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Brooklyn 5G Summit showcases advanced research and technology fueling 5G wireless drive to commercial reality


by Jack Curley

Leaders in wireless, automotive, academia, and government gathered at the annual Brooklyn 5G Summit April 19-21, 2017 to explore how close the industry is to deploying commercial products and services for the next-generation of wireless communications. The fourth annual event also showcased the latest developments and research in telecommunications, machine-to-machine communication and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The invitation-only summit, at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, is jointly organized by NYU WIRELESS and Nokia, and the IEEE Communications Society will broadcast the proceedings. The event features international thought and research leaders from Nokia, Verizon, National Instruments, Intel, Qualcomm, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and others.

“With nearly every major carrier launching 5G wireless field trials this year, this is a watershed moment in the next telecommunications revolution,” said Theodore (Ted) S. Rappaport, the Ernst Weber/David Lee professor of electrical engineering at NYU Tandon and founding director of NYU WIRELESS.

In recent months major carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, announced trials in nearly a dozen cities for both mid-band and the millimeter-wave (mmWave) bandwidth for which Rappaport and NYU WIRELESS conducted seminal research. Government and industry bodies such as the FCC, 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have also recently set new benchmarks aimed at taking mobile data speeds to new limits.

“Behind the blistering pace of research and development of technology — from microchips with phased-array antennas to vehicle-to-vehicle communications in self-driving cars — is the expectation that ultra-fast connectivity delivering huge data rates is just around the corner,” said Rappaport. “NYU WIRELESS’ industrial affiliate sponsors, including Nokia, AT&T, Qualcomm, Straight Path Communications, and Verizon are fulfilling those expectations, and NYU WIRELESS is pleased to play a key role as well, with breakthrough research proving that mmWave transmissions can deliver 5G in many more settings than anticipated.”

A report from Nokia Bell Labs Consulting predicts that by 2020, global demand for digital content and services on mobile and portable devices will increase 30 to 45 times from 2014 levels. The study estimates that there will be over 46 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices by 2020, with audio and video streaming accounting for 79 percent of the total increased consumption.

NYU WIRELESS, which conducted the world’s first radio channel measurements proving that the mmWave spectrum holds vast potential to improve wireless communications, was one of only two academic institutions recently chosen by the FCC to help test, debug, and provide feedback on a new web-based portal that lets researchers apply for the program experimental license, a new paradigm that will reduce barriers to experimentation for universities, research laboratories, health care institutions, and manufacturers. NYU WIRELESS is also the first to receive a program experimental license.