US Government And NSF Join Forces To Pour $400 Million Into Research On 5G Technology
Before President Obama’s administration reaches its end, it has decided to launch a wireless networking research project called the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative (AWRI), which aims to push for continuous innovation in the field of mobile in the United States, and basically ensure America leads in pushing the envelope when it comes to wireless technology.
For those not familiar with the AWRI, the project has the backing of $400 million worth of investment, and in the short term, is specifically targeting to develop wireless networking technology that deliver connection speeds a hundred times speedier than today’s existing 4G and LTE networks.
The project is being championed by various organizations, led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and enjoying support from Samsung (the world’s biggest seller of smartphone devices) as well as various mobile operators in the US. The $400 million funding is expected to spread over a seven year period (the initial cash outlay will be $85 million) and should finance research and development efforts for new wireless tech especially in four city scale testing platforms.
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed the Spectrum Frontiers vote. The AWRI came to be because of that vote. Meanwhile, the US Congress has also granted its approval to a plan that will free up high frequency millimeter wave spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed use. These airwaves should allow for faster connection speeds, lower latency, and enhanced capacity in next generation wireless networks coming soon in the next few years.
Despite being a federal project, the AWRI will actually also involve contributed efforts from a formidable roster of tech firms and mobile operators, who will help by supplying mobile devices, and providing the design for the network infrastructure as well as the equipment. Out of this massive collaboration, new networking protocols will be established and will later on define 5G tech and also more advanced forms of wireless technology. For these contributors, their involvement will also mean that they get to be part of the overall development process, ensuring that they will not be left behind and remain in the know. Partners include the Big Four carriers in America (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), the aforementioned Samsung, HTC, Intel, Oracle, and Nokia. Although it should be noted that tech giants such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft are not part of the project. For the full list of partners, you can go visit this page.