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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Johannes Kruys and Peter Anker

Spectrum regulations have major impact on the development and deployment of innovative technologies. Current regulations for license-exempt radio spectrum generally are given in…

Abstract

Purpose

Spectrum regulations have major impact on the development and deployment of innovative technologies. Current regulations for license-exempt radio spectrum generally are given in terms of technology-related criteria. This paper aims to propose a set of metrics that can be used to define technology-agnostic spectrum regulations which encourage rather than restrict technology innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds on and expands two other papers on regulatory criteria for license-exempt spectrum which define metrics for spectrum loading and spectrum sharing efficiency. Here, we add metrics for Block Edge Masks and for medium access adaptivity. This gives a complete toolset for the management of radio spectrum.

Findings

Because of the diversity of use of license-exempt spectrum, performance criteria must be formulated in terms that abstract from the details of equipment properties. Instead, they must be formulated in terms of spectrum utilization dimensions: RF power, time and frequency occupation. The result is a concise set of metrics that can be applied to the regulation or management of shared spectrum.

Research limitations/implications

The mathematics used in this paper deal with high-level parameters and may ignore factors that are important in certain cases and may require refinement.

Practical implications

The implications of the proposed metrics include an increase emphasis on the objectives of spectrum policy and on measures to assure efficient spectrum utilization both within frequency bands and between adjacent bands.

Social implications

There are no social implications the authors are aware of.

Originality/value

The originality of this work lies in recognizing that the extreme variety of devices and mode of operation deployed in license-exempt spectrum calls for spectrum management criteria that are technology agnostic.

Details

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5038

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Jan Kruys, Peter Anker and Roel Schiphorst

The purpose of this paper is to propose technology-independent metrics for measuring spectrum utilization efficiency and spectrum sharing which could prove useful in spectrum…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose technology-independent metrics for measuring spectrum utilization efficiency and spectrum sharing which could prove useful in spectrum management. Radio spectrum is considered a scarce resource. The rapid rise in all kinds of wireless devices emphasizes the need for spectrum usage efficiency and spectrum sharing. Notably in license exempt spectrum, the increased density of radio devices requires new methods of evaluating their performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors go back to the fundamentals of spectrum utilization and show that under high usage conditions, wireless network performance is interference limited. The impact of interference depends both on the environment and on the type of modulation used. The authors use these factors to derive the above metrics.

Findings

The main findings of this work are metrics for spectrum utilization and sharing that are technology-independent and therefore widely applicable, notably to license exempt spectrum. These metrics provide increased visibility of receiver performance in determining spectrum use. The authors also find that the capacity of a wireless network is for all practical purposes unlimited – provided the appropriate choices of the technical parameters are made, recognizing the impact of the propagation environment.

Research limitations/implications

Because the authors proceed from simplifying assumptions, detailed analysis and prediction of spectrum-sharing cases may require additional parameters to be added to the equations given.

Practical implications

The results of this work have potential application in spectrum management and in the development of regulatory requirements for license exempt spectrum.

Originality/value

New in this paper is the derivation of spectrum utilization and sharing metrics from first principles that allow different technologies to be compared. The authors also show that, given the right choice of technical parameters, the capacity of wireless networks is practically unlimited.

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Johannes Kruys, Peter Anker and Roel Schiphorst

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility to replace radio equipment compliance requirements based on equipment parameters with a set of simple metrics that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility to replace radio equipment compliance requirements based on equipment parameters with a set of simple metrics that accurately reflects spectrum utilization and spectrum-sharing efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is to go back to the basic factors that determine radio system behavior in a shared spectrum environment: radio frequency power, duty cycle and frequency occupation. By normalizing these parameters, device specificity is avoided and a statistical perspective on spectrum utilization and sharing becomes possible.

Findings

The analysis shows that two technology-neutral metrics would be adequate to govern spectrum utilization and sharing: a spectrum utilization metric and a spectrum-sharing efficiency metric. These metrics form the core of regulatory requirements for shared frequency bands. Each shared frequency band could be assigned criteria based on these metrics that take into account the types of applications for which that band will be used.

Research limitations/implications

This work is a first step that identifies the main factors that affect shared spectrum usage from a statistical point of view. More work is needed on the relationship between real-world interference and its abstraction in the spectrum-sharing rules.

Practical implications

The metrics proposed could be considered as the basis for a new approach to the regulation of the license-exempt spectrum, and, by extension, as the basis for generic compliance criteria. Their use would facilitate the compliance assessment of software-defined radio technology.

Social implications

This work has no direct social implications.

Originality/value

This paper combines new work on spectrum utilization criteria with extensions of previous work on spectrum-sharing efficiency into a comprehensive proposal for a new approach to the regulation of the license-exempt spectrum.

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