Event

CW TEC 2022: Launching the New Wave of Wireless Networks

    Venue: The Computer Laboratory, The University of Cambridge, William Gates Building, Cambridge, CB3 0FD
    Cost: £75.00+VAT

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Starts 22 Jun 09:00

Ends 22 Jun 18:00

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The CW Technology and Engineering Conference 2022

ABOUT THE EVENT

Global wireless telecommunications are continuing to evolve rapidly with the introduction of virtualisation, 5G, IoT and low-earth orbit broadband networks. The COVID pandemic has shown how critical the telecommunications industry is to society – for example, the crisis situations in Tonga and Ukraine highlight the fundamental role that wireless plays in understanding and interacting with the world.

Novel wireless networks are seeing a new wave of technology investment, from satellites to airborne networks, allowing new services to be provided around the world. With an engineering focus, CW TEC will look at the technology and challenges behind this transformation and what the future holds, focussing on:

  • How to build hybrid networks that scale globally and provide integrated services which are seamless for the user.
  • Explore hybrid and multi-bearer, radio and optical network architectures and applications.
  • Enhancing ground networks using non-traditional radio and optical access technologies and backhaul.
  • Can wide area mobile communications be delivered from aircraft?
  • How can radio and optical wireless networks support uncrewed aircraft systems and advanced air mobility?

Space as a rapidly evolving global communications infrastructure enabling massively scalable business cases for IoT and broadband users.

The conference will be an ideal place to explore and discuss these issues and hear from key players involved in changing how wireless communications is delivered and used.


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The agenda will look at four key areas as follows:

Ground

Mobile cell sites are evolving to require ever higher capacity backhaul while also increasingly evolving to a centralised RAN architecture in urban areas. This session will explore the use of optical fibre for backhaul and midhaul while also investigating the use of fibre based fronthaul in support of RF over Fibre deployments, carrying CPRI, eCPRI and/or Open Fronthaul. It is increasingly common for radio units to be mounted as close as possible to the passive antenna to maximise radio performance, indeed the introduction of massive MIMO antenna systems has driven the adoption of active antenna units, these require a direct optical fibre connection between the radio/antenna system and the baseband unit, the baseband unit may be located at the base of the tower or some distance away in a baseband hotel, to provide further real-time optimisation for the RAN.

Air

The rapid evolution of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) present some exciting opportunities as both consumer and provider of wireless connectivity. In urban environments, delivery drones and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) 'air taxis' require low-latency, mission critical comms for the command and control and monitoring of aircraft in 3D airspace. Conversely, drones have also been used to provide cellular coverage in disaster recovery situations, or as temporary in-fill in remote areas. High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) extend this concept to the stratosphere, providing 5G coverage over wide areas using phased array, beam steering antennas. This is arguably the sweet spot between terrestrial and satellite comms, with excellent spectral efficiency and the flexibility to rapidly provide coverage where needed. This session will focus on:

  • 5G / 6G networks for UAS
  • Ground-to-Air cellular systems
  • Stratospheric HAPS

Space

Space as a rapidly evolving global communications infrastructure enabling massively scalable business cases for IoT and broadband users.

85% of the earth's surface is not available to conventional networks.  The Low Earth Orbit Satellite revolution has slashed the cost per bit both in terms of energy needed to send data cost to access the network. Furthermore the use of cubesats and small satellites has speeded up deployment of new technology, and much in the same way that cellular networks transformed terrestrial connectivity, LEO massively expands capacity but without the need for local infrastructure.

Hitherto unpractical applications are now possible, with direct sensor to satellite connectivity delivering cheap ubiquitous data can now be deployed widely:

  • Broadband in all areas – Starlink/Oneweb make access available in all areas; event, disaster, conflict pop up networks
  • Agritech, especially for monitoring of water usage and crop health
  • Livestock health for roaming herds
  • Road freight transportation and Autonomous vehicles, bringing valuable information in the existing data desert

Hybrid

The integration of terrestrial and space based communications is happening today, more mobile base stations are using satellite backhaul than ever before; be this as primary connectivity or as a resilient path in the event of a terrestrial transmission failure. This backhaul is typically via GEO satellites today however exciting new developments in LEO satellites mean that additional options, which promise higher data rates and lower latency, will be available to mobile network operators. In addition to mobile backhaul, operators are deploying air to ground networks to provide connectivity to airborne assets such as planes and helicopters, and often using both terrestrial and space based connectivity to such assets. This session will review these use cases and explore recent developments in 3GPP non-terrestrial networks for space based 5G mobile broadband and IoT services.

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