It’s estimated that bandwidth demand doubles annually, mirroring the surge in data-heavy devices. On that front, the IEEE selected a research team led by Professor Theodore Rappaport, founder and director of the NYU WIRELESS research center, as the recipient of the 2015 IEEE Donald G. Fink Award for their work on new-generation wireless technology. The award is given to a single survey, review, or technical paper published in one of IEEE’s 170 publications during the previous calendar year. Rappaport and WIRELESS’ winning article was entitled "Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work.”
The paper provided research results surveying the potential of a new segment of radio-wave spectrum that could increase mobile-network capacity 1000-fold or more. Among the top five downloaded papers by IEEE’s 430,000 members, it explores the underutilized millimeter-wave (mm-wave) frequency spectrum. Such portions of the spectrum could be used for future broadband cellular communication networks as a solution to the current, global bandwidth shortage facing both wireless carriers and users.
Rappaport and his colleagues studied radio waves at 28, 38, 60, and 73 GHz—more than 10 times greater than the cellular frequency used today. Used in conjunction with new types of antennas, the signals can travel down city blocks by reflecting off buildings and even people. The FCC recently cited NYU WIRELESS research on its Notice of Inquiry to explore the feasibility and implementation of mobile technology in the mm-wave bands.
The paper’s co-authors—Shu Sun, Rimma Mayzus, Hang Zhao, Yaniv Azar, Kevin Wang, George N. Wong, Jocelyn K. Schulz, Mathew Samimi, and Felix Gutierrez—include several undergraduate and graduate students from the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The award will be presented by the president of IEEE during the 2015 IEEE Global Communications Conference, Exhibition & Industry Forum (GLOBECOM) in San Diego, California.