The role of wireless communications in the current coronavirus pandemic has been analysed by experts including a University of the West of Scotland (UWS) academic.

Dr Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, of UWS’s School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, co-authored the article, which has been published by the IEEE Communications Society – the world’s largest society for communications engineers, with 24,000 members worldwide.

The paper presents the importance of wireless communication technology in supporting online healthcare, education and business during the current coronavirus pandemic.

“I am delighted to have co-authored this article with national and international key collaborators. It focuses on enabling 5G technologies such as Internet of Things and asks the deeper questions of how this technology may contribute and what new requirements this pandemic may spur within the embryonic 6G effort.” – Dr Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, UWS

As lockdown continues in countries across the world, more and more people are relying on mobile technology for personal and professional communication.

Produced in collaboration with academics from the University of York, European University, Cyprus, University of Sheffield and US tech firm Futurewei, the IEEE article analyses how wireless communications have been utilised so far – and how it could be used further.

5G wireless communications offer increased reliability and speed, which could enable a range of sectors to overcome some of the challenges presented by the pandemic and social distancing, such as at-home patient monitoring, remote surgery diagnosis, and contact tracing in the healthcare sector. This is especially important for those in remote areas.