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About the group

The whole wireless business depends on our ability to design, build and operate large-scale radio networks, and therefore on understanding the basic science, engineering and economic realities that govern them.

Successful radio systems rely on a complicated mixture of analogue and digital technologies, depend on advanced materials technology, and frequently require advanced mathematical design techniques. Enormous investments have been made in digital and software technology for mobile devices and the fruits of this are visible in many exciting new products.

However, designing the radio and antenna system of a modern handset is already a major challenge. With new systems such as LTE and LTE-Advance coming along, whilst legacy 3G and 2G systems stay around for many years, future devices will need to operate on several standards and across ten or more bands ranging from 500 to 2600 MHz; LTE – Advance will bring the need to operate on multiple bands simultaneously; and MIMO techniques will need multiple receivers and transmitters in the same device. And yet the radios to meet these challenging requirements will need to fit into tiny hand-held gadgets, consume milliwatts of power, and cost little more than today’s products.

There is growing awareness of the need for fundamental innovation in radio technology to enable tomorrow’s products to actually deliver the performance promised by the new standards. Companies operating in the industry are also uncomfortably aware of a growing shortage of talented and creative engineers to make these innovations, which needs a blend of deep technical knowledge and insight with a highly practical approach to designing hardware.

The Radio Technology SIG will aim to increase the awareness of the scientific and engineering limits on radio communications; and the opportunities that could be exploited to improve the state-of-the-art. Examples of topics for consideration could include:

  • The balance between the political realities of spectrum regulation and the business implications of different band allocations
  • State of the art in the key enablers such as amplifiers, filters, oscillators, antennas, propagation, and digital processing technology and the scientific developments that could advance the state of the art
  • The dependence of overall system economics on technology limits
  • Identifying the choke points where the enabling technology is limiting business opportunities, which themselves create opportunities for innovation

The work of the proposed SIG should be of interest to practicing engineers developing radio infrastructure and terminals; those concerned with the economics of telecommunication systems including operators, regulators, and potential investors; and academics wishing to identify fruitful topics for future research and develop the future technology leaders.

Activities will include workshops with presentations from industry stakeholders exploring major topics; themed colloquia to share information on technical developments; masterclasses on specific areas of specialist design; and potentially drafting group reports on specific areas of concern on behalf of the Cambridge wireless community.

Follow us on Twitter @CambWireless, and join the conversation using #CWRadioTech

SIG Champions

  • Mark Beach — Professor of Radio Systems Engineering , University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

    Mark Beach received his PhD for research addressing the application of Smart Antenna techniques to GPS from the University of Bristol in 1989, where he subsequently joined as a member of academic staff. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996, Reader in 1998 and Professor in 2003. He was Head of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering from...

    Mark Beach received his PhD for research addressing the application of Smart Antenna techniques to GPS from the University of Bristol in 1989, where he subsequently joined as a member of academic staff. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996, Reader in 1998 and Professor in 2003. He was Head of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering from 2006 to 2010, and then spearheaded Bristol's hosting of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications. He currently manages the delivery of the CDT in Communications, leads research in the field of enabling technologies for the delivery of 5G and beyond wireless connectivity, as well as his role as the School Research Impact Director. Mark's current research activities are delivered through the Communication Systems and Networks Group, forming a key component within Bristol's Smart Internet Lab. He has over 25 years of physical layer wireless research embracing the application of Spread Spectrum technology for cellular systems, adaptive or smart antenna for capacity and range extension in wireless networks, MIMO aided connectivity for through-put enhancement, Millimetre Wave technologies as well as flexible RF technologies for SDR modems underpins his current research portfolio.

  • Brian Collins — Managing Consultant, BSC Associates

    Brian has designed antennas for applications including radio and TV broadcasting, base stations, handsets and consumer products, and has operated his own consultancy firm for the last 12 years. He has published more than 70 papers on antenna topics and contributed chapters to several recent textbooks. He operates a small consultancy company, chairs the Antenna Interface Standards Group and is...

    Brian has designed antennas for applications including radio and TV broadcasting, base stations, handsets and consumer products, and has operated his own consultancy firm for the last 12 years. He has published more than 70 papers on antenna topics and contributed chapters to several recent textbooks. He operates a small consultancy company, chairs the Antenna Interface Standards Group and is an Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London.

  • Peter Relph — Consultant, PA Consulting Group

    Peter Relph has worked in the wireless industry for 30 years and spent the last 22 years as a radio systems engineer with PA Consulting Group. He originally graduated from UCL in Electronics with Optoelectronics and since then has decreased his operating frequency, working on mm-wave radar systems at Philips Research, then a broad range of industries and applications with...

    Peter Relph has worked in the wireless industry for 30 years and spent the last 22 years as a radio systems engineer with PA Consulting Group. He originally graduated from UCL in Electronics with Optoelectronics and since then has decreased his operating frequency, working on mm-wave radar systems at Philips Research, then a broad range of industries and applications with PA. His recent focus has been on cellular systems wider experience with satellite, Wifi, modern IoT and bespoke communications systems. Professional interests range from propagation modelling, RF system design and physical layer processing.

  • Dr Vidhya Sridhar — Consultant, TTP Group

    Vidhya Sridhar is a consultant at The Technology Partnership (TTP) Plc. She has a background in digital signal processing and physical layer design and development. In her PhD at Imperial College London, she carried out research on array signal processing techniques with applications in 5G and defence. Prior to her PhD, she spent three years working on physical layer design...

    Vidhya Sridhar is a consultant at The Technology Partnership (TTP) Plc. She has a background in digital signal processing and physical layer design and development. In her PhD at Imperial College London, she carried out research on array signal processing techniques with applications in 5G and defence. Prior to her PhD, she spent three years working on physical layer design and development in LTE and WiMAX at Broadcom (India) and Alcatel Lucent (India) respectively.

  • Peter Topham — Principal Engineer, Qualcomm Technologies International

    Peter has more than 30 years experience of RF and high-speed circuit design, taking chips into production ranging from FM Band II through cellular, Bluetooth and on to UWB at 10GHz. He has been with Qualcomm for 7 years, specialising in low-power RF design for portable and wearable products.

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