The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) has released a report on automated frequency coordination, highlighting the need for technological solutions to handle the increasing demand for wireless connectivity in a limited radio frequency spectrum and pointing to “emerging technological advances” – including some being developed right now at Lime Microsystems.
“While spectrum database coordination is nothing new,” the DSA explains by way of introducing is report, “it has in recent years evolved from manual, to automated, to dynamic – adding automation and propagation modelling to static licensing data. This evolution has generally progressed from the manual, database-informed coordination of fixed links and satellite earth stations; to database-assisted coordination of point-to-point links on a semi-automated basis (e.g., in the 70/80/90 GHz bands); to the fully-automated frequency coordination of unlicensed sharing of vacant TV channels (TV White Space); to, most recently, the dynamic coordination of a three-tier hierarchy of sharing by Spectrum Access System databases across the 3550-3700 MHz band with U.S. Navy radar (the Citizens Broadband Radio Service).
“Regulators now have the models and technologies needed to authorise automated frequency coordination (AFC) systems that best fit the NRA’s [national regulatory authority’s] policy goal, which will vary depending on the nature of the incumbent service, the propagation characteristics and size of the band, the nature of the shared-access use, and other factors. In all cases the grant provided by the AFC is the equivalent to a time-bounded authorisation (or licence) to transmit.”
As well as discussing current and proposed systems from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and UK Ofcom regulators, the report discusses “emerging technological advances” designed to amplify the benefits of automated frequency coordination: “the incorporation of more detailed, real-world GIS data (e.g., terrain, clutter, building heights and materials); real-time spectrum sensing data; the growing sophistication of propagation and interference modelling; value-added, cloud-based database services; and the potential to combine blockchain technology with dynamic database coordination.”
These technological advances are perfectly demonstrated in the Lime Microsystems’ LimeSCAN initiative: The use of low-cost open-hardware LimeSDR and recently-launched LimeNET Micro devices to crowd-source spectrum usage data at an incredibly low cost and with plug-and-play simplicity. Once sourced, the open data can be used to plan out deployment of LimeNET-powered base stations like the LimeNET CrowdCell recently demonstrated during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 event as part of a cross-vendor Telecom Infra Project (TIP) live network.
The full report is available now, in PDF format, from the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance.