5G-ACE is a research project funded by a two-year Marie Curie Standard European Fellowship awarded by the European Commission´s Horizon 2020 programme.
Research Fellow Dr Kazi Huq joined USW’s Mobile and Satellite Communications Research Group in 2019 from the Instituto de Telecomunicações, Aveiro, Portugal where he had been conducting postdoctoral research in mobile systems.
Working under Jonathan Rodriguez, Professor of Mobile Communications, and Ifiok Otung, Professor of Satellite Communications, Dr Kazi Huq’s work is to identify key use cases and frequency bands for THz-based mobile communications and develop new 3D network models that take into account spatial coupling by re-examining legacy engineering tools such as stochastic geometry through interdisciplinary design.
The output of the research project will act as a platform to inspire 6G mobile systems that are tending towards THz-band communications.
“We are on the verge of modelling 3D deployment based on THz-enabled small cells that will provide new insights on possible broadband connectivity speeds in high rise building,” said Dr Huq.
With urban areas expected to grow rapidly in population and density between now and 2050, and more mobile devices being used in densely populated and complex areas, such as high-rise buildings, this new technology is vital.
“Whereas in the past, we may have relied on indoor WiFi or 5G femtocells, we now plug the gap with THz outdoor infrastructure. Base stations exploit very high directional antennas with 3D mobility enabling transmitters to point towards specific floors on tall buildings," he added.
Dr Huq’s practical experimentation is taking place through secondments at Sigint Solutions Ltd, an ICT research and development company based in Cyprus. The secondment enables a two-way transfer of knowledge: Sigint will acquire Dr Huq and USW’s knowledge and expertise in THz systems and scenarios that are emerging markets for their consultancy business.
Dr Huq will exploit Sigint´s TruNET commercial ray tracer tool to produce realistic channel models for testing and evaluating network performance, including 3D deployments.
Mobile operators and the academic community also stand to benefit from the fruits of this research. Operators and vendors will have an experimentation platform to evaluate advanced 5G radio protocols and network deployments for proof-of-concept, while the research community will have an analytical multi-tier networking tool that can be used to advance research in wireless communications and use in teaching.
For Dr Huq, the project brings both personal and professional rewards. “As an MSCA fellow, the aspect I enjoy the most is that this fellowship provides me the freedom to carry out research that I enjoy and to translate raw innovation into working ideas,” said Dr Huq.
“This is a prestigious award that is both giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, while also instilling a new zest towards my research, knowing that the prestige associated with MCSA grant holders will open new career doors, either in industry or academia.”
Professor Jonathan Rodriguez is pleased with how the project is progressing. “Even as we arm the Fellow with the research expertise to take the next step towards professional maturity, we are receiving and creating new knowledge to further enhance our own teaching and research in mobile communications,” said Professor Jonathan Rodriguez, who oversees the project.
“It is an investment in our future, too,” he continued. “We are developing a workforce that can meet both institutional and national requirements.”
Relocating to Wales was an exciting prospect for Dr Huq, who did his Masters and PhD at the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden.
“USW is one of the front runners in telecommunication R&I among UK universities, and Professor Jonathan Rodriguez, who is supervising my work, is internationally renowned,” said Kazi.
“Living in Wales has added a new dimension to my life. The rural landscape provides a fantastic setting for enjoying nature and the tranquilities of life and offers many outdoor activities such as hiking and walking which I enjoy.”