Whilst some new ideas are just evolutionary, some are revolutionary. The idea of being able to access wireless spectrum only when you need it represents a revolutionary shift in spectrum regulation.
This paradigm responds to the growing congestion of our radio spectrum, prompted by heavier usage of products like the iPad and content such as streaming video. This is the basis for what is termed ‘cognitive radio’ and we now see the first implementation of this in the cognitive use of the ‘white space’ spectrum vacated as television delivery moves from the old analogue to the new digital format.
Cambridge Consultants has been a pioneer in white space and cognitive radio. We were the first company to develop an operational wireless link in the Microsoft white space trial in Cambridge. Transmitting at 2Mb/s between our headquarters in the Science Park and the village of Cottenham we publicised this achievement by making the first tweet over white space. in addition, we have developed a database emulator that estimates how much white space is available in the UK.
We have also developed compelling spectrum sensing technology which will be a vital component of future cognitive radio solutions. Presently, white space is only approved by regulators such as the FCC in combination with databases to manage spectrum availability. In the future, when spectrum becomes less available still, real-time sensing technologies will be required.
As a method of spectrum access, white space spectrum is an enabler to product innovation rather than a technology in itself. The concept of a database to control spectrum allocation to a given user means that it is important to recognise the business opportunities that best fit this methodology. This use of ‘borrowed’ spectrum will lend itself well to the transfer of discontinuous data such as download of a video or for machine to machine (M2M.)
Cambridge Consultants can provide access to cognitive radio technology as well as impartial insight and technical evaluation of the efficacy of new cognitive radio concepts, helping to highlight the business models to embrace and which to avoid.
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