Institute of Communications and Connected Systems


PIMRC 2020 at UCL

Keynote talks and panel discussions from the 31st International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), hosted from UCL.

Prevented from convening physically the 31st International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), organised by UCL, was proclaimed a great success by leaders of academia and industry.

One of the premier international conferences focusing on wireless communication, PIMRC is part of the IEEE ComSoc's suite of events, in the summer of 2020 the event was organised by ICCS, supported by Kings College London.

The 2020 edition of the conference saw almost 300 papers presenting novel scientific concepts or results, with topics focusing on areas such as the wider application of 5G, security within wireless networks, new network architectures, and forward-looking research exploring concepts of 6G.

The move to a virtual conference, while not anticipated, was a great opportunity for the community to explore new methods of delivery, opening up attendance to those all over the world, and enabling participation from those for whom barriers prevent physical attendance.

Showing the success of the conference to engage the community, the event attracted over 800 participants with 11 114 messages exchanged between the attendees, and 100s of questions asked and answered on the platform.

The online nature of the conference has allowed us to share with you the keynote talks and panel discussions from the event which you can find within this page.

Conference Chairs

General Chairs
Professor Izzat Darwazeh, Director of the Institute of Communications and Connected Systems at UCL
Professor Hamid Aghvami, King's College London

Technical Programme Chair
Professor Luis M. Correia, IST-U. Lisbon, PT

Keynote talks

Profile picture of Tim Whitley, background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

Beyond the 5G Launch: The Future of Personal Communications and Digital Infrastructure

Tim Whitley Managing Director Applied Research, BT 
Tim provides the Honorary Chair’s opening keynote exploring the future of personal communications and digital infrastructure as we move past the initial roll-out of 5G.
September 1st 2020

Profile picture of Peter Stuckmann, background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

The Context of International Research

Peter Stuckmann, European Union Commission,
Mike Short, UK Department for International Trade

Peter presents the EU’s approach to supporting evolving wireless connectivity and related research, following an introduction by Mike Short. Concluding the session Mike and Peter will discuss research strategy and support in the sector from an international perspective.
September 1st 2020

Profile picture of Prokar Dasgupta, background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

Remote surgery - cost, connectivity and artificial intelligence

Prokar Dasgupta, Chair in Robotic Surgery and Urological Innovation, King’s College London
Prokar, clinician-scientist and educator discusses his pioneering work in robotic surgery, looking into how connectivity and technologies such as wireless connectivity and ‘The Internet of Skills’ can impact on innovations and the future of surgery.
September 2nd 2020

Profile picture of Wen Tong, background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

6G, A Research Frontier

Wen Tong, Chief Technology Officer, Huawei Wireless, CA
Wen explores the emerging research frontier and new challenges being presented as we look to the developing road-map toward 6G.
September 2nd 2020

Profile picture of Robert Mckenzie, background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

Objects and objectivity, Connectivity enabled innovations in News

Robert McKenzie, Editor – BBC News Labs, BBC, UK
Robert discusses the innovations necessary to serve the news needs of audiences with ubiquitous, fast mobile connectivity, exploring the use of object-based media creation to enable device and person-specific content delivery.
September 3rd 2020

Profile picture of Maria Cuevas, background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

Emerging challenges to the Telecoms Industry – and all the exciting opportunities that can be “unlocked”

Maria Cuevas, Principal Manager, Mobility Research Team, BT, UK
Maria provides an overview of some of the key challenges that the Telecoms industry is facing, driven by technological and societal change. The talk goes on to explore the great opportunities that solving those issues will present.
September 3rd 2020

Panel sessions

Text"The role of disaggregation in evolving 5G RAN architectures, organised by Richard Mackenzie, BT," background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

The role of Disaggregation in evolving 5G RAN architectures

5G radio access networks are still evolving. Significant enhancements include a move towards massive MIMO and wider spectrum bandwidths. In parallel, the whole RAN architecture is evolving to become densified, virtualised and disaggregated. Hence the RAN design is no longer just about the cell site and the backhaul, it now also includes fronthaul, midhaul, data centres (both cloud and edge). Many of these technology and architecture changes complement one another, however there are also many trade-offs.

The focus of this panel session will be to discuss the evolving 5G RAN design and to highlight where the main benefits are foreseen (or already experienced), what are the key trade-offs that can impact RAN design, and what are the main opportunities for us to steer the industry in the right direction.

Organised by: Richard Mackenzie, Researcher, BT
Panel members: Andy Sutton, Principal Architect, BT | Zahid Ghadialy, Senior Director - Strategic Marketing, Parallel Wireless | Anthony Magee, Senior Director Global BD, ADVA

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Text"5G for connected and automated mobility, organised by Jorge Pereira, European commission," background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

5G for Connected and Automated Mobility

This panel addresses the contributions of C-V2X (cellular vehicle to everything) and 5G to Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM). The state-of-the-art and 3GPP release timelines will be discussed in terms of the availability of solutions to provide real-time/critical CAM-related services.

An important requirement is to provide such services also in scarcely populated areas, mostly rural and peripheral – already an explicit EU 5G Action Plan goal for 2025 at least for major transport paths, mainly road, rail and waterways. Providing such coverage will require innovative investment solutions involving mobile and road operators, as well as rail and other infrastructure (e.g., energy) providers.

Similarly, providing advanced CAM services on top of more conventional 4G/5G services will require mixed Business Models, involving at least mobile operators and automotive OEMs.

The conclusions and recommendations from ongoing CAM Cross-Border Corridor projects, with broad cross-industry involvement, are extremely important in both regards.

Organised by: Jorge Pereira, Principal Scientific Officer, European Commission
Panel members: Foteini Setaki, Principle Scientist, Research & Development Department, Cosmote, S.A. | Vincent Park, Qualcomm Technologies Inc  | Sushanta Das, Head of Advanced Technology -Advanced Connectivity Group, FCA | Markus Dillinger, Huawei Germany
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Text"The Impact of Economics on the 6G technologies, organised by Claudio Paoloni, Lancaster Unveirsity & Valerio Fascolla, Intel Corporation" background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

The impact of Economics on the 6G technologies

Neuromorphic computing, Tactile Internet, pervasive Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR), telepresence, and first quantum computing deployments can be named as some of the new ingredients of the forthcoming 6G system. In addition, Terabit links will not be only the backbone of a network architecture, but will also be needed to enable data hungry applications at user level. Fascinating concepts (it is already predicted brain to mobile or brain to brain) and guaranteed user experience are so far beyond any currently available networks. 

As the step towards 6G seems quite steep from the technology point of view, indeed economic aspects will even play a bigger role than in the just ended definition of the 5G system. Bigger leap forward in user experience and capabilities of a system imply huge investments.

How sustainable are such investments, in parallel to the ones needed to make 5G networks a reality not only in city centers but for a ubiquitous experience?

Do we need to have new or different stakeholders, in order to make the vision of 6G a commercial reality as well?

Is the assessment of new or better technologies ‘enough’ to have them deployed in the market or some other ingredients are to be added to the equation to make 6G a success for all the players in the ecosystem?

The panel will explore the above mentioned and some more aspects, defining the backstage of the 6G, investigating the subtle relationship between economics and technology.

Organised by: Claudio Paolini, Head of Engineering, Lancaster University & Valerio Fascolla, Director of Research and Innovation, Intel Corporation
Panel members: Theodoros Rokkas, inCITES Consulting | George C. Polyzos, Professor, Director AUEB/MMLAB | Maziar Nekovee, Managing Director - Quantrom Technologies 

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Engineering Wireless innovation in the UK, Curated by the UK5G Innovation Network

Engineering Wireless Innovation in the UK

Moving research from the laboratory into the real world is challenging. Complex new technologies must be deployed at scale in a highly competitive global market and be cyber-secure. 5G technology and engineering is often irrelevant to consumers and enterprises who just want outcomes and results. In a world impacted by Covid the vital importance of telecommunications cannot be overstated. Symposia such as these necessarily focus on the engineering challenges, but it is important to remember the needs of social care, health, transportation, and, of course, the impact of the climate emergency. How does the engineering community rise to these challenges and deliver the real impact that society so badly needs?

In the UK a novel combination of large and small private companies, National & Regional Governments, Innovation agencies, Research Institutions and Universities have been delivering a substantial programme of 5G Innovation projects exploring the real world application of 5G technologies, with the purpose of moving use cases to business cases. The programme has been considered successful and is expanding substantially.

The collaborative innovation landscape within the UK offers an environment where businesses work together with Universities and Government agencies in an open way.

Moderated by: Ros Singleton, Advisory Board Chair, UK5G
Panel members: Jessica Ellis, Head of Urban Connected Communities - 5G Testbeds &Trials Programme, DCMS | Ramsey Faragher, Founder - Focal Point Positioning | Vassilis Seferidis, CEO - ZEETTA Networks | Dritan Kaleshi, Head of Technology - 5G Digital Catapult

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Text"Visible Light Communication Technology For Commercial Industrial, and Individual Applications" background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

Visible Light Communication Technology for Commercial, Industrial, and Individual Applications

Visible Light Communication (VLC) has emerged as a novel optical communication technology that leverages ubiquitous lights to transmitting wireless data between devices. Operating on the visible light spectrum, it holds great potential to mitigate the problem of wireless bandwidth shortage in the near future. VLC has many unique characteristics, such as secure connection, license-free spectrum, data density, no electromagnetic interference, and thus show great potential to support existing applications or enable new applications, compared to its RF siblings. Despite the active researches in VLC technology and subsequently, the Light Fidelity (LiFi) network, many challenges remain unsolved when it comes to bringing the VLC to practical systems and a wide adoption in industrial, commercial and individual applications.

This Panel will focus on VLC-enabled networks, systems, and applications. Through discussion and presentation topics to be explored will includ the coexistence of VLC and RF technologies, novel designs to overcome the inherent limitations, and VLC systems for indoor localization, vehicular communication and IoT networks.

Organised by: Chao Shen, Chief Technology Officer, Sanoor Technologies INC., USA
Panel members: Harald Haas, Professor, The University of Edinburgh, PURELIFI LTD, UK | Jean Armstrong, Professor, Monash University, Australia | Volker Jungnickel, Head of Metro Access and In-house Systems Group, Fraunhofer HHI, Germany | Changmin Lee, R&D SLD Laser INC., USA

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Text"Industry convened panel: the outlook of Wireless Research Beyond 5G in Europe, Organised by Petar Popovski, Aalborg University" background image of a city scape with a line and spheres resembling a propagating network.

Industry convened Panel: The Outlook of Wireless Research Beyond 5G in Europe

A panel convened by Huawei.

Now that the deployment of the 5th Generation of mobile networks (5G) has successfully started all over the world, the obligatory “what is next?” question has appeared in the research community. From 3rd generation era, Europe has been kept playing the pioneer role in defining “What is next?” for each new generation. With the spirit of open research and innovation, quite a lot successful joint research and exploration activities between industry and academy have been supported by European Union. And now, as Commissioner Thierry Breton proposed, “without even waiting for the end of 5G roll-out, I want us to start working on 6G”. It is time to start think about how we could go together with join effort to create another technological miracle in next decade.

6G will be an achievement of globally joint effort from all beneficial partners on the ICT value chain. How the industry and academy from Europe can create the joint momentum and riding on the peak of the tide is question to be explored. The panel will investigate, with this joint momentum, how we can find out the new requirements, the new business models, the new technology trend, and maybe even more important, the new mode of joint exploration and innovation.

Organised by: Petar Popovski, Professor of Wireless Communications, Aalborg University
Panel members: Slawomir Stanczak, Professor for Network Information Theory, Technical University of Berlin | Nancy Alonistioti, NKUA | Luke Ibbetson, Group R&D Direcrtor - VDF, UK | Alex Werlberger, Chief Technology Officer - Holo-Light, Germany

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