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Just joined i2CAT!

Hi all,

Last March 2021, I jumped into the future. I decided to move on in my professional career and joined i2CAT; i2CAT is an Applied Research and Innovation Center located in Barcelona, which areas of interest are focused on digital technologies: 5G and beyond wireless connectivity, Software Networks, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, Immersive Media, Artificial Intelligence, Satcoms, and also on understanding the crossing between technology and society.

The challenge ahead is twofold; I am joining a new institution and I am also changing my role. After 16 years conducting and leading a research team, I have joined i2CAT to contribute to the definition of Research and Innovation Policies and Strategies with the ultimate goal of making sure that i2CAT keeps on growing and strengthening its leading position in the European Research and Innovation Arena.

If you’re planning to participate in the Horizon Europe and/or Digital Europe programs, let me know and let’s talk!




Young Researcher Award by the Royal Academy of Engineering



I feel proud, honored, and deeply thankful for having been awarded, on the 19th of November 2019, with the “Young Researcher Award 2019” of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering.

This prize – named Agustín de Betancourt y Molina – recognizes, every year, a young researcher, in the age below 40, for his/her outstanding achievements in the early years of the professional career in a field of engineering. Particular focus is set on contributions and activities in the area of technology transfer.

In my particular case, I have been recognized for my contributions to the area of the Internet of Things, my leadership in both national and European projects, my activities related to technology transfer, and also my international projection demonstrated through participation in public speeches and discussion panels devoted to technology and innovation.

During the awards ceremony, I was invited to give a 20-minute speech to explain my career, my main activities and achievements, and also to say thanks to everyone who has helped me achieve this life-changing milestone in my life.

You can watch the entire speech, in Spanish, here:

Let me also share some pictures of the “big day” below.



Appointed Chairman of the 5G Automotive WG of the 5G PPP

Dear all,

Since October 2019, I have been appointed Chairman of the 5G Automotive Working Group of the 5G PPP (Public-Private Partnership).

The 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) is a joint initiative between the European Commission and European ICT industry (ICT manufacturers, telecommunications operators, service providers, SMEs and researcher Institutions).  The 5G-PPP is now in its third phase where many new projects were launched in Brussels in June 2018. The 5G PPP will deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the ubiquitous next generation communication infrastructures of the coming decade. The challenge for the 5G Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) is to secure Europe’s leadership in the particular areas where Europe is strong or where there is potential for creating new markets such as smart cities, e-health, intelligent transport, education or entertainment & media. The 5G PPP initiative will reinforce the European industry to successfully compete on global markets and open new innovation opportunities. It will “open a platform that helps us reach our common goal to maintain and strengthen the global technological lead”.

Work Groups originate either from the 5G Infrastructure Association (called ‘5G IA WGs’) or from 5G PPP Projects (called ‘5G PPP WGs’).  ‘5G PPP WGs’ are cross-projects work groups where the activities of multiple 5G PPP projects can converge to create positive synergies.

The 5G PPP Automotive Working Group (WG) focuses on connected and automated mobility and serves as a common platform between 5G PPP projects developing V2X and Vehicle-as-Infrastructure concepts and components.

The aim is to consider a wide range of automotive related topics, such as use cases and KPIs, business aspects, spectrum usage, infrastructure capabilities, security and safety.

In the past, this WG has published various white papers, which can be found here:

I am honored to take this position, and will put all my effort to stay up to the expectations!


Mobile World Congress 2019

Hello friends and colleagues,

Less than 48 hours to start a new edition of the Mobile World Congress. The moto this year is “Intelligent Connectivity”, and social media are already becoming full of messages with the tag #MWC19.

I have no doubt that main keywords this year will be (no surprises), on the technology side: 5G, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain; on the application side: Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, eHealth, and Autonomous and Connected cars/mobility.

This year, I will be actively participating in the #MWC19 to publicly present 5GCroCo. This is a pretty big innovation project, with a total budget of 17 million euro, partially funded by the European Commission under the 5GPPP umbrella which aims to trial 5G technologies for the cooperative, connected, and automated car in cross-border scenarios. In 5GCroCo, we will deploy large scale real-life tests in the 5G Corridor connecting the cities of Metz-Merzig-Luxembourg, and also small scale pilots in Barcelona, Montlhéry, and Munich. In addition, we will explore the business and regulation side of transnational automated mobility in Europe facilitated by 5G.

I have the great of honor of acting as the project coordinator of 5GCroCo. We have a very strong consortium of 24 partners from 7 European countries, representing leading big companies of both the telco and automotive sectors. We are sure that 5GCroCo will have a deep impact into technology validation, as well as thorough research work towards the definition of new business models and regulation recommendations to revolutionize EU transnational mobility.

If you want to learn more, you can:

So, let’s get ready to start an amazing new edition of the #MWC19.






Las primeras pruebas de la tecnología 5G para permitir la conducción cooperativa y automatizada en entornos transfronterizos se coordinan desde Castelldefels, Barcelona.

El Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), ubicado en Castelldefels (Barcelona), coordina el proyecto de innovación 5GCroCo. Este proyecto tiene un presupuesto de 17 millones de euros y está parcialmente financiado por la Comisión Europea en el contexto del acuerdo público-privado (PPP) para el 5G. Su principal objetivo es realizar pruebas de campo de la tecnología 5G para habilitar la conducción cooperativa, conectada y automatizada en entornos transfronterizos.


5GCroCo es el acrónimo adoptado para el proyecto de innovación con título “Control Transfronterizo para la tecnología 5G”. Se trata de un proyecto de innovación con un presupuesto total de 17 millones de euros y que inició su andadura oficialmente el pasado 1 de noviembre de 2018. 5GCroCo ha recibido cerca de 13 millones de euros de fondos de la Comisión Europea dentro del contexto de la 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G-PPP).

Su objetivo principal es desarrollar pruebas de campo de la tecnología 5G en entornos transfronterizos para habilitar la conducción cooperativa, conectada y automatizada. Las principales pruebas de campo en autopista se desplegarán en el corredor europeo 5G transfronterizo que cubre varios kilómetros de autopista conectando las ciudades de Metz en Francia, Merzig en Alemania, y Luxemburgo.

La validación de la tecnología 5G se realizará sobre 3 casos de uso: 1) conducción remota de vehículos, 2) evasión cooperativa y anticipada de colisiones, y 3) generación y distribución de mapas dinámicos de alta definición para la conducción autónoma.

El coordinador de 5GCroCo es el Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC, situado en Castelldefels, Barcelona). En particular, el Dr. Jesús Alonso-Zarate, responsable del Departamento de Comunicaciones de Máquina a Máquina (M2M) del CTTC, es el coordinador de 5GCroCo. El proyecto reúne a 24 socios de 7 países europeos; entre los socios se incluyen organizaciones líderes tanto del mundo de las telecomunicaciones como de la automoción. La figura adjunta muestra el listado completo de socios de 5GCroCo.

5GCroCo concentrará sus pruebas a gran escala en el corredor europeo 5G que conecta tres ciudades en Francia, Alemania y Luxemburgo, y forma parte de la red paneuropea de corredores 5G que se están estableciendo a través de una serie de acuerdos a nivel gubernamental. En virtud de estos acuerdos, se han definido cientos de kilómetros de autopistas en territorio europeo en los que será posible realizar pruebas conducción automatizada. En concreto, el acuerdo permite hacer pruebas con casos de uso de hasta nivel 3 de automatización (SAE Automated Driving Level 3), según el cual un vehículo automatizado debe operar siempre ante la presencia de un conductor.

Estos corredores 5G cuentan con el apoyo de la Comisión Europea en el marco del Plan de acción 5G. Este plan armoniza diferentes actividades y programas entre los diferentes estados miembros con el objetivo de asegurar el despliegue comercial de la tecnología 5G a finales de esta década.

Además del despliegue de la tecnología 5G a gran escala en el corredor Metz-Merzig-Luxemburgo, 5GCroCo también desplegará pilotos locales en el centro de la ciudad de Munich, en tramos de la autopista A9 en Alemania (en el demostrador 5G-ConnectedMobility), en un circuito de pruebas en Montlhéry, Francia, así como en el centro de la ciudad de Barcelona, ​​donde se emulará un escenario de ciudad transfronteriza.

5GCroCo se centrará en validar la tecnología 5G en escenarios transfronterizos para la movilidad conectada y automatizada, teniendo en cuenta la necesidad de interoperabilidad entre fabricantes de automóviles y proveedores de primer nivel, así como entre operadores de comunicaciones móviles en diferentes países, usando equipos de comunicación de diferentes fabricantes. El enfoque técnico respecto a la validación de tecnología 5G en 5GCroCo se centra en validar el concepto Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), la computación distribuida habilitada por MEC, la nueva interfaz radio de 5G, la calidad de servicio (QoS) predictiva de extremo a extremo para garantizar la conectividad ininterrumpida con los criterios de calidad y fiabilidad exigidos, así como el posicionamiento preciso de vehículos y objetos vulnerables (obstáculos, personas, ciclistas, animales, etc.).

Además de la componente meramente técnica de validación de la tecnología 5G, el proyecto 5GCroCo también explorará modelos de negocios innovadores y elaborará recomendaciones para los organismos de regulación y de gestión del espectro radioeléctrico. El objetivo final es contribuir a garantizar el éxito de la tecnología 5G como habilitador de la movilidad cooperativa, conectada y automatizada no solo en Europa, sino en el mundo entero. En este sentido, 5GCroCo contribuirá a los estándares relevantes tanto relativos a la industria de las telecomunicaciones como a la automotriz (3GPP, ISO, etc.).

En definitiva, 5GCroCo va a contribuir a la consolidación del liderazgo de Europa en el despliegue de la tecnología 5G. Las actividades y los resultados de 5GCroCo van a contribuir a ofrecer a la sociedad en su conjunto nuevas manera de concebir la movilidad entre países mediante el uso de vehículos terrestres que serán capaces de hablar entre ellos, cooperar, y funcionar con un elevado grado de automatización.

Para conocer más detalles y estar al día de los progresos del proyecto y las pruebas previstas, se puede visitar la página web de 5GCroCo en


Para cualquier pregunta relacionada con 5GCroCo, comuníquese con el coordinador del proyecto:

Dr. Jesus Alonso-Zarate,

CTTC, Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain


Enlaces de interés


5G-CroCo: 5G Technologies towards Cooperative, Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CCAM)

I am glad and thrilled to share with you all that CTTC will coordinate 5G-CroCo, a new innovation action (project) partially funded by the European Commission (EC) under the highly competitive Horizon 2020 program. The project aims at trialing and validating 5G technologies for cooperative, connected and autonomous mobility (CCAM). In particular, I will personally act as Project Coordinator, which makes me feel particularly excited and honored. In addition, I will count with both a great team at CTTC to help us drive this project to success, and with an amazing consortium, gathering experts and professionals in the intersection of both the telco and the automotive domains. Great years to come ahead!

We are now preparing the contract with the EC, and the project is planned to start on the 1stNovember 2018. The project will have a total cost of close to 17 million euro. In 5G-CroCo, we will trial 5G technologies for CCAM with particular emphasis on situations where the vehicles traverse the borders of various countries, ensuring continuous connectivity and required quality provision. Technologies such as mobile edge computing, network slicing, predictive Quality of Service (QoS), smart positioning, or 5G NR (new radio) will be validated in a challenging cross-border, cross-vendor, cross-OEM (original equipment manufacturer), and cross-operator scenario, making sure that the concept of a fully cooperative, connected and autonomous mobility paradigm is feasible and viable in the very near future. The project will not only address the technical validation of 5G for CCAM, but will also dive into the cost/benefit analysis and the design of innovative business models which can emerge from the availability of such an impressive technology.

5G-Croco will run for 3 years, starting 1stNovember 2018, and ending in October 2021. Along all this time, a big consortium formed by 24 leading telco and automotive companies (both car manufacturers and tier-1 suppliers), road operators, mobile network operators (MNOs), SMEs, and academia, representing 7 European countries (Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Greece, and Sweden), will trial 5G technologies for the service of autonomous and connected driving. Along the next weeks, we will disclose more information about the project: detailed list of partners, specific use cases that will be validated, and time plan for the project.

5G-Croco is one of the three projects that have been selected for funding in call ICT-18 of the current Work Program of the Horizon 2020 framework. These three projects are part of Phase III of the 5G-PPP, and will run in coordination to make sure that all projects running under the 5G-PPP umbrella yield a high and coordinated impact for both Europe, and worldwide, in all domains: technology, standardization, knowledge, economy, and society.

More detailed information to come in the next weeks! Stay tuned!



Business Development in the Internet of Things: A Matter of Vertical Cooperation

Hi my friends,

Last February 2017, we published a new magazine article in the prestigious IEEE Communications Magazine journal. This journal publication has an impact factor of 10.435, being positioned in the top list of most influential journals in the telecom area.

We are very proud to have got a business-related paper published in a journal aimed at a technical and highly-specialized engineering audience. This audience is, indeed, showing a growing interest in better understanding the needs of businesses to steer their research and innovation actions and thus be able to maximize impact. The European Commission, providing big amounts of money to conduct research and innovation actions, is claiming for such connection between research, development, innovation, and business opportunities. Conducting R&D and Innovation is about having impact.

The summary and take-away message of the paper is the following:

Smart and connected devices can improve industrial processes, and generate new and better services. While this premise is well understood within the ICT industry, there is a challenge in extending this knowledge to vertical industries. The potential of the Internet of Things lies in the interaction among industries working together toward value co-creation. Firms need to look beyond their internal business models and explore cooperative perspectives to define new business opportunities. In this article, we look into the relevance of vertical cooperation in the area of IoT and highlight the need to develop new value networks that leverage this cooperation and enable the creation of new business models. To lead our discussions, we use the examples of two major building blocks of smart cities: intelligent transport systems and health and well being services based on connected devices and solutions

You can have full access to the pre-edit version in this link.

You can have access to the final edited version in this link also.




Random Thoughts on: Selling Technology

I have recently attended a crash-course on “Selling Technology”, organized by the Catalan Agency of Competitiveness (ACCIO), in Barcelona. From my position at CTTC as head of the M2M Communications Department, this is always a nice skill to include in the personal continuous improvement cycle.

The course was pretty interesting, and I decided to write down some of the key ideas that I took home; of course, I also share them with you.

The opening of the session was brilliant: “We are all selling, all the time, in our daily lives; when we were born and cried to get breastfeed, and we got it, we closed our first sale.”

Above all the ideas that were presented in the course, I would like to highlight these:

  • Sales have to be “Customer-oriented”; “product-oriented” selling goes nowhere nowadays. Technology is a means to solve the problems of costumers, not an end by itself.
  • Attitude is a multiplier. This applies to selling and, indeed, to everything we do in life.
  • Selling (as almost everything) needs to be organized, systematized, professionalized, and measured; nothing can be improved if it is not measured.
  • When selling, always look for a win-win situation.
  • In selling, all is about trust.

STOP! This last one is the one that I like the most. Trust. My experience as a seller – we all sell something, no matter what is your job – tells me that trust is above all. And when it comes to trust, today I have learned about the Halo Effect.

The Halo Effect consists in a cognitive bias that we have towards a person, company, product, or whatever, influenced by a previous experience based on a single “feature” of that person, company, or product. For example: we tend to perceive a person as “intelligent” because once showed to be “intelligent”; and not only that; we automatically assume that this person will have “all the features” that we subconsciously link to all “intelligent people”. The human brain can be wonderful sometimes, for good and for bad.

So, when it comes to selling and trust, it is pretty convenient to build a positive Halo Effect around you, your company, or your product. But above all, about you.

Mobile World Congress 2017 (#MWC17): My take away messages.

This edition of the Mobile World Congress is over for me already, even though the show still goes on tomorrow.

It seems that this year all the numbers around the event have increased since previous editions ever since 2005 (12 years ago already);

  • greatest economic impact into the city of Barcelona,
  • largest number of accredited press,
  • greatest number of attendees (more than 100,000),
  • largest exhibition area with close to 115.000 squared meters, and
  • greatest number of exhibiting companies (more than 2,000).

I have been there for 3 full days, walking around, playing with demos, and talking to people here and everywhere. Even though I have done my best, I have not managed to visit every inch of the exhibition area.

Therefore, if you are reading this, please do not treat my thoughts as absolute claims or indisputable statements. What I write hereafter are just some random thoughts that I take back home right now after an exhausting, even though extremely interesting, last day at MWC:

  • Everything tends to be called 5G. Everything. What is true, however, is that 5G will have an impact into everything.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. Everywhere. Not sure if it still makes sense to have a dedicated area for the IoT, being the great majority of booths talking about the IoT in one way or another. The IoT is here, and everywhere.
  • Connectivity of the future: 5G New Radio,  millimeter wavesNB-IoT, Sigfox, Lora, WiFi. These terms have been omnipresent. I am not saying there are no other interesting solutions, but I have found them everywhere in this edition of the MWC.
  • The IoT, comprising both sensors and actuators, will need to co-exist with human-based broadband and media content. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Slicing seems to be the keys to solve the co-existence among data flows with extremely different needs in massively crowded networks.
  • Missioncritical applications together with strong human-machine interaction about to explode. Ultra-low latency and ultra-high reliability seem to drive the key requirements for communication networks of the future, enabling tons of innovative applications not feasible in the past.
  • Not sure if this is just because of the nice marketing power of Virtual Reality or because of the true potential behind it, but this year VR has been all around the place. Some demos have been really impressive. If the economic impact and business opportunity is close to the “wow” effect it generates, get ready for a great revolution.
  • Key vertical markets/applications that will drive the future of the mobile industry: Connected car, Industry 4.0, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, e-Health, and in a smaller scale, smart homes.
  • The value of data. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data…call it as you wish; technically, there are differences among these terms; roughly and inaccurately speaking, they refer to the same idea: getting value out of data. This is the future…well, indeed, this is the present already. Cloud platforms, IoT platforms, and mobile Apps to store, manage, and process data have been key players into this edition of the MWC.
  • Other stuff of interest: tons of new phones with bigger screens, smart watches, smart earphones, smart wearables, smart glasses, smart cameras, smart drones, … and many more interesting new technologies that will, most probably, play a highly relevant role in the very near future.

My last thought: in this edition of the Mobile World Congress, I have the feeling that it is becoming pretty evident, and generally accepted, that generating value is the key concept, not technology (by itself) anymore.


The IoT: are we there yet?

The concepts of the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE), Industry 4.0, autonomous driving, smart cities, eHealth, and relatives, have become ubiquitous in our daily lives.

The IoT Solutions World Congress and the Smart City Expo World Congress were celebrated in Barcelona by the end of last year again. These events evidenced the facts that there is a non-stoppable growing interest from the industry and from the users into all these concepts of connecting things and getting value out of gathered data, and that technology is getting mature enough to provide real and cost-effective solutions.

However, the IoT is still not present in our daily lives. Why?

From my view, the success of the IoT will come from at least three different fronts:

  1. Societal acceptance,
  2. Capability of getting value out of it, and
  3. Availability of technology to leverage its potential.

Let’s elaborate them a little bit.

First, the IoT needs society to accept it; that’s a fact. The 4th Industrial revolution brought by the Internet of Things will change our daily lives forever. This will imply destruction of jobs where involving a human being brings no added-value. At the same time, new jobs with remarkable added-value brought by the human factor will be created. These new jobs will require highly skilled people, which is good on one side; however, we will need to face the challenge of relocating non-skilled labor.Otherwise, technology will not be accepted by society and may fail in achieving all expectations. In addition, the acceptance of the IoT by society must be driven by ease of use of technology and, above all, trusted security and privacy mechanisms. If we cannot put secure and private communications into place, people may be reluctant to connect their homes, cars, or health-monitoring devices to the Internet, thus failing to push this fourth wave of innovation. The IoT is about enabling transparency, and transparency is not always what we want.

Second, it is essential that we manage to find ways of monetizing the IoT and actually getting value of connecting things. Indeed, it is not just about connecting all things, but just connecting those things which can bring some value by being connected. We can see out in the press and professional social networks lots of news informing of new start-ups attracting funding from venture capitalists and business angels. Also, big tech companies are acquiring small-sized start-ups which are growing rapidly to provide IoT solutions. However, it is still not clear what the business models may be behind all this buzz. It is clear that the market is huge and the opportunity is unique; however, still ways of understanding the IoT ecosystem and value chain model creation are to be further understood. We have seen already in the past good technology hypes which have ended in nothing due to the lack of a clear value generation model. The IoT will not be the same, but still some efforts are required to ensure this. The best is yet to come.

Last, but definitely not least, technology must be ready and put into order to make the IoT and the 4th Industrial Revolution a real thing. One of the key domains of technology relevant to the IoT is connectivity. Today, connectivity technologies are still
not ready to provide efficient Machine-Type Communications (MTC). These are radically different from Human-Type Communications (HTC) and need a redesign of communication networks, sometimes, bringing into play new disruptive paradigms. Efforts are clearly being done, but still more work is necessary to enable applications where reliability and extreme low delay are necessary, or those where zero-power
operation enabling perpetual operation of devices is sought, or those where tiny low-cost embedded sensors need to be able to transmit real-time video monitoring data.
The near-future will bring a new generation of communication networks (5G) which will coexist with a plethora of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies as well as short-range communication technologies (Zigbee, WiFi, Bluetooh, LiFi, RFID, etc.).
However, still changes will be necessary after 5G is defined to cope with the rapidly evolving needs of new IoT applications being created and envisioned every
day. Concepts like the tactile internet, where data can be transmitted with zero-latency and jitter from one end to another, are non-trivial to achieve. Therefore, further research, development and innovation actions are required. In all this process, it is necessary to ensure that standards come to a certain common agreement; otherwise, the current unspecified arena may lead to nothing good. As I heard recently in the LPWA event
2016, also in Barcelona: “noise does not help anyone”.

So, to wrap up: The IoT: are we there yet? I would say that we are on the right way to make it happen, but still many challenges need to be solved before the IoT becomes really omnipresent.What do you think?