Software Tool for Assessing the Viability of Secondary System Deployments in Whitespace Spectrum Access Scenarios
7 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2012 Last revised: 3 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 2, 2012
The increasing demand for wireless capacity has led to a depletion of unallocated spectrum resources in the popular sub-3 GHz frequency bands. In order to overcome this spectrum scarcity, various secondary spectrum access policies have been proposed. Especially for UHF bands where spectrum usage of the incumbent broadcasting system is comparably static, a move towards granting access on a non-interfering basis seems to be a plausible step. Regulators, governments, and industry alike are currently working on technically feasible and economically viable solutions for opening up more potential spectrum whitespaces.
In order to allow coexistence between wireless systems in shared frequency bands, the effect of interference from secondary transmitters to primary receivers needs to be evaluated. Besides active practical testing which is conducted in large-scale field tests, regulatory policies are currently being developed that define rules for maximum power emission and minimum separation distances of secondary device installations. The most prominent example of such legislation is the TV whitespace ruling in the US, but other countries are catching up with scenario-dependent proposals. While the proposed rulings are still under evaluation, concerns have been raised as to whether they will scale for entire secondary systems with hundreds to thousands of deployed devices. Evaluation here is still in its infancy, as it encompasses a complex techno-economical eco-system with a large number of unknowns.
To our understanding, the envisioned coexistence scenarios of primary and secondary systems need to be analyzed in a holistic manner. Only by jointly studying the technical, economic, and social effects of secondary deployments within potential whitespaces, can the real threats and potential of such deployments be revealed. In this demonstration we present a software tool that, for the first time, supports such studies by combining primary and secondary technology models, application of different regulatory rules, and derivation of key performance indicators. Information generated by our tool may subsequently be used for in-depth studies on the fitness of proposed whitespace policies, feasibility of technical implementation, and business aspects of secondary system deployments. Our tool deliberately goes beyond simple whitespace availability studies by providing extensive analysis opportunities and building on a large-scale primary spectrum usage database. This demonstration aims at raising awareness of the complexity of the required studies and presents a novel methodology that may be used for the necessary evaluations. As such, our tool can be of benefit to regulators, researchers, and industry in assessing the utility of secondary spectrum access.
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