08 luglio 2010

IEEE, gestione opportunistica dello spettro RF

La rivista Spectrum della IEEE, associazione ingegneristica americana, si occupa di radio cognitiva e gestione intelligente delle risorse dello spettro radio in un articolo intitolato "Free the Radio Spectrum". Per gli autori dell'articolo è arrivato il tempo dell'assegnamento "opportunistico" delle radiofrequenze

Free the Radio Spectrum

Antiquated regulations have made radio spectrum artificially scarce. Rethinking the way we manage the airwaves could open up vast amounts of bandwidth


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the government entity that manages the commercial and public radio spectrum in the United States, has proposed making 500 megahertz of spectrum available for broadband within the next 10 years of which 300 MHz between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz will likely be made available for mobile use within five years. The extra bandwidth, recaptured from broadcasters after the digital television transition, is certainly needed, given that AT&T reports that its mobile broadband traffic has increased 5000 percent over the last three years and that other carriers have also seen significant growth. However, under the current approach to allocating spectrum, this 500 MHz will do little to ease the looming spectrum crunch.
It’s time to rethink the way we allocate spectrum. Under current regulations, spectrum real estate is valuable but exclusive. In the past, that exclusivity was the only way to prevent multiple users from interfering with each other. But advances in radio technology means that today such exclusivity is no longer necessary; instead, it creates false scarcity. So we must change our decades-old approach to managing the public airwaves. These regulations must be updated to reflect the technological realities of smart radios.
Policy allowing these new radios, tagged Opportunistic Spectrum Access (OSA), would give birth to a new generation of connectivity. With smart radios, unlicensed devices could share the same bandwidth as licensed users, finding unused frequencies in real time and filling in during the milliseconds when licensed users are not using their bands. In essence, they would work the same way as today’s iTrip or many home wireless phones, which scan a number of different channels and choose the one with the least interference.

About the Authors
James Losey is a program associate with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative. Most recently he has published articles in Slate as well as resources on federal broadband stimulus opportunities and analyses of the National Broadband Plan.
Sascha Meinrath is the director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative and has been described as a community Internet pioneer and an entrepreneurial visionary. He is a well-known expert on community wireless networks, municipal broadband, and telecommunications policy and was the 2009 recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award for excellence in public interest advocacy.

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