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NI, BT, Bristol and Lund announced winners at the Collaborate to Innovate Awards 2017

MIMO award team

From left to right: Mark Taylor (General Manager at Desoutter Industrial Tools), Mansoor Hanif (BT), Erik Bengtsson (Uni Lund), Mark Beach (Uni Bristol), Ben Lavasani (NI), Jon Excell (Editor - The Engineer) University of Bristol

MIMO system

The Massive MIMO system during its trial earlier this year at BT University of Bristol

6 September 2017

National Instruments together with the University of Bristol, Lund University (Sweden) and BT, were last night [Tuesday 5 September] announced the winners in the category 'Information, Data & Connectivity' at The Engineer: Collaborate to Innovate (C2I) Awards 2017, with their project 'Setting World Records in 5G Wireless Spectral Efficiency using Massive Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO)'.

‌Cisco predicts that by 2020, 5.5 billion people will own mobile phones. Although today's 4G networks incorporate the latest technologies and offer users fast mobile data access, 5G is set to offer a step-change in the provisioning of wireless connectivity and network functionality. This will open-up new service offerings, applications and significant business opportunities in a variety of new markets. Massive MIMO is foreseen as one of the key wireless technology enablers for 5G.

A team of researchers from Lund University and the University of Bristol's EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Communications worked together to address the unprecedented demand for increased data rates, expanded network capacity and improved reliability using this new wireless technology. Under the leadership of Professor Mark Beach, the Universities of Bristol and Lund collaborated with the BT Wireless research team, led by Ian Mings, using NI's Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) Prototyping System. This allowed the team to rapidly innovate and advance 5G cellular network experimentation transforming the future of wireless communications through massive MIMO techniques. In February 2017, they successfully demonstrated greater than 20 times increases in bandwidth efficiency compared to current 4G cellular technologies, which opens new, record-setting realms of possibility for 5G deployment in sub-6 GHz bands.

The team's collaboration on massive MIMO trials for 5G wireless, also won 'Application of The Year 2016' at the NI Engineering Impact Awards. "This is exactly why we founded the NI Academic Programme" commented Richard Roberts, NI Marketing Engineer and head-judge of the Engineering Impact Awards, "Accelerating academic innovation and discovery, either in the classroom or the research laboratory, offers unparalleled benefits to industry and our society. The world-leading 5G research carried out by Bristol, Lund and BT is an inspiring example of this."

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