Certifying Wi-Fi home network design; mmwave research for public safety comms — Carrier Wrap Ep. 69


    In this week’s episode of Carrier Wrap, Kelly Hill talks with Wi-Fi Alliance’s Kevin Robinson about a new program to certify Wi-Fi network design in new homes; and we meet three researchers from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering who will researching the use of millimeter wave frequencies for public safety communications.
    Wi-Fi Alliance announced the new Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program recently and it’s already being used by one builder, Lennar Homes — which is already offering home designs with certified Wi-Fi network designs that also integrate smart home controls using Amazon’s Alexa.
    “If somebody goes out and buys a home that has gone through this home design program, the user can feel very confident that they’re going to have a Wi-Fi network that meets their connectivity needs, performance needs,” Robinson said. “It’s almost taking many of the lessons that industry has learned in deploying high-performance networks in the enterprise and transferring that over to new home construction.”
    In our second segment, we talk to researchers from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, who were recently awarded $2.3 million over three years to develop an end-to-end platform for mmwave research specifically for public safety communications. That award was part of $38.5 million in grants from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Public Safety Communications Research Division, in its first round of funding to spur innovation in public safety communications.
    Sundeep Rangan leads the PSCR project, directs NYU Wireless and is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU Tandon, while Marco Mezzavilla is a program director for the NIST project and also an NYU Wireless research scientist; and post-doctoral research fellow Aditya Dhananjay will be working on some of the engineering challenges of the project, including hardware development. This particular project will include collaboration withItaly’s University of Padova as well as the Austin (Texas) Fire Department.
    “There’s been a lot of interest in using cellular technologies for the purpose of public safety — that’s what the FirstNet program was originally about,” said Rangan. “Our proposal was to look at fifth generation, or next-generation, cellular systems — in particular, looking at technologies above 6 GHz, including the millimeter wave spectrum. Those can offer much greater data rates, much lower latency and then potentially offer new types of applications for first responders in these emergency scenarios.”

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