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Jun 18, 2010

Cognitive Radio: half empty or half full?

Half empty or half full?At the begining of this year I started writing this blog for two basic reasons: first I needed a place where I could put all the information somehow related to my research that doesn't fit into my thesis. The second reason is that I wanted to keep track of the change that is happening on how spectrum is organized.

In this regard we have already seen huge steps towards an open spectrum policy: the tv-band access regulation in the US, the first trials in Wilmington, the first steps towards its regulation in Europe and Cognitive Radio is slowly becoming a mature field in terms of research effort.

However, not all is smooth in this process. Anand Sarwate posted recently in his blog An Ergodic Walk about his experiences at the CTW 2010. He is somehow pessimistic about the current regulations on Cognitive Radio:
As things stand now, it’s unclear how much additional capacity is available in the TV bands, given the current requirements for operating there.

I completely agree with him in this point. With the current regulations, if secondary nodes would rely only on sensing the obtained gain would not even get close to the promised cognitive radio benefits. In my opinion the current regulations are too oriented to geolocated devices, which must access the tv-band occupancy databases prior to carry out any transmission.

Also looking around the blogs I found this post by James Neel. He attended the by Wireless Innovation Forum TV White Spaces Summit. One of the speakers was Meredith Attwell Baker, Commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He pointed out that is taking too long to have an adequate regulation. In his view the current state of the things is impeding manufacturers to bring out their products. Moreover, other countries have the opportunity to move on on their regulations and thus reduce the competitive advantage the US had until now.

However I want to finish this post with something that made me smile. Nokia Research Center released recently an animated video explaining what is Cognitive Radio for the non-specialist people:

Cognitive radio view by Nokia

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