Uni researchers develop technique for improving broadband service

09 June 2022

Researchers at Bangor University have found a cost-effective way to improve the performance of networks which supply mobile services and broadband to businesses.

As well as improved performance, the new technique developed at the Welsh university’s Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Centre, is also said to be “kinder on the planet”. This is because the technique’s lack of complexity means less energy is needed to transmit a given amount of data, which results in less of an environmental cost.

In the process, the researchers have set a new world record for using DSP to transform complicated, non-linear, low-speed optical transmission systems into simple, linear, high-speed ones, Bangor University said.

Results from the latest research carried out at the DSP Centre demonstrate that a 10-fold increase in bandwidth of commercially installed access networks is technically feasible over an extended distance of 100 kilometres by manipulating the way the data is processed in the receiver using a technique based on digital signal processing.

“Using advanced digital signal processing, we are manipulating the way in which signals are processed in the receiver to compensate for the effects that usually limit bandwidth and transmission distance,” said professor Jianming Tang, director of the DSP Centre, Bangor University. “This approach could be used to upgrade existing networks without requiring considerable changes to be made to these networks. The approach also allows cheap and low-power consumption solutions to be deployed in new networks, capable of satisfying unprecedented technical requirements associated with 5G and beyond.”

Tang added that the DSP Centre is now looking at how this approach could be further integrated with its “other cutting-edge techniques to provide additional network security by detecting unauthorised changes to the network, and unauthorised access to the data, which is of paramount importance these days”.

The DSP Centre at Bangor University has secured £3.9m in project funding from European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. In addition to this funding, the centre has also recently secured £3m from the North Wales Growth Deal as one of the projects within the Digital Programme.