An Open Future for Wireless Communications

On eyear since their launch, the Communications Innovation Institute (CII) is holding their first Open Days on 19th C 20th April at the Computer Laboratory, William Gates Building, University of Cambridge.

April 14, 2005 -- Opportunistic networking between mobile wireless devices that enables communication in disaster zones, community networks that reduce the need for large phone masts, and WiFi hotspots under the road collecting congestion data from a new generation of sentient vehicles; these are just some of the latest technological advances in wireless communication that will be showcased over the two Open Days.

"The CII envisages a world where the creativity unleashed by the unfettered Internet is reproduced without wires, benefiting both the consumer and industry at large," says Jon Crowcroft, Marconi Professor of Communication Systems at Cambridge University and Principle Researcher at the CII. "Some of the technologies that will be demonstrated at the Open Days could drive that vision, improve our quality of life, and even save lives."

The CII Open Days will be a chance for the communications industry to find out about the latest technological developments that will drive the demand for more spectrum, and that require a more flexible and agile response from regulators and industry.

"In the mobile wireless world, the cell phone was originally conceived of as simply a telephone by which you could be reached anywhere, anytime," says Crowcroft. "It eventually led downhill to text messaging and ringtones, a pretty unimaginative use of the technology, mainly because the industry regulatory structure creates artificially scarce resources such as network bandwidth in order to generate revenue."

Invited demonstrations will include an accurate, low cost audio location sensing system using a 3D user interface, opportunistic networking with iMotes, real-time gesture recognition using a camera phone, the additional capacity of fibre radio and a simulator of traffic routeing using WiFi Hotspots. In addition to the live demos, there will be five workshop sessions, each addressing a different aspect facing the future of wireless communication.

The overall objective of the CII's Open Days will be to review emerging technologies and techniques for using spectrum, discuss how to optimise the economic and regulatory world to ease their implementation, and assess the regulatory structures and business incentives required to enable open and innovative use of spectrum for the next 20 years. "With the recent introduction of spectrum trading, it is vital that regulators and policy makers understand and accommodate the potential of wireless, and do not constrain future possibilities for innovation with unnecessarily constrictive regulation," says David Cleevely, Chairman of the CII. "That's where the CII comes in C providing a forum where policy makers and regulators can come together with business leaders and technologists to anticipate and accommodate the future requirements of the communications industry."

Other contributors to the CII Open Days include:
Andy Hopper: Professor of Computer Technology, University of Cambridge

William Webb: Ofcom Head of Research and Development and Senior Technologist specialising in radio spectrum affairs

Tilman Borgers: Professor of Economics, University College London

Michael Marcus: Former FCC Associate Chief for Technology and the Senior Technical Advisor to the FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force

Richard Gibbons: Networks and Operating Systems Group, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Walter Tuttlebee: Chief Executive, Mobile Virtual Centre of Excellence

William Lehr: Communications Futures Program, MIT

Simon Pike: Chief Engineer, Regulatory and Spectrum, Vodafone.

For more information about the CII Open Days and to view the agenda, please visit:

Notes for Editors

1. If you would like to attend the CII Open Days, please contact Tamara Roukaerts on +44 (0)1223 448793, or at e-mail protected from spam bots

2. The Communications Innovation Institute (CII) is a knowledge integration community funded by the Cambridge-MIT Institute, a pioneering joint venture between Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The CII was founded in 2004 to anticipate the evolution of the telecommunications industry and facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration between academia, industry and government. This broad remit brings researchers from Cambridge University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University College London together with business leaders, economists, public policy experts, management analysts, engineers and computer scientists, providing a unique insight into all aspects of communications and computing technologies, present and future.

3. The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) is a joint venture between the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Supported by the UK government and industrial partners, CMI's mission is to improve the competitiveness, productivity and entrepreneurship of the UK, by educating leaders, discovering knowledge and developing technologies, and creating programmes for change using a partnership of Cambridge and MIT. For more details of its activities, please visit the CMI website:

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