Secure, reliable, high-speed wireless communications are critical to the economic and national competitiveness of the United States. Advanced communications are enabling dramatic changes in how consumers, manufacturers, governments and others provide and consume information, transact business, provide and use essential services, and shop, among other tasks. Gartner forecasts that there will be approximately 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020, up from the estimated 6.4 billion connected devices currently in place. This insatiable societal demand for connectivity will require significant advancements in communication technologies.
NIST’s role in advanced communication includes:
- the National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASTCN), which is organizing a national network of Federal, academic and commercial test facilities that will provide the testing, modeling and analyses needed to develop and deploy spectrum-sharing facilities;
- the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, which is leading the development of the standards and performing the associated research, development and testing to provide the public safety community access to a dedicated, nationwide LTE broadband network (FirstNet);
- Developing and improving the measurement tools and technologies that will improve spectrum utilization, and the novel spectrum sharing techniques, to address the current spectrum crunch; and
- Providing the measurements and data needed for the development of the next generation of wireless communications systems and the improvement of optical communication technologies.
TAKING MEASURE BLOG: Smoke Signals: Ensuring the Clarity of Emergency Communications
If you’ve ever used a device that picks up signals over the air, you know that sometimes you just can’t get the signal to come in clearly. You point the device every which way, move it all around the room, do a little dance, but nothing seems to work. There doesn’t seem to be any explanation. Maybe it’s sunspots, who knows? While that’s an annoyance for us, sometimes people’s lives depend on that signal getting through. People like firefighters. One of my group’s more recent projects has been to help make sure that their signals get through, wherever they are. Read NIST researcher Kate Remley's complete blog post.