Military Embedded Systems

"Spectrum Innovation Zone" designation accorded to Northeastern University by the FCC


August 06, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University.

BOSTON, Mass. Northeastern University has been designated as a "Spectrum Innovation Zone" by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a status that will give researchers there new opportunities to build and test the next generation of 5G, 6G, and other wireless technologies. Northeastern is only the fourth such spectrum center in the U.S. 

The Northeastern University Zone is the first one to focus on experimentation for wireless communications and sensing technologies above 100 gigahertz, including a frequency band that “is crucial for the development of 6G technologies,” according to Tommaso Melodia, the William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, as well as director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern.

Northeastern has become a center of wireless research because it houses a massive data center called the Colosseum, the world’s most powerful emulator of wireless systems; the Colosseum -- originally designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -- can create virtual environments that enable researchers to understand how the signals interact, develop artificial intelligence algorithms that allow more devices to share the wireless space, and design ways to protect the system from attackers.

Researchers at Northeastern's Innovation Zone will support the transition of the Colosseum network emulator to a shared platform, where it will be available for use by researchers everywhere, according to the FCC.  

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