Wireless technology is racing toward ubiquity. Innovative new commercial, scientific and military applications are emerging at an almost unimaginable rate.

“There are thousands of new satellites going into orbit, autonomous vehicles are becoming a reality and we all want high-speed connectivity for our devices everywhere we go,” says Sayfe Kiaei, a professor of electrical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

At the same time, the electromagnetic spectrum that serves as the medium for this explosion of data transfer is a limited resource. Challenges related to sufficient access, signal interference and poor latency or performance delays are sources of growing global concern.

“And while the United States has been a leader in the development of wireless technologies since World War II, there is now a lot of international competition for dominance in this arena. This is why 5G mobile networks have been such a hot topic in recent years,” Kiaei says. “As a result, the National Science Foundation has called for the creation of a new national center for research, innovation and workforce training to maintain our edge in wireless spectrum use and management.”

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