Fifth generation (5G) wireless is a suite of communication technologies that together can achieve data rates and latencies comparable to installed optical fiber. 5G wireless is expected to be an essential component of national and global infrastructure in the coming decades, enabling new modes of communication, computing, and sensing and underpinning future robust autonomous control, delivery, and transportation systems. Key elements of 5G wireless technology open for study include multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna designs, dense networks, characteristics of and exploitation of “millimeter wave” spectrum (frequencies above 24 GHz), and, broadly, more effective, efficient (cognitive) spectral usage.
Effective development and deployment of 5G technologies depends on reliable, repeatable measurement of their physical characteristics for benchmarking and standards development. The National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASCTN) at the Boulder, Colorado campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a leading metrology center for advanced communications. NASCTN has available to it the full resources of NIST and is committed to all aspects of scientific understanding and innovative development and deployment of 5G wireless technologies.
NASCTN activities present statistical research opportunities along two mutually supporting tracks. First, communication is fundamentally statistical by nature, and this perspective necessarily underpins NASCTN studies of the theoretical performance of any of 5G technology’s key elements. These studies draw on the full scope of statistical theory from inference to information theory and offer many avenues for investigation. Second, NASCTN measurement efforts present interesting challenges for experimental design and for related statistical modeling and uncertainty analysis. Statistical research is invited to both support modeling and analysis of 5G theoretical performance and address metrological experimental design and analysis challenges.
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Wireless networks; Spectral measurement; Spectral sharing; Spectrum sensing; Dense networks; Multiple-input, multiple-output antenna; Multiple-input, multiple-output signaling; Millimeter wave; Statistical communication theory; Statistical signal processing; Statistics; Metrology;