Professor Nathan Gomes

Honorary Professor of Optical Fibre Communications
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Professor Nathan Gomes


Nathan Gomes received a BSc (Eng) Honours degree from the University of Sussex in 1984 and a PhD from University College, London in 1988, both in Electronic Engineering. His PhD research involved the investigation of optically delivering the local oscillator to microwave diode mixers. He was awarded a European Science Exchange Programme Fellowship by the Royal Society and spent one year at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications, Paris. Since the end of 1989 he has been at the University of Kent where he is now a Professor of Optical Fibre Communications.

Professor Gomes leads a research team particularly focussed in the areas of fronthaul networks and radio over fibre communications.  He publishes regularly in highly respected international journals such as OSA/IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology, OSA/IEEE Journal of Optical Communications and Networks, IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications, and has consistently attracted European and UK research funding.  He has collaborated with industry, including companies such as Orange, BT, ADVA Optical Networking, VIAVI, in a number of these projects.  Professor Gomes and members of his team have attended IEEE standards body meetings, and he is the UK-nominated expert to the IEC standards Working Group 6 on radio over fibre technologies.

Professor Gomes is an Academic Accreditor for the IET.

Research interests

Professor Gomes’s research interests are specifically in the area of the convergence between optical fibre access networks and new and emerging wireless and mobile communication systems.  This area comprises work on what is now often termed the “xhaul” or new fronthaul and middle haul of 5G and beyond mobile systems, and includes both analogue and digital radio over fibre systems.  More generally, he has led work in the areas of microwave photonics and optical communications.

During the 2000s, Professor Gomes led the University of Kent contributions to the international Atacama Large Millimeter Array radio telescope project.  This involved the development of a precision frequency source using an optical comb generator, the definition of the transport of the synchronization signals to the multiple radio telescopes over an optical distribution network, taking into account polarization drift effects, and the mitigation of polarization effects due to antenna cable wraps.  He also led the University involvement in EU Networks of Excellence in radio over fibre technology (NEFERTITI and ISIS).

In the EU FUTON project, he led the radio over fibre systems work package and was deputy technical manager.  This project was the first to demonstrate distributed MIMO/coordinated Multipoint using a radio over fibre distribution network and outlined many of the concepts of what was later termed the cloud Radio Access Network.  More recently, in the EU-Japan project RAPID-5G, distributed MIMO over a radio over fibre distribution network has been demonstrated at millimetre-wave frequencies.

Professor Gomes was the coordinator and technical leader of the EU Horizon 2020 iCIRRUS  and UK EPSRC NIRVANA projects, which pioneered the proposals for the use of Ethernet in new digital fronthaul architectures.  The testbed developed through these projects is being used in follow-on projects, such as the EU-China 5G project 5G-DRIVE.


  • Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  • Fellow Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET)
  • Senior Member Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (SMIEE)
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