Radio waves. Credit: John Leszczynski/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

5G ultra-high capacity density systems

5G cellular systems will be required to deliver wireless communications to dense urban areas in excess of 10Gbps/km2. This requires new technically challenging solutions to deliver low cost infrastructure. This includes ultra-small cell base stations, heterogeneous systems, novel wireless backhaul/fronthaul links, cloud radio access networks, software defined networking and network function virtualisation.

Over the past few years we have undertaken many collaborative and focussed projects looking at the access and backhaul/fronthaul segments. This has included applying advanced physical layer techniques such as physical layer network coding, distributed MIMO, which have been integrated with novel higher layer techniques. Using our Labview Communications driven USRP testbed we are providing proof-of-concept demonstrations of our innovations.

We have pioneered the use of artificial intelligence in 5G ‘cognitive’ cellular systems, applying reinforcement learning and transfer learning to radio resource and topology management, delivering energy efficient solutions. We have extensively designed novel backhaul/fronthaul architectures exploiting the mm-wave bands. Our latest work is investigating cell-less architectures.


Previous or current non-academic collaborators include:

  • BT
  • Roke Manor
  • Huawei
  • Dstl
  • National Instruments


Dr David Grace

Professor David Grace
+44 (0)1904 32 2396

David Grace is the former chair of IEEE Technical Committee on Cognitive Networks and he is a founder member of IEEE Technical Committee on Green Communications and Computing.