Monday, August 16, 2010

Andrew Seybold helps validate Intelligent Spectrum Management using TV White Spaces

In a recently released whitepaper, Andrew Seybold, a leading authority on technology and trends shaping the world of wireless mobility, discusses his views on the availability of additional spectrum for wireless broadband communications. The whitepaper provides insights on the total addressable market for Intelligent Spectrum Management, which utilizes databases to manage spectrum sharing technologies for both licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

Using a database approach to assign devices to particular frequencies “makes a lot of sense” says Seybold. Rather than additional technology having to be built into each new radio, “the system relies on database technology that can track spectrum in a given area and assign spectrum for systems that require communications on an as-needed basis.” This is the very same approach that Spectrum Bridge is currently demonstrating in three separate experimental trials in the U.S. utilizing unlicensed TV White Spaces spectrum.

As stated in the Rysavy Research Industry Report, the demand for spectrum will soon exceed network capacity for wireless carriers. Seybold reiterates this view stating “the wide-area networks will not be able to meet the demand of the coming years.” However, he believes that TV White Spaces can be used to help alleviate and off-set some of the network traffic, “This new spectrum provides the ideal platform for longer-range, but still local, wireless broadband services and will be used for bridging gaps between wired, cable, and fiber connections and locations that cannot be economically served by either wide-area or Wi-Fi systems.” In addition to alleviating network traffic, TV White Spaces can help to provide additional services to unserved and underserved communities, supporting the FCC National Broadband Plan to provide rural America with broadband access.

What appears to be most intriguing is that the central database approach to spectrum management goes above and beyond the TV White Spaces by using database architecture that can essentially evolve to support both unlicensed and licensed spectrum. For more information about Spectrum Bridge and multiple spectrum sharing technologies, click here.

-Christian Duffus

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spectrum Sharing Through Databases

A recent paper written by a group of Stanford engineers explores the idea of "stitching together" all available wireless networks, allowing users to move freely between spectrum and networks owned by different cellular and WiFi providers, helping to improve the efficiency of unused spectrum. This approach would enable companies to "share" spectrum from other providers and reroute their traffic load during peak hours, making their network more efficient.

Many of the concepts are closer to reality than the paper suggests. In fact, Spectrum Bridge has developed multiple spectrum sharing technologies and solutions based on existing and upcoming FCC regulations. Our creation of a proprietary TV White Spaces Database, allowing anyone to locate available White Spaces, demonstrates the concept of spectrum sharing through the use of a database. We expect the FCC to complete the rule making on White Spaces this year, and products and services based on this concept will quickly enter the marketplace.

In partnership with WISPA, and the wireless industry, we developed the UDIA database, another example of spectrum sharing. This solution identifies potential device interference with Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) in the 5 GHz band. By providing a way for network operators to "share the air", we have opened up the market for certified equipment use in the shared TDWR and UNII frequencies.

Universal Spectrum Access allows us to leverage the secondary market for spectrum and utilize dynamic spectrum databases to make bandwidth more widely available. By allowing multiple devices to operate in the same band, Spectrum Bridge is able to provide a more efficient spectrum sharing environment. For example, this database could allow two entities to share spectrum in a deterministic way - the first entity, a school could use the available spectrum for distance learning from 8 am to 4 pm on school days. The second entity, a utility company, could then utilize the same spectrum from 12 am to 2 am for remote meter readings, creating a more efficient utilization of spectrum.

Our solutions support many of the National Broadband Plan goals outlined by the FCC, and specifically address the Presidential Memorandum, "Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution", in which President Obama spoke to the need for the more efficient use of existing spectrum and advanced spectrum sharing technologies in order to expand wireless broadband access. As we continue to demonstrate the capabilities of our spectrum sharing technologies, we look forward to updating you on our findings. (To learn more about spectrum sharing, click here)

- Peter Stanforth, CTO