ITU Experts Explore Ways Forward in Dynamic Spectrum Usage
Published on: 25th Jan 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Key industry players regulators operators manufacturers and research institutions gathered in Geneva at an ITU Workshop on White Spaces and Cognitive Radio Systems (CRS).
'White Spaces' refer to radiofrequencies which may be used at given times and locations without causing harmful interference to, or claiming protection from, incumbent radio services. CRS refer to a radio system capable of obtaining knowledge on its environment and dynamically adjusting its operational parameters accordingly in order to operate without causing harmful interference.
The conference concluded that the current international regulatory framework can accommodate cognitive radio systems, without being changed. The development of these systems, such as TV white spaces, is therefore in essence in the hands of national regulators in each country. Regulators will depend on best practices, which are currently being studied by ITU Radiocommunication Study Groups 1, 5 and 6. ITU fully supports the use of spectrum through sharing arrangements with existing services to promote more efficient use of spectrum while protecting other services, hence providing long-term assurance for investments in radiocommunication systems.
ITU-R Study Group 1 (responsible for Spectrum Management studies) is expected to provide a Report on best practices in Spectrum management for cognitive radio systems by mid-2014. Discussions in the Workshop highlighted the need for these best practices to address the coordination of geo-location databases in border areas; the co-existence between licensed and unlicensed uses in the same spectrum; equipment type approval and market surveillance; and the means of monitoring and resolving cases of harmful interference that may arise from unlicensed uses of spectrum into licensed ones.
"The global management of spectrum, in an impartial manner, remains one of the critical functions of ITU," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. "ITU Member States have entrusted us with this mandate which will become even more significant as we prepare for an exponential growth in data and connected devices. ITU will continue to work with all members and stakeholders to ensure an equitable and effective management of this precious global resource."
Several workshops on this issue will be organized by ITU to promote collaborative and open discussions in the coming months.
"This workshop and future discussions on this issue in ITU will help in achieving a better understanding of what is to be expected for cognitive systems, such as those using TV white spaces and assist ITU in studying and promoting best practices in this regard and enable cognitive radio systems to develop in a sustainable way, in harmony with other systems using the same spectrum," said Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau.
"ITU continues its unique role through dialogue between industry players and member administrations to create an enabling environment for telecommunications broadband access through more efficient spectrum usage," said Mr Sergey Pastukh, Chairman, ITU-R Study Group 1.