Science and Technology

Optical 5G is an innovative project in the field of telecommunications

Técnico develops optical network infrastructure providing new apps and services to mobile phones.

Access your computer from your mobile phone is one of the innovations of this project. “To be able to interact with the world through integrated equipment and sensors” is one of the potential benefits of the future 5G mobile network, according to professor Paulo André, coordinator of Optical 5G project that is being developed at Instituto de Telecomunicações.

Access to high-definition television, high-speed data transfer and the ability to communicate with a multitude of devices are some of the benefits of the new apps and services enabled by the future mobile communications networks, known as 5G.

To implement this new communications network “it is necessary to implement a support infrastructure based on free-space optical fibres and/or optical communications, capable of complementing radio technology and, at the same time, more energetically efficient”, explains the professor from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Técnico. This is the goal of Optical 5G project, which has already involved five students from Técnico. The challenge is to fit as much information as possible into an optical signal, using phase-space dimensions and orbital angular momentum of photons. IT contributions are focused on free-space optical communications using laser, usually known as visible light communications (VLC).

This project is funded by Instituto de Telecomunicações and is carried out at Técnico and Universidade de Aveiro. This research requires multidisciplinary knowledge on Physics and Telecommunications, allowing advanced training of students in these two areas of knowledge.