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US Ignite Joins NSF in Beyond 5G Advanced Wireless Industry Consortium

July 18, 2016 By Molly White in

Leading wireless networking companies participating in US Ignite are joining with the White House and National Science Foundation (NSF) in launching the Advanced Wireless Industry Consortium (AWIC), a nationwide initiative that aims to spur development and deployment of new technologies that go beyond 5G, said US Ignite.

Twenty-one wireless industry companies and other organizations have agreed to contribute resources to AWIC over the next seven years to design, install and operate four advanced wireless research platforms that aim to bridge the so-called ¨Valley of Death¨ – that phase of technology R&D in which many promising new technologies fail to advance towards commercialization. 

Each of the four cutting-edge AWIC wireless networking projects is to be of a scale equivalent to that of a small U.S. city, enabling researchers to explore a wide range of R&D themes, such as dynamic wireless spectrum use, millimeter wave spectrum use, network architectures and network security/privacy, NSF highlights in a news release.

Advanced Wireless Industry Consortium

Other Advanced Wireless Industry Consortium research themes include Wide-Area Whitespace, Network Metrology and what’s called ¨Mobility-at-Scale,” which will address issues related to wireless network transport to MAC layers. That includes evaluation of large-scale, dense, heterogeneous wireless networks and issues, such as connection management, load balancing and mobility management.

Among the prospective results of these next-gen, small city-scale wireless R&D projects is the possibility of boosting current wireless network throughput as much as 1000-times, US Ignite highlights. 

Establishing AWIC is part and parcel of more than $400 million of new funding NSF announced it will invest in support of fundamental wireless research over the next seven years as it follows through on the White House Advanced Wireless Research Initiative. 

In addition, NSF will launch two wireless industry challenges later this year carrying a total $1 million in monetary prizes for projects that address society-wide issues. The first will focus on rapid, large-scale deployment of wireless connectivity to restore critical communications services in the wake of disasters. The second is to fund projects that provide seamless, low-cost connectivity in urban areas by making use of fiber optics on light poles.

“NSF is a leader in catalyzing and supporting our nation’s academic research community to advance scientific discovery and innovation,” NSF Director France Córdova said in a statement. “In the area of computer networking and communication, NSF has nurtured communities of researchers, experimenters and developers from the very beginning. The efforts of the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative will continue this progress and have profound implications for science and society in the years to come.”