An open-access facility designed to support innovation and research. With 32 software-defined radios and 64 ceiling-mounted antennas, Arena provides a powerful infrastructure for exploring new technologies in the sub-6 GHz 5G spectrum bands.


Arena is a wireless testing platform that offers open access to researchers. It utilizes a grid of antennas installed on the ceiling of a large office space to create a flexible and dynamic environment. Each antenna is connected to programmable software-defined radios, enabling exploration of sub-6 GHz 5G and beyond spectrum. With 12 computational servers, 24 synchronized software-defined radios, and a total of 64 antennas, Arena provides substantial computational power and scalability for the development of new technologies in densely crowded spectrum bands.

The design of Arena follows a three-tier structure. The computational servers and software-defined radios are housed in a dedicated room, contained within a double rack setup. The antennas are suspended from the ceiling of a 2240 square feet office space and connected to the radios through 100 ft-long cables. This setup ensures that real-time experimental evaluations can be conducted in a configurable, scalable, and repeatable manner within an actual wireless indoor environment.

The open-access nature of Arena, coupled with its three-tiered architecture, full symbol level synchronization, and unique line of sight indoor ceiling-grid layout, will greatly contribute to the advancement of 5G and beyond technologies. It will also foster the development of Internet of Things (IoT) systems, wireless networks empowered by Artificial Intelligence, cognitive radio, dynamic spectrum access, and massive MIMO applications. The reconfigurable, scalable, and repeatable real-time experiments enabled by Arena in a genuine wireless indoor setting will pave the way for innovative advancements in these domains.

WIoT Institute publications present the architecture, capabilities, and system design decisions of Arena. We provide comprehensive details about the software and hardware implementation of various components within the testbed.

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