Salt Lake City, New York City to Host Next-Gen Wireless Test Beds
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Comments

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting the development and deployment of the first two Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) research platforms, based in Salt Lake City and New York City.

In collaboration with an industry consortium of 28 networking companies and associations, the platforms will power research motivated by real-world challenges on experimental, next-generation wireless test beds at the scale of cities and communities. The goal is to advance wireless technology beyond 4G and emerging 5G capabilities.

"The platforms announced today will enable cutting-edge research in living laboratories across the country, which is a new and important milestone for advancing wireless capabilities," said Jim Kurose, head of the computer and information science and engineering directorate at NSF. "Innovative wireless networks, technology and applications are key to achieving the vision of future, smart communities."

The PAWR platforms will enable early-stage research that will push forward wireless devices, techniques, protocols and services. The overarching goal is to revolutionize the wireless ecosystem and maintain U.S. leadership in the sector for decades to come.

NSF committed $50 million toward the research platforms during the next seven years, and expects to announce the development and deployment of additional platforms next year. The PAWR industry consortium, consisting of equipment vendors, device manufacturers and wireless carriers, has committed $50 million in cash and in-kind contributions that include equipment, expertise and human resources.

NSF's investment in the PAWR program is part of a broader strategy to support smart cities and communities. These research platforms will help to shape the future of wireless networks that will serve as the foundation for critical applications and services in our nation's neighborhoods and municipalities.

Benefits from this research may include enabling first responders and surgeons to share real-time data during emergencies; training entry-level workers via immersive, virtual reality systems; and providing seamless communication between vehicles and roadway infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion.

“TIA congratulates New York City and Salt Lake City on being selected as winners of the PAWR program,” said Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Vice President of Program Development Harry Smeenk. “TIA was glad to collaborate with the NSF on reviewing and selecting proposals for these awards. The ability to test solutions to real-world challenges on community and city-scale experimental, next-generation wireless test beds will be transformative for the telecommunications industry.”

Last year, the NSF announced a $6.1 million, five-year award to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communications and networking technologies through the PAWR program.

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