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Queen’s Researchers win major global award for solving a 5G Network Challenge

A team of researchers at Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Wireless Innovation have won a global award for their work in creating a solution which will reduce the cost and complexity of 5G mobile networks.

Dr Muhammad Ali Babar Abbasi accepted the grand prize of the Mobile World Scholar Challenge at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on behalf of his Belfast-based team which includes Professor Vince Fusco, Dr Michalis Matthaiou and Dr Harsh Tataria. 

Mobile World Congress, which includes more than 2,400 exhibiting companies and over 100,000 delegates, is the largest and most important gathering for the mobile industry in the world. It showcases cutting edge ideas poised to impact the mobile world. The Mobile World Scholar Challenge recognises new and impactful ideas from the academic and research communities across the globe.

A team of researchers at Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Wireless Innovation developed a solution that reduces the complexity and the cost of mmWave MIMO RF front-ends in 5G mobile networks. The solution they created is a 28GHz front-end beamformer for 5G networks. 5G networks are the ‘next generation’ of mobile connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections than ever before on smartphones and other devices.

Dr Muhammad Ali Babar Abbasi said: “As a team, we are excited and delighted by this achievement. It is fantastic to get global recognition for our work, both among our peers in academia as well as the international mobile industry. We believe our research will reduce the cost of 5G infrastructure and it spurs us on to continue to ensure our research is among the best in the world and at the forefront of the mobile industry.”

Professor Dimitrios Nikolopoulos, Director of The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast said: “We are very proud of our researchers, as three out of five finalists in this competition were from ECIT and winning this prestigious award is both fitting and well deserved. They are ‘blazing a trail’ in the area of mobile - specifically 5G - research and their solutions look set to have a global impact as 5G gradually replaces the 4G networks. We have a strong focus at Queen’s that our research is impactful and of benefit to society – this is a great example of how academic research and inventions can have a major impact.”

A video of Dr Muhammad Ali Babar Abbasi explaining his research can be viewed here.

The Centre for Wireless Innovation (CWI) is part of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast.  CWI is the UK’s largest research, development and exploitation base in physical layer wireless.


Media enquiries to Michelle Cassidy at Queen’s Communications Office on +44 (0)28 90971964 or email