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The Emerging Networks (EN) strand is one of the five research strands in the CTVR, the Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain Research. CTVR was established in July 2004 and is funded by the Science Foundation of Ireland. The CTVR brings together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers, drawn from eight Irish Universities to work on industry-guided engineering and scientific challenges that will redefine key elements of telecommunications systems, architectures and networks and the value chains used to design, build, market, and service them.

Emerging Networks (EN) is based in Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Linda Doyle from Trinity College is the leader of the EN strand. Dr. Tim Forde and Dr. Keith Nolan are the deputy leaders.

In the Emerging Networks focus on fixed and wireless networks. We concentrate on networks that are distributed and disaggregated and look to design unified architectures that support fixed and mobile communications. We work from the physical to the application layer as well as looking at the wider economic context of the research advances.

To achieve our research goals we work hand in hand with the other CTVR strands (RF, Photonics, Test & Reliability and Optimisation & Management) and with our industrial partners. The combining of the various areas of expertise leads to a rich and multi-faceted approach to our research.

Bell Labs Ireland is the founding industrial partner to CTVR. Xilinx Research Labs Ireland is our latest partner. We also currently have collaborative work with EADS.

Engaging in industry-guided research is very important to CTVR and the centre is always open to new industry collaborations and interactions.

The group is also engaged in some Enterprise Ireland funded research.

Reconfigurability is a major theme for the Emerging Networks strand of CTVR. There are very many reasons why we have chosen to focus on reconfigurability. Reconfigurability, for example, can enable sophisticated multi-modal communication in one device and networks and devices that are reconfigurable can adapt and reconfigure as standards change and new standards emerge. Reconfigurable communication systems can be generically manufactured and then tailored to the needs of the customer, thus impacting on the efficiency of the supply-chain as well as the ability to meet the demands of the consumer. However the major driver for the reconfigurability work current is Dynamic Spectrum Access and Management.

The field of dynamic spectrum access focuses on new and very dynamic methods for managing spectrum that move away from this traditional command and control means of regulation. There are many approaches to enabling a dynamic spectrum access. The use of overlay and underlay techniques enabled through cognitive radio, new market based regimes involving exclusive usage rights and commons models are all being explored. We both create prototype platforms that can facilitate dynamic spectrum access as well as work on the economics of the issues involved.

The 2nd IEEE DySPAN (Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks) was held in Dublin this April.

EMERGING NETWORKS KEY AREAS OF INTEREST: Dynamic Spectrum Management, Market-based Spectrum Assignment, Reconfigurable Radio, Cognitive Networks, Collaborative Networks, Ad hoc Networks, Network Security, Economics of Security, Electronic Payments, Optical IP switched networks, Self-managed Networks, Economics of Dynamic Spectrum.

Details of all our research projects can be found on the project pages.

The CTVR award winning outreach project can be found at