Wednesday, 28 February 2007

TelecomView Report Identifies How Smart Radio Technology will Multiply the Digital Dividend

SAN FRANCISCO, BUSINESS WIRE -- Regulators globally are grappling with the Digital Dividend as analog TV services are replaced by digital. Should they allocate the spectrum for new uses or let smart radio technology shape the market? These questions are addressed by TelecomView's new report Smart Radio Technology-and the Digital Dividend.

"The Digital Dividend will create significant opportunities for both licensed and license exempt applications," stated Ian Cox, Principal Analyst at TelecomView and author of the report. "Bringing Smart Radio technology into the mix will maximize the traffic that this spectrum can carry and create new license exempt opportunities for wireless ISPs and metro deployments."

The report discusses plans for switching off analog TV in the UHF spectrum along with the new capabilities that Smart Radio technology brings. Smart radio technology include both centralized systems where GPS based location services are used to identify locally available spectrum as well as self learning techniques that allow the radio to adapt to local conditions. The report describes the regulatory issues that all of this presents and describes the significant benefits that may ensue. "The superior ability of this UHF spectrum to penetrate structures can create a quite positive business cases for a variety of wireless services," stated Bob Larribeau Principal Analyst at TelecomView. "Our previous reports Broadband Strategies for the Fixed Market and Investing in Mobile TV identified these benefits in detail."

This 16 page report addresses these issues and provides the information and analysis that wireless operators, and system suppliers need to prepare for the opportunities that these changes will bring.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Information Society - Radio Spectrum Policy - home page

Wireless communications is one of Europe’s most dynamic technology sectors and underpins European society in areas as diverse as transport, security and environmental protection. The entire industry relies on radio spectrum – a ‘raw material’ in short supply.

The development of radio spectrum policy in the Community is based on the Radio Spectrum Decision 676/2002/EC and contributes to the implementation of the eCommunications regulatory framework. It includes co-ordinating and supporting the radio spectrum needs of EU policies and initiatives in such sectors as communications, R&D and broadcasting.

EU endorses flexible frequency use

The EU has released a policy document calling for frequencies to be allocated with no restriction put on what they can be used for.

"Europe must fully exploit the potential use of certain spectrum bands by new wireless products and services, so as to encourage market development," EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding said, as Brussels unleashed the document, catchily entitled Rapid access to spectrum for wireless electronic communication services though more flexibility.

Initial set of frequency bands under investigation
for the implementation of more flexibility

(1350 MHz in total)

• 470-862 MHz: the band is used for broadcasting today, but issues arising from the digital dividend as well as convergence of broadcasting and mobile services call for action;
• 880-915 MHz / 925-960 MHz as well as 1710-1785 MHz / 1805-1880 MHz: these bands
are used for GSM mobile services today, but issues surrounding the introduction of 3rd generation mobile services and the continuing restrictions in the GSM Directive call for action;
• 1900-1980 MHz / 2010-2025 MHz / 2110-2170 MHz; these bands are used for 3rd
generation mobile services (IMT-2000/UMTS) today, but market developments point
towards the introduction of broadcasting type services as well as broadband connections in residential and rural areas in the light of convergence;
• 2500-2690 MHz (the 2.6 GHz band); this band (still to be licensed) is intended for use by 3rd generation mobile services (IMT-2000/UMTS), but it is of equal interest for the provision of broadband using other technologies such as WiMAX;
• 3.4-3.8 GHz: this band is used for broadband connections to the customer’s premises, but there is of equal interest for the provision of mobile services within the EU. However, it is also intensively used for satellite communications within Russia and a number of African countries.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

EC plans to relax spectrum regulation - ZDNet UK

Viviane Reding, information society and media commissioner, has introduced a plan for better use of radio spectrum. According to a new proposal filing, called a Communication, innovative mobile services are being held up by the reservation of spectrum for narrowly defined uses.

The Communication noted: "The ability to provide a combination of broadcasting, mobile and broadband offerings to the consumer in a wireless environment could be hampered if network operators are not treated equally with regard to their access to a specific spectrum band and to the authorisation conditions to which it is subject."

Under the proposal, the Commission will examine some bands where regulation can be removed and agree on rights and authorisation conditions to apply to those bands. The conditions are expected to be agreed this year.

The Commission will also put an end to the practice of reserving spectrum for a single purpose, such as mobile. Constraints on usage will remain, however, in order to prevent interference.

Reding said the regulatory environment will begin to loosen up but added that spectrum hunters might be in for a long wait. "We seek to provide new opportunities for industry through less restrictive regulatory conditions that strengthen competition and increase consumer choice. However, this is a gradual process which will not happen overnight," she said in a statement.

A new regulatory framework on spectrum management is expected to come into force across Europe in 2010.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

UMTS Forum Urges ITU to Back Harmonised 'Digital Dividend' for Frequencies Below 600 MHz

Industry body The UMTS Forum has urged the ITU to develop its new digital broadcasting plans so that the "digital dividend" following analogue television switch-off in the band 470-600 MHz is harmonised and made available for mobile services.

The Ofcom Digital Dividend Review (DDR) | Ofcom

Ofcom announced today the beginning of the Digital Dividend Review (DDR) - the project which will examine the options arising from the release of spectrum afforded by the digital switchover programme.

The airwaves – or radio spectrum – are a finite national asset. The five terrestrial television channels that currently broadcast in analogue (BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and five) use nearly half of the most valuable bands of spectrum below 1GHz.

Microsoft preps cognitive radio prototype for use with TV spectrum - Convergence -

Dell, HP, Google, and others want the FCC to sign off on letting consumer devices utilize the "white space.".

An informal coalition of technology companies, including Dell, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, and Philips Electronics, has asked the FCC to make unused portions of the TV broadcast spectrum available for unlicensed use by wireless devices.

XG1 - Commercial cognitive radio from Adapt4

"If you look at the entire RF frequency up to 100 Ghz, and take a snapshot at any given time, you'll see that only five to ten percent of it is being used. So there's 90 Ghz of available bandwidth." -- Ed Thomas, Former Chief Engr., FCC

Wireless Communications & Signal Processing

Cognitive Radio, Software-Defined Radio References

White space ok FCC

The FCC has released a report and proposed rule making in its 2004 proceeding dealing with the authorization of unlicensed devices to operate in the spectrum currently set aside for TV broadcasting.

Software-defined radio

A software-defined radio (SDR) system is a radio communication system which can tune to any frequency band and receive any modulation across a large frequency spectrum by means of a programmable hardware which is controlled by software.

SDR Forum

his new site was designed to provide you with more information and an easier way to access member's only material. If you are a member, click on the Members Only link at the bottom of the left side navigation area to create a login. If your organization is not a member of the Forum, click the Join the Forum tab to find out more information.

OET -- Cognitive Radio

The Commission has issued a Notice of Public Rulemaking regarding service rules for advanced wireless services (cognitive radio technologies). These technologies can enable a radio device and its antenna to adapt its spectrum use in response to its operating environment. The technology provides a variety of options for a radio device/antenna to identify available spectrum that is unusable under current conditions.

Radios Get Smart

Here’s why: widespread use of cognitive radios could make more efficient use of radio spectrum. Estimates of how much additional traffic the airwaves could hold vary, but by some accounts, less than 14 percent of radio spectrum is truly busy at any given time. That includes big chunks of spectrum that are assigned but that aren’t fully used. Prime among them are the upper ranges of the TV bands: channels 14 to 83, better known as ultrahigh frequency or UHF. In 2004, a study by the International Telecommunication Union, in Geneva, found that “many TV channels are unused over significant geographical areas” and concluded that “cognitive radio techniques appear to be a promising approach” for using spectrum more efficiently while avoiding interference with current operations.

IEEE 802.22 WRAN WG Website

The charter of IEEE 802.22, the Working Group on Wireless Regional Area Networks ("WRANs"), under the PAR approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board is to develop a standard for a cognitive radio-based PHY/MAC/air_interface for use by license-exempt devices on a non-interfering basis in spectrum that is allocated to the TV Broadcast Service.

IEEE 802.22

The IEEE 802.22 working group on Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN) is the youngest group of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN standards committee. Its project, formally called as Standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN) - Specific requirements - Part 22: Cognitive Wireless RAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications: Policies and procedures for operation in the TV Bands focuses on constructing a consistent, national fixed point-to-multipoint WRAN that will utilize UHF/VHF TV bands between 54 and 862 MHz. Specific TV channels as well as the guard bands of these channels are planned to be used for communication in IEEE 802.22.

ESRF Homepage

ESRF is the First International Technical Forum for the exchange of experiences in the implementation of the Intelligent Software Definable Radio, including Base Station and Mobile Station. Considering the newest development of the 3rd/4th Generation Mobile Communication systems, Wireless Multimedia Communication systems, Broadband Global Communication systems as well as Next Generation Wireless Access systems, ESRF aims to construct an open intelligent infrastructure with utmost software definable functions in delivering an innovative enhanced radio technology for the 21st century. This advanced radio solution will surely bring-up a revolution in the traditional Base Station technology and implementation.

Terms of Reference for ECC TG4: Implications of Digital Dividend


End-to-End Reconfigurability (E²R) — End-to-End Reconfigurability (E2R)

Phase 2 (E2R II) website! E2R is an Integrated Project (IP) of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission, addressing the core of the strategic objective "Mobile and wireless systems and platforms beyond 3G". E2R II is the second phase of the project, starting on 01.01.06.

Cognitive radio

The idea of Cognitive radio was first presented officially in an article by Joseph Mitola III and Gerald Q. Maguire, Jr. [1]. It was a novel approach in wireless communications that Mitola later described as:

The point in which wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs) and the related networks are sufficiently computationally intelligent about radio resources and related computer-to-computer communications to detect user communications needs as a function of use context, and to provide radio resources and wireless services most appropriate to those needs.[2]

It was thought of as an ideal goal towards which a software-defined radio platform should evolve: a fully reconfigurable wireless black-box that automatically changes its communication variables in response to network and user demands.