On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, the International Technical Committee and all the sponsors and patrons, we are delighted to welcome you all to the 3rd International Conference on Broadband Communications for Next Generation Networks and Multimedia Applications (CoBCom) – hosted by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria, 7–9 July 2020. Compared to previous events, i.e., CSNDSP 2008, ConTEL 2011, NOC 2013, ICTON 2014, ConTEL 2015, CoBCom 2016, CoBCom 2018 and ConTEL 2019, which took place in Graz so far (since more than 10 years now), we have a new situation in 2020 regarding the COVID-19 breakout. The COVID-19 has changed our lives and we have learned, more or less, to cope with this sort of virus, because it will not disappear in the next future. We had to find new methods of presentations and to investigate countermeasures to keep small conferences alive. Such small conferences are particularly important for young scientists and PhD students.
For this reason, we confirmed to hold this conference as a virtual one, which was allowed by IEEE in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the earlier events in Graz, we will host virtual sessions on the topics of Networks and Protocols, Future and Innovative Communication Technologies, Satellite and Space Communications, Photonic and Optical (Wireless) Communications Systems and Networks, Multimedia Applications as well as RF Engineering and Antennas, organized by the experts in the field to whom we are very grateful. The program also includes internationally well-known keynote speakers presenting overviews of current research in future topics and innovative areas.
The 3rd International Conference on Broadband Communications for Next Generation Networks and Multimedia Applications (CoBCom), hosted by Graz University of Technology, Austria, was in 2016 a newly generated international conference and repeated in 2018. The CoBCom is a small conference, but we are really proud that we have so much international participants and that we received the technical co-sponsorship of the IEEE / IEEE Austria Section also for 2020. On behalf of the technical and organizing committees, we are presenting the CoBCom 2020 program, providing a platform for scientists, industry, operators, and service providers to share ideas, discuss recent advances, exchange their R&D experience, and present state-of-the-art techniques and future technologies. The CoBCom 2020 technical program comprises keynote talks, a general track, sessions related to newest technologies, smart cities and multimedia services, as well as an „International CEEPUS and ERASMUS Workshop” on microwave technologies, radars, remote sensing and communications with three sessions (General CEEPUS Special Session, Special Session on Remote Sensing and Radars, Special Session on Microwave Technologies and Communications) strongly connected to regional companies and neighbour country’s institutions.
At CoBCom 2020, keynote and invited talks are presented in form of plenary sessions. The first keynote speaker is Dr. Matevž Pogačnik (University of Ljubljana). His talk about “Trends and Challenges in Virtual Reality Services for 360° Video Delivery and Consumption” discusses the technology and service trends in the virtual reality domain through a review of technical properties of 360° cameras and virtual reality head-mounted-displays, new content formats and upcoming approaches to high-bandwidth 360° video streaming. The second keynote, entitled “Environmental Sustainability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Smart Grids”, is given by Prof. Slavisa Aleksic, Hochschule für Telekommunikation, Leipzig, Germany. In his talk, he addresses the environmental sustainability of the ICT equipment for smart grids that is involved in the advanced metering infrastructure and home area network applications. The third talk about “5G and Cyber Security – how to make 5G networks more secure” is presented by Dr. Kurt Reichinger form Technical Division at the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Industrial Workshop (like at CoBCom 2016 and 2018) could not be organized. This loss of the Industrial Workshop in 2020 generated also a big lack of patrons, because industry likes to sponsor events with possible future customers. So we are satisfied that we could collect 41 paper entries via our EDAS system. After the review process, we selected 29 papers for presentation at CoBCom 2020 (among them a few with major revision). At the submission deadline for the final manuscript, we accepted 28 contributions. These papers were registered and are ready to be presented. For papers submission and reviewing process we used the EDAS system. Each paper was evaluated by at least three independent reviewers with respect to their technical content, novelty, originality, and presentation. All the 28 accepted and registered contributions will be published via IEEE Xplore in case they are presented at the conference. In contrast to earlier conferences in Graz we had less patrons as a consequence of the COVID-19 situation.
Our sincere thanks go to the people whose cooperation and help made this conference possible, in particular to the members of the international Organizing and Technical Program Committees, but also to people responsible for local support, to all the authors submitting their work to CoBCom 2020 and, last but not least, the reviewers for their time and effort spent in this context. The technical co-sponsorship of the IEEE Austria Chapter is very much appreciated and hereby acknowledged. For participants (specially the CEEPUS workshop organisers Peter Planinšič and Galia Marinova), staying in Graz within the time of the virtual conference (caused by the COVID-19), we have also organised two social events (Guided City Tour with Lord Mayor Reception and Invitation to Heurigen / Buschenschank by the Governor of Styria). In this case special thanks go to the support and warm hospitality extended to the conference participants by the Province of Styria and the City of Graz (including Graz Tourism).
Finally, we wish all the participants a rewarding meeting, exciting presentations, fruitful discussions, a nice working atmosphere, and that the few on-site participants also enjoy the social program!
Erich Leitgeb, Wilfried Gappmair, Maja Matijašević – General Chairs
Franz Teschl, Andrej Kos, Dušan Gleich, Mariusz Głąbowski – TPC Chairs