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Spectrum

Smart Radio Technology


Spectrum in the UHF bands is highly prized, because of its reach and capacity, for both broadcast and mobile applications. Analog terrestrial TV, digital terrestrial TV (DTT), along with 2G mobile services currently shares this spectrum and Mobile TV and other broadband wireless services would like to use it for optimum performance. Following analog TV switch off, which uses almost half the available UHF spectrum, we could see around 100MHz of it released for other uses. At the same time the so-called "white space" in spectrum allocations, up to a further 200MHz, which could be used for "secondary" applications, will also become available. This so-called Digital Dividend, also known more formally as the Spectrum Dividend, is exercising the minds of spectrum regulators around the world.
Smart radio technology, which includes Software Defined Radio (SDR), and Cognitive Radio (CR), could be used to enable wireless networks to share the "white space" spectrum. SDR and CR is the subject of standards work by the IEEE802.2 working group as well as the E2R group in Europe.
The Spectrum Dividend could therefore turn into a much larger opportunity for sharing spectrum between broadcast and mobile wireless applications, on an instantaneous basis, where every transaction is allocated spectrum (and pays for it) at the time of use, much as electricity is bought and sold today. The Spectrum Dividend, and the development of smart radio technologies, is moving in parallel in a similar timeframe, with the technology likely to be available after 2010, around the time when most countries will have UHF spectrum available for new services.

- Analog TV switch off offers a unique opportunity for regulators to adopt a new approach to spectrum licensing.

- Smart radio technology using Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Cognitive Radio (CR) will be available to use white space spectrum in the UHF band.

- See the Smart Radio Technology Topic for more.