Lancaster University

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Lancaster gets £750,000 research grant

08/17/2001 10:22:10

The challenge of making the growing number of Internet-enabled devices fully mobile and functional, wherever they are taken, is to be addressed through a new £750,000 Mobile Systems Research Laboratory operated by researchers at Lancaster University.

The Mobile IPv6 Systems Research Laboratory is being funded by a consortium of leading companies, Cisco, Microsoft Research and Orange, over a 27 month period, beginning in August, 2001.

IPv6 is the latest generation of Internet Protocol (IP), which will facilitate 'always-on' Internet connectivity for certain applications and devices, anywhere, anytime. To permit this each device must have its own IP address. IPv4, the precursor to IPv6, provides an insufficient number of IP addresses to meet the demands created by the huge uptake in Internet usage. IPv6 provides a virtually unlimited number of addresses, as well as enabling improved connection to the Internet, regardless of location and access technology.

The Mobile IPv6 Systems Research Laboratory will provide Internet access from different geographical locations, devices and technologies and will be equipped with the latest hardware and software developed by the consortium members.

Professor Doug Shepherd, from Lancaster University's Computing department, explained:

"Before the full potential of mobile systems is realised they must be interconnected using a wide range of technologies from very high speed wired to much lower speed wireless networks. What is needed is a flexible Mobile Testbed that will act as our laboratory and allow us to experiment and test the

performance of different systems.

"Lancaster University is well positioned to take on this contract for high profile clients as it has one of the largest research groups anywhere working in the area of Distributed Multimedia Systems. We are also experienced in mobility management having developed applications such as the Guide Tourist System which makes use of a wireless network to provide a mobile information system within the city of Lancaster."

Kevin Miles, a Technical Leader in Cisco IOS Europe added: "Over recent years we have witnessed a growth in the potential number of IP applications and Internet-enabled mobile devices, ranging from phones and laptops through to cars and household appliances. IPv6 will provide the addresses, security, simpler 'plug and play' installation, and seamless mobile Internet roaming between technologies and locations that are necessary for the delivery of mobile Internet services. By employing Cisco's IOS® Software, this initiative will extend our IPv6 understanding and enhance the solutions we offer our customers, helping them address the challenge of integrating mobility into the Internet for businesses and consumers alike."

"We have been supporting Lancaster's research in the area of mobile communications for the last couple of years, and we are very pleased with the results" said Dr Greg O'Shea, Manager of University Relations for Microsoft Research, Cambridge. "We are now looking forward to a successful research collaboration, and in particular to seeing what new types of application can be devised that use mobile IPv6 in a real-world environment."

Professor Roger Needham, CBE, FRS, the Managing Director of Microsoft Research, Cambridge, commenting upon the consortium itself, said: "Research collaborations involving a collection of partners such as this are very unusual outside of government funded initiatives. That such a consortium exists is an indication of high interest in this field and a credit to the initiative of Professor Shepherd for bringing it together."

Steve Hope, a Senior Consultant for Orange UK, said: "In the future, your Orange phone will no longer simply be a tool for voice communications - it will become your remote control for life.

"Your Orange phone will enable you to access a range of tailor-made life services wherever, whenever and however you wish.

"Internet-style mobile multi-media applications will be at the core of these life services and IPv6 is viewed as one of the most likely technologies to enable the delivery of these services.

"Therefore, the creation of the Mobile IPv6 Systems Research Lab will allow Orange to learn more about the benefits that IPv6 will bring to our customers.

"We greatly welcome this unique opportunity to work with Cisco, Microsoft Research and Lancaster University to ensure that future services will be delivered with the same high quality that our customers already expect from range."


For more information contact:


Victoria Tyrrell, Press Officer, Lancaster University 01524 594120

Professor David Hutchison, Lancaster University (01524) 593798


Philip Newman, Public Relations Manager, Cisco Systems, +44 208 824 3025


Helena Gilman Corporate Affairs Manager ? EMEA

Greg O'Shea, Manager of University Relations for Microsoft Research, Cambridge (01223) 744803


Stuart Jackson, Orange Media Centre - 020 7984 1915

Steve Hope, Senior Consultant for Orange UK