Communications Designline Blog

The National Science Foundation (NSF), wireless industry leaders, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) have joined efforts, creating a consortium to work towards 5G cellular networks. Once created, the result will be an increase of cell phone capacity of more than 1,000x over 4G networks.

Funding the effort is an Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) grant of $800,000, plus $1.2 million from corporate backers and the Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR), a partner of NYU-POLY. Industrial partners are InterDigital, National Instruments and a faculty startup, Asension Laboratories.

The project will concentrate on developing smart and more cost effective wireless infrastructure via such advances as small, lighter antennas with directional beamforming capable of bouncing signals off buildings using the less-crowded millimeter-wave spectrum. In this spectrum, 50 to 100x more user capacity is available. Also targeted is the development of smaller, smarter cells with devices that cooperate for spectrum bandwidth, rather than compete for it.