The National Wireless Initiative, announced by President Obama in February, is an ambitious new plan to bring 4G wireless broadband access to 98% of all Americans. Dr. Rajarathnam Chandramouli, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been invited to participate in a roundtable discussion to develop the strategy for implementing this Initiative. U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Greg Schaffer will moderate the roundtable, to be held May 26th in Los Angeles.
"You need not only new technologies, but also new national policies to bring high-speed broadband networking to more Americans," Dr. Chandramouli says. He will join company with two dozen thought leaders in the fields of communications research and public safety to address fundamental issues in developing the national infrastructure and guidelines for 4G wireless and dynamic spectrum access systems like cognitive radios.
"Dr. Chandramouli's expertise is in critical need today as the nation explores technology solutions to ensure widespread and secure wireless coverage," says Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science. "Stevens is at the forefront in the development of transformative technologies that will fundamentally alter the wireless landscape and provide more robust communications systems for public safety officials."
Dr. Chandramouli is the co-inventor of SpiderRadio, a software-driven cognitive radio prototype that scans communications bands to find and dynamically use the most efficient transmission paths. His experiences bringing SpiderRadio to market as a Stevens Start-Up have given him insight into a major concern of the roundtable: learning how researchers and industry labs can effectively capitalize on a huge potential market based on expanded 4G services.
The White House expects initial investments in the National Wireless Initiative to have big returns by creating high-tech jobs and driving new access to the 21st century economy. These efforts include a $3 billion government investment in wireless R&D, the freeing of 500 MHz of spectrum for both auction and unlicensed use, and new efforts to support commercialization.
"Releasing new unlicensed spectrum provides equal opportunity for universities, major industry players, and new companies to get into this space," Dr. Chandramouli says. "This coordinated national effort creates an exciting environment for innovation in wireless research."
The White House is particularly interested to see how innovators like Dr. Chandramouli are positioning themselves to use the new available spectrum. First responders are already clamoring to be early adopters of systems that can more effectively co-opt communications spectrum during emergencies, and SpiderRadio is targeting public safety as its initial roll-out market. Dr. Chandramouli and his research partners at Stevens are recognized for both their fundamental research as well as its perceived benefit to U.S. security, as their cognitive radio research receives funding and support from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice.