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

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