Keynote lectures are plenary sessions which are scheduled for taking about 45 minutes + 10 minutes for questions.




- Les Barclay, Barclay Associates Ltd

  Keynote Lecture 1  
  Wireless Communications, a new emphasis for effective use of the radio spectrum  
Les Barclay,
Barclay Associates Ltd

Brief Bio

Following an apprenticeship, Les Barclay joined the IGY expedition to the Antarctic, where he spent 2 years on ionospheric research. In 1960 he joined the Marconi Research Laboratories becoming head of the ionospheric propagation section.

In 1977 he joined the UK radio regulatory agency, becoming Deputy Director for Research and Radio Technology. He managed the Agency’s research programme, and in particular the National Radio Propagation Research Programme.  He led and co-ordinated the UK preparation and participation in CCIR (now ITU-R) studies.

In1993 he chaired the first Radiocommunication Assembly of the ITU. He was chairman of a CCIR (ITU-R) Study Group for radiowave propagation from 1978 to 1997.  He has participated as a UK delegate in various World Radiocommunication Conferences.

In 2000 he participated as an expert member in the government appointed Independent Expert Group on the Safety of Mobile Phones (the Stewart committee), and is now vice chairman of the programme management committee for research projects in this area.

He is chairman of the DTI Measurement Advisory Committee, which advises on the programme of studies and services across the whole range of measured parameters.

He is the Director of Barclay Associates Ltd, providing consultancy services in the fields of radio regulation, radio spectrum management, research management, and radio propagation.  He is a visiting professor at the universities of Surrey and Lancaster.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (previously the IEE)

He has been awarded the OBE, the Polar Medal and the silver medal of the ITU.


Historically, radiocommunication has been seen first of all as a solution for the problem of communicating with mobile terminals, particularly with ships at sea, and later as a means of communicating flexibly to long ranges. In these kinds of traditional applications there may be requirements for high reliability and for a specified good quality of service thus requiring good spectrum management techniques and the control of interference. Moreover, since the propagation of radio waves does not cease at national borders, it becomes a matter of international negotiation and regulation. This has led to the establishment of a structure of international treaties and bilateral agreements and to a conservative approach in assessing the probability of interference.

It is interesting to scan the spectrum allocations contained in the Radio Regulations and to see how these have formed to take advantage of the general propagation characteristics of each part of the spectrum, against the constraints of progressively advancing technology and  demand.

The spectrum allocation mechanisms have served the international community well and have enabled radiocommunications to develop and to offer new and higher data-rate applications, taking advantage of the progress in the development of technology. However as the radiowave spectrum has become more intensively allocated and occupied, the time taken to achieve agreement, and the complexity of necessary back-up studies, have served to impede the rate of progress which innovators would wish to see.

But many new applications are quite different in character from the traditional uses. There are demands for high data rate, short range communications for business and domestic purposes where a somewhat lower performance is likely to be satisfactory. Modern technology permits intelligent adaptive operation to modify the coding or modulation method or to select an unoccupied frequency channel. For such applications the full rigour of the international agreements may not be appropriate. It may be expected that new and expanded uses for radio will continue to grow, so that good spectrum management will continue to be needed, based on technical considerations, to achieve effective spectrum usage with opportunities for new applications as they are proposed. The use only of a market based approach to spectrum usage will not be suitable for preserving opportunities for the implementation of new applications and will not foster the introduction of embryonic and innovative concepts.

In principle, for such short range applications the choice of frequency range is quite wide. There is a broad balance between the complexity of technology, antenna performance and size, propagation considerations - notably diffraction, and power requirements. The choice needs to take account of existing spectrum users. Tools are needed to evaluate the capacity of the spectrum, to assess the effectiveness of developing applications, and to manage the interference environment.