Thursday, July 20, 2006

VisionMobile: A Peek into Radio Spectrum Economics

George Sarmonikas at VisionMobile posts a very detailed look at the "economics of the radio spectrum, such as auctions, spectrum allocation and regulation." Sarmonikas discusses the various auction processes and types, and new technologies that can utilize radio spectrum more efficiently. On the topic of cognitive radio, he writes:

Future radio systems should be able to sense the radio spectrum and adapt their service to the spectrum which is least utilised. This requires the development of smart radios or radios that are defined by software. Spectrum sensing radios or “cognitive radios” that adapt their transmit/receive parameters and access spectrum dynamically will decrease interference and allow wireless coexistence. A step closer to the development of a commercial cognitive radio is Vanu which is pioneering in the area of software defined radios. Is there an expiry date for radio spectrum regulation?

4G radio systems that might be deployed in the 2015 - 2020 timeframe are probably going to use software cognitive radio technology in order to achieve wireless convergence and coexistence. But, if cognitive radios are going to be used in the future, is there a need for spectrum allocation and auctioning? Is there going to be a “peaceful” coexistence between the radio systems sharing the same spectrum or chaos will emerge in the radio world?
Sarmonikas concludes with:
Whatever the future holds, ITU should allow the usage of cognitive radios but apply rules on spectrum usage to avoid a chaotic wireless coexistence that might hinder the development and adoption of future ubiquitous wireless broadband services.