Getting ahead of the curve in wireless communications

The demand for wireless communications is expected to increase significantly over the next decade, especially in developing countries and emerging industrial nations such as India. This projected growth could be an important economic driver and have significant social value if wireless technologies would become more accessible to those without mobile phones, or Internet access. This growth can only be sustained, however, if high quality research supplies new ideas for improved, affordable products and if there are highly qualified personnel to implement these innovations. 

The research

The main goal of this research project is to generate fundamental theories and technologies that will have a lasting impact on the field of wireless communications. The chairholders have identified five key research issues and are looking to foster collaboration within and between the Canadian and Indian wireless communications sectors.  

The team is focusing on the most pressing problems: cooperative communication, coexistence of wireless systems, and ultra-wideband communications. Important developments would lead to extending signal range, improving the reception of wireless signals, and making efficient use of the radio spectrum. Researcher are working closely with the Canadian (Bell Canada, SierraWireless, fSONA Systems) and Indian (Sasken, STMicroelectronics, GM India Science Laboratory) companies supporting this project. These partnerships will provide significant opportunities for technology transfer. 

Expected outcomes

The project aims to:

  • develop improved and affordable wireless technologies that are adapted to the context of developing countries;
  • train graduate students in Canada and India in the field of wireless communications and ensure that they are aware of the realities and needs of the industry in developing countries;
  • strengthen institutional collaboration between the University of British Columbia and the Institute of Technology Delhi; and
  • enhance wireless technology transfers to industries in Canada and India.

Lead Researchers

Ranjan K. Mallik

IDRC Research Chair in Wireless Communications Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India 

Ranjan K. Mallik is a Full Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. He has more than 16 years of experience as a scientist in the Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, Hyderabad, India, and as a faculty member in IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati, and IIT Delhi. His research interests are in diversity combining and channel modelling for wireless communications, space-time systems, cooperative communications, and multiple-access systems.

Mallik is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, India, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK, and the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, India. He is an editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Transactions on Communications. A recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in engineering sciences, awarded by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India, he also received the Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research Award in electronics, telematics, informatics, and automation.

Ranjan K. Mallik received the BTech degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Robert Schober

Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communications University of British Columbia, Canada 

Robert Schober is a Full Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communications. His research interests fall into the broad areas of communication theory, wireless communications, and statistical signal processing.

Schober has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the 2002 Heinz Maier–Leibnitz Award of the German Science Foundation, the 2004 Innovations Award of the Vodafone Foundation for Research in Mobile Communications, the 2006 UBC Killam Research Prize, and the 2007 Wilhelm Friedrich Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has also received a number of best paper awards and is the Area Editor for Modulation and Signal Design for IEEE Transactions on Communications.

Robert Schober received Diplom (Univ.) and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nuermberg, Germany. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto in 2001-2002.


Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, June 1, 2009

End Date

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


60 months

IDRC Officer

David O'Brien

Total funding

CA$ 1,000,000


India, Canada, Germany


International Research Chairs Initiative

Project Leader

Mallik Ranjan Kumar


Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Institution Country


Project Leader

Robert Schober


University of British Columbia

Institution Country


Institution Website