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$1.25M funding supports wireless research projects


Vancouver, BC – Bell Canada and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have announced the details of the first five research projects funded by Bell University Laboratories. These projects will come together to form a new wireless laboratory in the Faculty of Applied Science’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Bell University Laboratories is a private-public research partnership between Bell Canada and Canadian universities across the country. Bell Canada announced a five-year, $1.25 million funding commitment to UBC in May 2004.

“Bell University Laboratories is a great example of how industry and academia can work together to drive meaningful innovative research in Canada,” says Vijay Bhargava, academic coordinator of the new laboratory and head of UBC’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The five Bell University Laboratories funded research projects at UBC are in the following areas:

– Personal Video Diary: Dr Sidney Fels will investigate the use of wireless tracking technology and pervasive audio/video capture technology. His project will capture and edit video of individuals engaged in team or individual sports and produce a digital record of their performance from different angles and different locations on the playing field. Imagine PDAs on mountain bikes, allowing riders to track upcoming conditions and friends’ locations on the trail.

– Managing Mobility between Heterogeneous Wireless Access Networks: Dr Vincent Wong and his team will investigate network mobility management. Their goal is to provide seamless transfers between different types of mobile networks so that users are not aware that the service they are using is switching to another network. In addition to increasing our understanding of how cooperative networks perform together, this project will enable location management and security and authentication methodologies for use between different wireless networks.

– Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Technology: Dr Robert Schober and his team will investigate technical issues and opportunities related to UWB technology. This leading-edge technology, when approved, will enable Canadians to beam high-quality video, music, pictures and other digital content throughout their homes or workplaces all without the use of cables.

– Fixed Wireless Access: Dr David G Michelson will research fixed wireless access systems to determine the different factors, such as environment, that affect network systems. His project aims to determine why customers sometimes experience varying degrees of service from the same cell site.

– Coexistence of Wireless Systems: Dr Lutz Lampe and his team will explore how wireless systems can share the same spectrum in a local area or region. His project will address spectrum-sharing prospects, interference threats and will analyze related issues and best practices.

In 2003, Bell University Laboratories (BUL) committed to investing $5 million in Alberta and British Columbia by the year 2008. BUL has provided over $33 million to research projects at more than 24 Canadian institutions and research centers since 1999. Together with a number of funding partners, these projects have generated in excess of $90 million in research capability.