5G Research at UCL receives £300k EPSRC grant
A joint project between UCL, Essex University, China Mobile Ltd and InterDigital to develop a key wireless technology for the provision of future wireless communications, including 5G has been funded by the EPSRC with a grant for almost £1m (UCL receiving £300k). The three year project lead by UCL, titled ‘UPFRONT’ (Unlocking Potentials of MIMO Full-duplex Radios for Heterogenous Networks), will start in February 2016.
Multi-antenna full-duplex technology is essential to achieve highly efficient spectrum usage in HetNets (heterogeneous networks). The implications of full-duplex communications are ‘transformative’ according to Professor Kit Wong of UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering department. Wong believes that full duplex, which permits simultaneous transmission and reception will lead to a fundamental rethinking of the ways wireless networks are designed and optimised.
Recent full-duplex research breakthrough
In full-duplex systems, it has recently been demonstrated at Stanford University, that whilst the power of the transmitting signal is so much larger (over 100 dB) than that of the receiving signal, it is still possible to separate them on to a single channel.
“We envisage that full-duplexing can transform the operations of wireless networks and is expected to have massive benefits in HetNets. HetNets are widely regarded as one key wireless technology for the provision of future wireless communications (including 5G) by complex interoperation between macrocells and small cells.”
About Heterogenous Networks (HetNets)
There is currently considerable interest in HetNets due to their capability of providing high regional capacities and flexible coverage, and more importantly their low infrastructure costs. In HetNets, a mosaic of wireless coverage is obtained by a variety of wireless coverage zones from macrocell to small cell such as, pico- and femtocell. Of increasing interest to mobile operators are the customers' installed femtocells that can greatly improve indoor coverage but share the same frequency band as the macrocells. There is a huge scope of research in resource allocation and physical-layer design and optimisation in HetNets.
The UPFRONT Research Project
The project at UCL will exploit the full potential of MIMO full-duplexing in HetNets by designing a holistic solution that interconnects antenna design, physical-layer signal processing, and network resource allocation to address the inherent challenges of full-duplexing and realise its massive end-to-end benefits.
The outcomes of UPFRONT will highlight the importance of a holistic approach to full-duplexing design and are expected to impact both fundamental and practical research into future wireless networks.
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