In America each year, the fourth full weekend in June, amateur radio operators around the country set up in fields, public shelters, and parks around the United States, and simulate emergency communications as they strive to contact fellow amateur operators (also known as “ham radio” operators, or hams).
There are about three million ham operators licensed around the world, with 750,000 licensed hams in the USA. Hams are credited with being leading inventors and technical experts who brought us the Internet, the cellphone industry, email, 5G, and many television personalities, business leaders, engineers, scientists, noble prizewinners, politicians, astronauts, and heads of states are amateur radio operators.
Ted Rappaport, David Lee/Ernst Weber chaired professor and founding director NYU WIRELESS, hosted a field day operation in Riner, VA, using his station radio call sign N9NB, (firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as the public for educational demonstrations of amateur radio. There were demonstrations from ham radio operators who will be making contacts using morse code (CW), voice, and data under emergency power.
Rappaport said “Field day is a wonderful weekend where ham operators around the US hone their skills in communicating under emergency conditions. This activity is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the amazing capabilities of amateur radio to the public. I was 14 when I sent morse code in my first field day in Richmond, Indiana, and the magic of radio from that weekend led me to pursue my passion for wireless communications throughout my life. This hobby offers great fun, public service, and is vital for providing a vast platform that can excite children to learn about engineering, and can lead them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
There were demonstrations using the high-frequency shortwave frequencies with rapidly deployed antennas (these frequencies travel around the world using the ionosphere) as well as VHF and UHF frequencies.
Other demonstrations included communicating using low earth orbit satellites (LEOs) to other ham operators. Other participants at N9NB Field Day operation include N4HY, Bob McGwire, a professor in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech, and North Carolina high school teacher Nate Moreschi, N4YDU.
Also scheduled to participate was University of North Carolina college student Tucker McGuire, W4FS. He will be demonstrating satellite and UHF communications with a portable, solar-powered radio system. Newly licensed Jeff Armistead, KN4FEB, will be heading up our “get on the air (GOTA) station” that is available to those interested in making contacts under the supervision of a licensed operator. Gordon Garret, K1GG, will also be assisting with the Morse code and data communication during the weekend.
It has been five years since NYU WIRELESS, a multidisciplinary research center with more than 100 researchers, was founded to develop the fundamental theories and techniques for next generation mass deployable wireless devices.
A key focus of the center, based at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, relates to millimeter wave (mmWave) systems operating in the high frequency bands above 10 GHz.
In 2013, NYU WIRELESS Founding Director Theodore (Ted) S. Rappaport published “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work!” which defied common wisdom that that lower frequencies represented the limits of possibility for most wireless communications.
“NYU WIRELESS is playing a vital role in this transformation and in providing its students the technical skills they’ll need to take advantage of the new career opportunities in this field,” said Melissa Arnoldi, senior executive vice president, Technology & Operations, AT&T Communications, which is one of the center’s industrial affiliates.
Research conducted at NYU WIRELESS was a key element in the FCC’s adoption of the Spectrum Frontiers Report and Order in 2016. Additionally, NYU WIRELESS was one of only two academic institutions chosen by the FCC to help test, debug, and provide feedback on a new web-based portal that lets researchers apply for a program experimental license, a development that will reduce barriers to experimentation for universities, research laboratories, health care institutions, and manufacturers.
The research also holds the promise of dramatically improving urban reception and reducing the cost of bringing fiber optic-speed Wi-Fi and wireless service to underserved rural areas, thus democratizing access and helping bridge the digital divide.
Among the research accomplishments of the center, now under the direction of NYU Tandon Associate Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering Sundeep Rangan, are:
NYU WIRELESS has nearly 20 industrial affiliates including AT&T, CableLabs, Crown Castle, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Interdigital, Keysight Technologies, L3 Communications, National Instruments, NextLink, Nokia, OPPO, Qualcomm, SiBeam, Sprint, UMC, and Verizon.
April 14, 2017 —
Each year, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology grants more than 2,000 experimental licenses to test services and technologies that many times become part of the wireless ecosystem. Currently experimental licenses are supporting work on the introduction of 5G. But the it sensed the need to reduce the barriers to obtaining those licenses.
The Commission has made the experimental licensing rules more flexible through new “program licenses,” to streamline the process for institutions that regularly file for experimental applications such as universities, R&D development companies, and medical institutions.
To make applying for a program license easier, the FCC has launched a web portal. The NYU Wireless center in New York University Tandon School of Engineering will test the new experimental license portal designed to make the application process more efficient. The new process promises to reduce the waiting time to 15-day turnaround on experimental license decisions in most cases.
NYU Wireless is an example of the type of institution the new experimental license rules were developed to help. It has played a leading role in proving the viability of mmWave spectrum, launching the first open-access mmWave channel simulator software (NYUSIM) with a complete statistical spatial channel model, which is based on the research group’s experiments showing the channel characteristics at mmWave frequencies.
May 28, 2015 — As much activity as I see in the 5G space, I think the industry is getting around to figuring out exactly what 5G is and what it isn’t. A good sign is the level of activity that has started to pop up. For example, Nokia has a new white paper that presents some interesting data on 5G. The paper highlights what Nokia calls “10 rules for 5G deployment” based on extensive studies of high-density deployments of wireless networks in Tokyo and Madrid.
The research indicates that “an LTE-based HetNet can cope with the capacity demands up to a thousand times greater than was common in 2010. However, to meet capacity needs beyond that, small cells using 5G frequency bands will need to be deployed with an LTE macro/HetNet overlay.”
That makes a lot of sense to me. But more than that, it is a technologically feasible. So this is one sign that the industry is starting to look at 5G more realistically.
Another vector that points in the same direction is the white paper released by GSMA, a global wireless association, which is pretty grounded in the reality of wireless.
The paper, “Understanding 5G: Perspectives on Future Technological Advancements in Mobile,” is a look at what applications cannot be realized with present generation technologies, such as LTE flavors and 4G generational enhancements. And it makes sense. Some applications, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, tactile Internet, and autonomous driving, for example, will need much better “margins” than 4G. Such metrics include end-to-end round-trip latency in the sub-1 ms, area, and greater than 1 Gbps of downlink bandwidth. That reads applications like 3D, gaming, telemedicine, and intelligent transportation systems. Another notch in 5G reality check belt.
Finally, we are seeing movement in the standards vector of 5G. It is no secret that the wireless landscape of tomorrow will require higher data rates, massive device connectivity, more system capacities, reduced latency, energy savings, and high security. There are other requirements, but one gets the picture.
What will loom large for small cells is that the more data capacity you take off your network, the better it performs. That is a script written for small cells. So that being said, the implication is that 5G will a have to have a set of co-dependent standards that work together, seamlessly, and across all spectrum and technologies. Large order, but considering what is at stake, and that it is virtually impossible to design a single technology standard that will perform reasonably well from sub GHz to 80 GHz, i.e. 3.5 GHz Wi-Fi vs. 60 GHz Wi-Fi (WiGig). Also, the design of future radio technology will have to undergo some serious changes. Radios will have to be a lot more frequency agile than they are now. They will have to be able to negotiate everything up to 80 GHz, maybe even higher.
Things in the research end are popping to address that. For example, the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, which includes leaders in academia and industry, is hard at work in the 5G space. So is NYU Wireless, widely recognized as one of the wireless industries best brain trusts. Researchers there are gathering data from New York City using prototype base stations and mobile units that they hope will help in the development of 5G channel models. And, the EU and South Korea signed a deal to work on 5G deployment.
Overall, 5G is way ahead of where it was last year at this time. And most of it is in the reality wheelhouse, and much of the hype has calmed down. Time to get on with serious 5G business.