsugi
Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Kenji Kohiyama
Emeritus Professor

Society and Application Working Group
Research related to applications, social impact, sustainable infrastructure building methods and service collaboration generated from building a wireless networks in an open-architecture system

Masaki Umejima
Project Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance

Jiro Kokuryo
Dean/Professor, Faculty of Policy Management