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Building connections through 5G

The challenge

Access to the internet and wireless communication is often a lifeline in today's information age. We now see communities of people brought together over vast distances, and crucial services such as healthcare can now reach patients with greater ease. Yet to continue facilitating these advances, our wireless infrastructure must not only expand – but improve. 5G communication is a global effort to achieve the next stage of interconnectivity, with targets such as 1,000 times the capacity of current network technology, millisecond latency, and low energy consumption

The solution

To be successful, designers must push the performance boundaries of physical devices that form these systems. This is where metrology plays an important role. 5G wireless infrastructure will use devices which operate at higher frequencies and efficiencies than before, requiring new metrology practices to be disseminated to designers and manufacturers. The European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) project MET5G, co-ordinated by NPL and involving a consortium of seven partners from academia, research and industry, covers the development of traceable metrology in support of the development and standardisation of 5G.

A PhD project, being carried out by University of Surrey student Laurence Stant, is providing uncertainty evaluation for behavioural models of nonlinear devices, is aligned with this work, and contributes directly to MET5G.

The impact

This work has the potential to significantly enhance communication methods to the benefit of society. Building greater and more effective connections will help provide security, comfort and assurance through access to critical information and services in an efficient and timely fashion.

Find out more about NPL's Communications research

Find out more about NPL's Electromagnetics research

Throughout my PhD, the PGI has given me several opportunities to present my work to audiences at both NPL and my university. This has given me the confidence to take my results to a scientific conference and engage with users.

Laurence Stant - PGI student, University of Surrey