While basic communications protocols for the Internet were developed
decades ago, new
requirements such as bandwidth-hungry multimedia and the need for the
Internet to reach the "final
third" of the population create constant demand for improvements. Research
at the University of
Aberdeen has greatly contributed to meeting this demand by influencing the
implementation of the Internet Protocol (IP) stack in commercial networks.
New standards for
Internet Transport Protocols and Satellite IP Transmission resulting from
the research have been
implemented in industrial products in Europe and the US, benefitting
industry and millions of end
Lancaster University's pioneering research on Quality-of-Service (QoS)
architecture has led to significant impact on the development of TETRA
(Terrestrial Trunked Radio) — the digital radio standard used by emergency
and public safety services globally. The route to impact was via UK
projects on Mobile and Emergency Multimedia. It involved the transfer of
QoS technology and know-how to HW Communications Ltd (HWC), a
Lancaster-based SME. HWC became instrumental in developing the outcomes of
our collaboration in TETRA's Multimedia Exchange Layer (MEX)
standard and its specification for TETRA II (or TETRA Enhanced Data
Services, TEDS) — a new version of TETRA that enables multimedia data
services. MEX was adopted as a new clause in the TETRA II release in 2010.
The impact is that vendors of TETRA equipment manufactured after 2010 can
implement MEX in their products, thereby leveraging Lancaster's pioneering
QoS research to enable applications to obtain the best possible level of
service in a standardised way — which is absolutely crucial for the
public-safety and related applications for which TETRA is being used.
Our research on cross-layer optimised video distribution over wireless
networks has led to wide- reaching economic and societal impact, via the
- Standardisation: our research results were directly adopted in
WirelessMAN and LTE, the two global standards for the next generation of
wireless broadband networks.
- Collaborative research: the work resulted in a product that has
been commercialised by our collaborators Rinicom Ltd, an SME specialising
in mobile video, and recognised with a Queen's Award for Enterprise
(2013), for achievements to which our research contributed significantly.
- User engagement: the work resulted in the deployment of a WiMAX
network in Slavutych/Chernobyl, Ukraine; contributing to community
regeneration in a UK Government programme to address social and economic
consequences of nuclear power plant closure.
This case study provides an account of work on a mathematical framework
for the design and optimization of communication networks, and some
examples of the framework's influence upon the development of the network
congestion control schemes that underlie modern communication networks,
notably the Internet.
The impact on protocol development and on network architectures has been
significant; in particular on the development of congestion control
algorithms and multipath routing algorithms that are stable and fair.
Several of the insights on large scale system behaviour have been
transferred to help understand cascading failures in other large scale
systems, including transport infrastructures.
Mobile technologies and in particular mobile applications have become key
drivers of the economy
in many countries especially those that lack established communications
2003, the research team led by Professor Al-Begain has created both
significant infrastructure and
know-how that became the base for the creation of the £6.4million Centre
of Excellence in Mobile
Applications and Services (CEMAS) that is providing research and
development to SMEs in Wales
to increase their competitiveness. In the first three years since its
inception 28 projects have been
completed and 66 companies have received services.
Pioneering research at UCL Department of Computer Science (CS) into
communications over the Internet led directly to the development of
central techniques used in
voice-over-IP (VoIP), videoconferencing, and instant messaging. Millions
of people worldwide
today use applications that incorporate these techniques. In particular,
UCL CS created the
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Session Description Protocol
(SDP), two Internet
standards that comprise the primary way multimedia calls are established
on the Internet. They are
at the core of products made by Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Siemens, and
Polycom, among many
others, and are used in most 3G mobile telephone networks. Implementing
the technology reduces
costs for businesses, with Oracle, for example, realising $18 million in
savings since 2010.
Pioneering research at Bangor on the advanced communications technology
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OOFDM) has enabled industrial
impact with global
implications. OOFDM was a candidate technique for the ITU-T G989.1 NG-PON2
and the IEEE
802.3bm standards and is currently under consideration by the IEEE 802.3
Study Group. Supported by 8 patent families and first-phase funding of
£1.1M, in 2013, the pre-revenue
Bangor University spin-off company Smarterlight Limited, was established.
has deployed services to several international telecommunications
companies to develop
advanced solutions for access optical networks and data centres.
Essex research has investigated a range of switching techniques to enable
efficient routing in
optical networks. This research informed the development of the iVX8000
system, the world's first
`carrier class' converged switch and transport solution, launched in May
2011 by the network
equipment manufacturer Intune Networks Ltd. The development, launch and
of the iVX8000 system have underpinned a period of sustained
growth and success for Intune. The
company has enhanced its position within the photonics transmission sector
and attracted €15M of
venture capital and collaborative research funding since 2011.
The Tegola Project has undertaken basic research on deploying wireless
networking in remote communities, focusing on problems distinct to the
Scottish Highlands. The engineering of the Tegola research testbed has had
a profound impact on community broadband in Scotland. As a direct result,
some of Scotland's most remote communities are now enjoying superfast
broadband for the first time. This, together with a novel analysis of
broadband infrastructure that underpins the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Digital
Scotland report, has substantially influenced government policy in
Scotland and changed the focus of the debate across the UK and beyond.
Research by Higham, Estrada and Grindrod into new, computable measures
for large, dynamically evolving communication networks has allowed the
automatic identification of individuals who act as influencers, or
efficient listeners. This research insight has been taken up by Bloom
Agency (Leeds), a digital marketing and media agency. Bloom has used these
ideas to strengthen their Data Insights Team, leading to investment in new
jobs, generation of new business and delivery of better results for their
clients. Bloom's commercially available real time social planning software
product, Whisper, builds directly on the published research, and is at the
heart of the agency's success in doubling staff numbers to 60 in recent
months, having grown its annual income by 50% to £2.4Million through the
use of these new tools.