Showing posts with label IEEE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IEEE. Show all posts

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Wi-Fi 6 (a.k.a. 802.11ax) and other Wi-Fi enhancements

Last year I wrote about how Wi-Fi is getting new names. 802.11ax for example, the latest and greatest of the Wi-Fi standards is known as Wi-Fi 6. There were many announcements at MWC 2019 about WiFi 6, some of which I have captured here.

I came across a nice simple explanatory video explaining Wi-Fi 6 for non-technical people. Its embedded below.


The video is actually sponsored by Cisco and you can read more about Wi-Fi 6 and comparison of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G on their pages.

At MWC19, Cisco was showing Passpoint autoconnectivity on Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ or Note 9 device. According to their blog:

Together, we’re working to provide a better bridge between mobile and Wi-Fi networks. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we’ll show the first step in that journey. Anyone using a Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ or Note 9 device (and those lucky enough to have an early Galaxy S10) over the Cisco-powered guest wireless network will be able to seamlessly and securely connect – without any manual authentication. No portal, no typing in passwords, no picking SSIDs, no credit cards — just secure automatic connectivity.  How?  By using credentials already on your phone, like your operator SIM card.  Even if your operator doesn’t currently support Passpoint autoconnectivity, your Samsung smartphone will!  As a Samsung user, you already have an account for backups and device specific applications. This credential can also be used for a secure and seamless onboarding experience, supporting connectivity to enterprise, public and SP access networks.

It's worth mentioning here that the WPA2 authentication algorithm is being upgraded to WPA3 and we will see broad adoption this year, in conjunction with 802.11ax. See the tweet for details

Broadcom announced their new BCM43752, Dual-Band 802.11ax Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 5 Combo Chip. Motley Fool explains why this is interesting news:

The chip specialist is rounding out its Wi-Fi 6 portfolio to address lower price points.

When Samsung announced its Galaxy S10-series of premium smartphones, wireless chipmaker Broadcom announced, in tandem, that its latest BCM4375 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity combination chip is powering those new flagship smartphones. That chip was the company's first to support the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, which promises significant performance improvements over previous-generation Wi-Fi technology.

The BCM4375 is a high-end part aimed at premium smartphones, meaning that it's designed for maximum performance, but its cost structure (as well as final selling price) is designed for pricier devices that can handle relatively pricey chips.

Broadcom explains that the BCM43752 "significantly reduces smartphone bill of materials by integrating [radio frequency] components such as power amplifiers (PAs) and low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) into the device."

The idea here is simple: Since these components are integrated in the chip that smartphone makers are buying from Broadcom, those smartphone makers won't need to buy those components separately.

In the press release, Broadcom quoted Phil Solis, research director at the market research company IDC, as saying that this chip "reduced costs by going down to single core, 2X2 MIMO for Wi-Fi, integrating the PAs and LNAs, and offering flexible packaging options while keeping the same functionality as their flagship combo chip." 

Broadcom explains that this chip is targeted at "the broader smartphone market where high performance and total solution cost are equally important design decisions."

In addition to these, Intel showed a demo of Wi-Fi 6 at 6GHz. Most people are aware that Wi-Fi uses 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz & 60 GHz band. According to Wi-Fi Now:

So why is that important? Simply because 6 GHz Wi-Fi is likely the biggest opportunity in Wi-Fi in a generation – and because Intel’s demo shows that Wi-Fi chipset vendors are ready to pounce on it. The demonstration was a part of Intel’s elaborate Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) demonstration set at MWC.

“When this enhancement [meaning 6 GHz spectrum] to Wi-Fi 6 rolls out in the next couple of years, it has the potential to more than double the Wi-Fi spectrum with up to 4x more 160 MHz channel deployment options,” said Doron Tal, Intel’s General Manager Wireless Infrastructure Group, in his blog here. Doron Tal emphasises that the prospect of including 6 GHz bands in Wi-Fi for the time being realistically only applies to the US market.

Intel also says that a growing number of currently available PCs already support 160 MHz channels, making them capable of operating at gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. This means that consumers will get ‘a pleasant surprise’ in terms of speed if they invest in a Wi-Fi 6 home router already now, Intel says.

It may however take a while before US regulator FCC finally rules on allowing Wi-Fi to operate in the 6 GHz bands. Right now the FCC is reviewing dozens of response submissions following the issuing of the NPRM for unlicensed 6 GHz operation – and they will likely have their hands full for months while answering a litany of questions as to prospective new 6 GHz spectrum rules.

Also an important part of the 6 GHz story is the fact that the IEEE only weeks ago decided that – as far as the 802.11 standards are concerned – only Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) will be specified to operate in the 6 GHz band. That means 6 GHz will be pristine legacy-free territory for Wi-Fi 6 devices.

That brings us to the Wi-Fi evolution that will be coming after 802.11ax. IEEE 802.11 Extremely High Throughput (EHT) Study Group was formed late last year that will be working on defining the new 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7?) standards. See tweet below:

The interesting thing to note here is that the Wi-Fi spectrum will become flexible to operate from 1 GHz to 7.125 GHz. Of course the rules will be different in different parts of the world. It will also have to avoid interference with other existing technologies like cellular, etc.

According to Fierce Wireless, Huawei has completed a global deployment of its enterprise-class Wi-Fi 6 products under the new AirEngine brand. Speaking at the company’s Global Analyst Summit, Huawei said its Wi-Fi 6 products have been deployed on a large scale in five major regions worldwide.

Back at MWC, Huawei was showing off their Wi-Fi 6 enabled CPEs. See tweet below:

Huawei has many different enterprise networking products that are already supporting Wi-Fi 6 today. You can see the details along with whitepapers and application notes here. In addition, the Top 10 Wi-Fi 6 misconceptions are worth a read, available here.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Slides and Videos from the 1st 6G Wireless Summit - March 2019


The first 6G wireless summit was held in Levi ski resort, in beautiful Lapland. According to the report by University of Oulu, 287 participants from 28 different countries spanning all inhabited continents took part. According to the report:

At the Summit, the participants’ were asked to project themselves into the world in 2030, potentially very different from today. As professor Matti Latva-aho, the director of 6G Flagship at the University of Oulu, and the driving force behind the vision of global 6G, puts it: ”The vision for 2030 is that our society is data-driven, enabled by near-instant, unlimited connectivity. We will be facing a growing and ageing population, demands for increased productivity and the need to connect the billions who are not currently connected. We challenged all of the conference attendants, pressing them to consider this future world beyond 5G and the most essential aspects of 6G research -- a decade in advance.”

Peter Vetter, Head of the Access Research at Nokia Bell Labs and a Bell Labs Fellow, took on Latva-aho’s vision for the future. Vetter says that in the future, the network needs to be thought of as a platform that creates network instances for specific environments. Specialized uses can be easily imagined including hospitals, elderly care, traffic and power plants. At the heart of it all is enhancing the human condition, Vetter says. “6G is still ten years and longer out, and I think that this is a consensus among the 6G Summit participants. However, it is time to start the research right now, because it takes 10-20 years before a new innovation sees a commercial launch,” Vetter says.

For wireless revolution to happen, there needs to be a revolutionary communication technology, a revolutionary application of that technology and a whole ecosystem for continued innovation, says Dr. Wen Tong, Head of Wireless Research and Head of Communications Technologies Laboratories at Huawei. “Wireless as a field has plenty of room for innovation. We need a young generation of researchers and an environment that will sustain continued innovation. This is very important, as without the young generation of research leaders the sustainability of the ecosystem will become problematic,” Dr. Tong explains.

Takehiro Nakamura, SVP and General Manager of the 5G Laboratories in NTT DoCoMo brought up the requirements for many future use cases, such as low latency, reliability, massive connectivity etc. and made a point that most of these will be met with 5G. “Then, there will be new combinations of extreme requirements for specific use cases. We need to provide extreme high reliability for a guaranteed quality of service for industry, peak data rates of over 100 Gbps, gigabyte-rate coverage everywhere, and to have everything run at extreme low energy consumption and cost,” Nakamura says. As Nakamura sees it, the future will have high-quality, real-time VR and AR. Massive IoT for anything and anywhere, like satellites in space. Broadband for flying mobility, which will need high coverage and high reliability.

Qi Bi, President of China Telecom Technology Innovation Center and CTO of China Telecom Research Institute thinks that 6G could be a turning point and a real revolution from 5G also in other terms besides technological. Even if we don’t yet know what 6G will be, it is going to be based on past generations and some traits will be there, Dr. Bi says. As far as gauging 6G research today, Dr. Bi says that the Summit was a great event for percolating a lot of ideas.

Some of the hot topics in 5G and in 6G are machine learning and artificial intelligence. Head of Ericsson Research Magnus Frodigh is a big believer in the coming 5G evolution. As networks are Ericsson’s strong point, Frodigh says it will be very interesting to see what distributed AI is going to bring to the game.

You can read the complete report here.

All the slides that were shared, can be downloaded from here.

Finally, embedded below are the videos that have been made available.


Related posts:

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

LiFi can be a valuable tool for densification

LiFi has been popping up in the news recently. I blogged about it (as LED-Fi) 10 years back. While the concept has remained the same, many of the limitations associated with the technology has been overcome. One of the companies driving LiFi is Scottish startup called pureLiFi.


I heard Professor Harald Haas at IEEE Glasgow Summit speak about how many of the limitations of LiFi have been overcome in the last few years (see videos below). This is a welcome news as there is a tremendous amount of Visible Light Spectrum that is available for exploitation.


While many discussions on LiFi revolve round its use as access technology, I think the real potential lies in its use as backhaul for densification.

For 5G, when we are looking at small cells, every few hundred meters, probably on streetlights and lamp posts, there is a requirement for alternative backhaul to fiber. Its difficult to run fiber to each and every lamp post. Traditionally, this was solved by microwave solutions but another option available in 5G is Integrated Access and Backhauling (IAB) or Self-backhauling.


A better alternative could be to use LiFi for this backhauling between lamp posts or streetlights. This can help avoid complications with IAB when multiple nodes are close by and also any complications with the technology until it matures. This approach is of course being trialed but as the picture above shows, rural backhaul is just one option.
LiFi is being studied as part of IEEE 802.11bb group as well as its potential is being considered for 5G.

Here is a vieo playlist explaining LiFi technology in detail.




Further reading:

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Minimum Bandwidth Requirement for 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) Deployment

I was attending the IEEE 5G World Forum live-stream, courtesy of IEEE Tv and happen to hear Egil Gronstad, Senior Director of Technology Development and Strategy at T-Mobile USA. He said that they will be building a nationwide 5G network that will initially be based on 600 MHz band.


During the Q&A, Egil mentioned that because of the way the USA has different markets, on average they have 31 MHz of 600 MHz (Band 71). The minimum is 20 MHz and the maximum is 50 MHz.

So I started wondering how would they launch 4G & 5G in the same band for nationwide coverage? They have a good video on their 5G vision but that is of course probably going to come few years down the line.

In simple terms, they will first deploy what is known as Option 3 or EN-DC. If you want a quick refresher on different options, you may want to jump to my tutorial on this topic at 3G4G here.

The Master Node (recall dual connectivity for LTE, Release-12. See here) is an eNodeB. As with any LTE node, it can take bandwidths from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz. So the minimum bandwidth for LTE node is 1.4 MHz.

The Secondary Node is a gNodeB. Looking at 3GPP TS 38.101-1, Table 5.3.5-1 Channel bandwidths for each NR band, I can see that for band 71


NR band / SCS / UE Channel bandwidth
NR Band
SCS
kHz
5 MHz
101,2 MHz
152 MHz
202 MHz
252 MHz
30 MHz
40 MHz
50 MHz
60 MHz
80 MHz
90 MHz
100 MHz
n71
15
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes








30

Yes
Yes
Yes








60













The minimum bandwidth is 5MHz. Of course this is paired spectrum for FDD band but the point I am making here is that you need just 6.4 MHz minimum to be able to support the Non-Standalone 5G option.

I am sure you can guess that the speeds will not really be 5G speeds with this amount of bandwidth but I am looking forward to all these kind of complaints in the initial phase of 5G network rollout.

I dont know what bandwidths T-Mobile will be using but we will see at least 10MHz of NR in case where the total spectrum is 20 MHz and 20 MHz of NR where the total spectrum is 50 MHz.

If you look at the earlier requirements list, the number being thrown about for bandwidth was 100 MHz for below 6 GHz and up to 1 GHz bandwidth for spectrum above 6 GHz. Don't think there was a hard and fast requirement though.

Happy to hear your thoughts.

Friday, 1 June 2018

An Alternative 5G for Rural Communities


I recently presented my personal vision of an alternative 5G for rural communities on behalf of Parallel Wireless at the IEEE 5G Summit in Glasgow. I believe that the next few years are going to be crucial for MNOs to decide if they want to cover the rural areas or just continue to focus on built-up areas.

In some cases it may not really be worthwhile for example for a smaller operator to build a cellular IoT network as the returns may not be worth the effort and investment.

I should mention that the caveat is that a lot of alternative 5G approach in my presentation depends on at least one of the satellite megaconstellations being successfully deployed and being fully operational. I am assuming a sensible pricing would be in place anyway as the satellite operators cant keep charging whatever they want for ever.

So here is my alternative 5G vision


Slides (and pictures) are available here for anyone interested. For my slides, jump to page 244. Quite a few other good presentations on 5G too.

An article in EE times summarises this IEEE 5G conference quite well. Available here.



Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Wireless Smart Ubiquitous Network (Wi-SUN) - Another IoT Standard


While we have been discussing IoT these last few weeks, here is another one that I came across. This picture above from a recent Rethink research shows that Wi-SUN is going to enjoy more growth than LoRaWAN or Sigfox. Another recent report by Mobile Experts also makes a mention of this IoT technology.

I am sure most of the readers have not heard of Wi-SUN, so what exactly is Wi-SUN technology?


From Rethink Research, The Wi-SUN Alliance was formed in 2011 to form an organization to push adoption of the IEEE 802.15.4g standard, which aimed to improve utility networks using a narrowband wireless technology. The peer-to-peer self-healing mesh has moved from its initial grid focus to encompass smart city applications (especially street lighting), and we spoke to its Chairman, Phil Beecher, to learn more.

Beecher explained that the non-profit Alliance set about defining subsets of the open standards, testing for interoperability, and certifying compatible products, and soon developed both a Field Area Network (FAN) and a Home Area Network (HAN), which allowed it to move into Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) in Japan – a country that is leading the curve in HEMS deployments and developments.


As can be seen in the picture above:

  • Develops technical specifications of Physical Layer (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) layers, with Network layer as required
  • Develop Interoperability test programs to ensure implementations are interoperable
  • Physical layer specification is based on IEEE802.15.4g/4u/4v
  • MAC layer may use different options depending on the application
  • Profile specifications are categorized based on application types

Picture source for the last three pics, Wi-SUN presentation here.


A new whitepaper from Wi-SUN Alliance provides comparison of Wi-SUN, LoRaWAN and NB-IoT.

A recent presentation by Dr. Simon Dunkley in Cambridge Wireless is embedded below:



Further reading:



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

IEEE Globecom 2014 Keynote Video: 5G Wireless Goes Beyond Smartphones


Embedded below is a video from the keynote session by Dr. Wen Tong of Huawei. I do not have the latest presentation but an earlier one (6 months old) is also embedded below for reference. It will give you a good idea on the 5G research direction





You may also be interested in this other presentation from Huawei in IEEE Globecom 2014, 5G: From Research to Standardization (what, how, when)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

New Spectrum Usage Paradigms for 5G

Sometime back I wrote a post that talked about Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) techniques for Small Cells and WiFi to work together in a fair way. The Small Cells would be using the ISM bands and Wi-Fi AP's would also be contending for the same spectrum. For those who may not know, this is commonly referred to as LTE-U but the correct term that is being used in standards is LA-LTE, see here for details.

IEEE Comsoc has just published a whitepaper that details how the spectrum should be handled in 5G to make sure of efficient utilisation. The whitepaper covers the following:

Chapter 2 – Introduction, the traditional approach of repurposing spectrum and allocating it to Cellular Wireless systems is reaching its limits, at least below the 6GHz threshold. For this reason, novel approaches are required which are detailed in the sequel of this White Paper.

Chapter 3 - Spectrum Scarcity - an Alternate View provides a generic view on the spectrum scarcity issue and discusses key technologies which may help to alleviate the problem, including Dynamic Spectrum Management, Cognitive Radios, Cognitive Networks, Relaying, etc. 

Chapter 4 – mmWave Communications in 5G addresses a first key solution. While spectrum opportunities are running out at below 6 GHz, an abundance of spectrum is available in mmWave bands and the related technology is becoming mature. This chapter addresses in particular the heterogeneous approach in which legacy wireless systems are operated jointly with mmWave systems which allows to combine the advantages of both technologies. 

Chapter 5 – Dynamic Spectrum Access and Cognitive Radio: A Current Snapshot gives a detailed overview on state-of-the-art dynamic spectrum sharing technology and related standards activities. The approach is indeed complementary to the upper mmWave approach, the idea focuses on identifying unused spectrum in time, space and frequency. This technology is expected to substantially improve the usage efficiency of spectrum, in particular below the 6GHz range. 

Chapter 6 – Licensed Shared Access (LSA) enables coordinated sharing of spectrum for a given time period, a given geographic area and a given spectrum band under a license agreement. In contract to sporadic usage of spectrum on a secondary basis, the LSA approach will guarantee Quality-of-Service levels to both Incumbents and Spectrum Licensees. Also, a clear business model is available through a straightforward license transfer from relevant incumbents to licensees operating a Cellular Wireless network in the concerned frequency bands. 

Chapter 7 – Radio Environment Map details a technology which allows to gather the relevant (radio) context information which feed related decision making engines in the Network Infrastructure and/or Mobile Equipment. Indeed, tools for acquiring context information is critical for next generation Wireless Communication systems, since they are expected to be highly versatile and to constantly adapt. 

Chapter 8 – D2DWRAN: A 5G Network Proposal based on IEEE 802.22 and TVWS discusses the efficient exploitation of TV White Space spectrum bands building on the available IEEE 802.22 standard. TV White Spaces are indeed located in highly appealing spectrum bands below 1 GHz with propagation characteristics that are perfectly suited to the need of Wireless Communication systems. 

Chapter 9 – Conclusion presents some final thoughts. 

The paper is embedded as follows:



Monday, 3 June 2013

New Carrier Type (NCT) in Release-12 and Band 29

One of the changes being worked on and is already available in Release-11 is the Band 29. Band 29 is a special FDD band which only has a downlink component and no uplink component. The intention is that this band is available an an SCell (Secondary cell) in CA (Carrier Aggregation). 

What this means is that if this is only available as an SCell, any UE that is pre-Rel-11 should not try to use this band. It should not read the system information, reference information, etc. In fact the System Information serves little or no purpose as in CA, the PCell will provide the necessary information for this SCell when adding it using the RRC Reconfiguration message. This gives rise to what 3GPP terms as New Carrier Type for LTE as defined here. An IEEE paper published not long back is embedded below that also describes this feature in detail. 

The main thing to note from the IEEE paper is what they have shown as the unnecessary information being removed to make the carrier lean.

China Mobile, in their Rel-12 workshop presentation, have suggested 3 different types/possibilities for the NCT for what they call as LTE-Hi (Hi = Hotspot and Indoor).

Ericsson, in their Rel-12 whitepaper mention the following with regards to NCT:

Network energy efficiency is to a large extent an implementation issue. However, specific features of the LTE technical specifications may improve energy efficiency. This is especially true for higher-power macro sites, where a substantial part of the energy consumption of the cell site is directly or indirectly caused by the power amplifier.

The energy consumption of the power amplifiers currently available is far from proportional to the power-amplifier output power. On the contrary, the power amplifier consumes a non-negligible amount of energy even at low output power, for example when only limited control signaling is being transmitted within an “empty” cell.

Minimizing the transmission activity of such “always-on” signals is essential, as it allows base stations to turn off transmission circuitry when there is no data to transmit. Eliminating unnecessary transmissions also reduces interference, leading to improved data rates at low to medium load in both homogeneous as well as heterogeneous deployments.

A new carrier type is considered for Release 12 to address these issues. Part of the design has already taken place within 3GPP, with transmission of cell-specific reference signals being removed in four out of five sub frames. Network energy consumption can be further improved by enhancements to idle-mode support.

The IEEE paper I mentioned above is as follows:



Friday, 12 April 2013

Myths and Challenges in Future Wireless Access



Interesting article from the recent IEEE Comsoc magazine. Table 1 on page 5 is an interesting comparison of how different players reach the magical '1000x' capacity increase. Even though Huawei shows 100x, which may be more realistic, the industry is sticking with the 1000x figure. 

Qualcomm is touting a similar 1000x figure as I showed in a post earlier here.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

WiFi: Standards, Spectrum and Deployment

Yesterday, IEEE published its fourth revision to 802.11. The updates include faster throughput, improved cellular hand-offs, and better communication between vehicles in addition to other improvements.The following from IEEE website:

The new IEEE 802.11-2012 revision1 has been expanded significantly by supporting devices and networks that are faster, more secure, while offering improved Quality of Service and, improved cellular network hand-off. IEEE 802.11 standards, often referred to as “Wi-Fi®,” already underpin wireless networking applications around the world, such as wireless access to the Internet from offices, homes, airports, hotels, restaurants, trains and aircraft around the world. The standard’s relevance continues to expand with the emergence of new applications, such as the smart grid, which augments the facility for electricity generation, distribution, delivery and consumption with a two-way, end-to-end network for communications and control.

IEEE 802.11 defines one MAC and several PHY specifications for wireless connectivity for fixed, portable and mobile stations. IEEE 802.11-2012 is the fourth revision of the standard to be released since its initial publication in 1997. In addition to incorporating various technical updates and enhancements, IEEE 802.11-2012 consolidates 10 amendments to the base standard that were approved since IEEE 802.11’s last full revision, in 2007. IEEE 802.11n™, for example, defined MAC and PHY modifications to enable much higher throughputs, with a maximum of 600Mb/s; other amendments that have been incorporated into IEEE 802.11-2012 addressed direct-link setup, “fast roam,” radio resource measurement, operation in the 3650-3700MHz band, vehicular environments, mesh networking, security, broadcast/multicast and unicast data delivery, interworking with external networks and network management.

“The new IEEE 802.11 release is the product of an evolutionary process that has played out over five years and drawn on the expertise and efforts of hundreds of participants worldwide. More than 300 voters from a sweeping cross-section of global industry contributed to the new standard, which has roughly doubled in size since its last published revision,” said Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE 802.11 working group. “Every day, about two million products that contain IEEE 802.11-based technology for wireless communications are shipped around the world. Continuous enhancement of the standard has helped drive technical innovation and global market growth. And work on the next generation of IEEE 802.11 already has commenced with a variety of project goals including extensions that will increase the data rate by a factor of 10, improve audio/video delivery, increase range and decrease power consumption.”

1 IEEE 802.11™-2012 “Standard for Information technology--Telecommunications and information exchange between systems Local and metropolitan area networks--Specific requirements Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications”


The following is from a presentation by Agilent in LTE World Summit last year. It summarises the 802.11 standards, the Spectrum available and deployment use cases.







Thursday, 12 April 2012

Whitespaces Standards


Continuing on the same topic of whitespaces from yesterday, we try and see who is working on the standardisation of whitespaces

IETF Protocol to Access White Space database (PAWS)

The charter for this WG was established 14 June 2011. Generally, the IETF strives to utilise established protocols rather than develop new ones. The objecives of this WG are:
  • Standardise a mechanism for discovering a white space database
  • Standardise a mechanism for accessing a white space database
  • Standardise query and response formats to be carried over the database access method
  • Ensure that the discovery mechanism, database access method and query response formats have appropriate security levels in place.
The WG goals are:
  • April 2012 Submit ‘Use-cases and Requirements for Accessing a Radio White Space Database’ to the IESG for publication as Informational. The current draft of this document is here: http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-paws-problem-stmt-usecases-rqmts/
  • December 2012, Submit ‘Accessing a Radio White Space Database’ to the IESG for publication as a Proposed Standard.

ETSI Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS)


The ETSI Technical Committee (TC) on Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) has the responsibility for standardization activities related to Reconfigurable Radio Systems encompassing system solutions related to Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Cognitive Radio (CR), to collect and define the related Reconfigurable Radio Systems requirements from relevant stakeholders and to identify gaps, where existing ETSI standards do not fulfil the requirements, and suggest further standardization activities to fill those gaps.

IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks Standards Committee (DySPAN-SC)


The scope of the IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks Standards Committee (DySPAN-SC), which was formerly IEEE SCC41 until 2010, includes the following [1]:
  • dynamic spectrum access radio systems and networks with the focus on improved use of spectrum,
  • new techniques and methods of dynamic spectrum access including the management of radio transmission interference, and
  • coordination of wireless technologies including network management and information sharing amongst networks deploying different wireless technologies.
In December 2010 the IEEE SCC41 was re-organized as IEEE DySPAN-SC and its sponsor was changed from the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee (SCC) to the IEEE Communications Society Standards Development Board (CSDB).
Included in the IEEE DySPAN SC are following working groups[1]:
  • 1900.1 Working Group on Definitions and Concepts for Dynamic Spectrum Access: Terminology Relating to Emerging Wireless Networks, System Functionality, and Spectrum Management
  • 1900.2 Working Group on Recommended Practice for Interference and Coexistence Analysis of In-Band and Adjacent Band Interference and Coexistence Between Radio Systems
  • 1900.4 Working Group on Architectural Building Blocks Enabling Network-Device Distributed Decision Making for Optimized Radio Resource Usage in Heterogeneous Wireless Access Networks
  • 1900.5 Working Group on Policy Language and Policy Architectures for Managing Cognitive Radio for Dynamic Spectrum Access Applications
  • 1900.6 Working Group on Spectrum Sensing Interfaces and Data Structures for Dynamic Spectrum Access and other Advanced Radio Communication Systems
  •  P1900.7 White Space Radio Working Group: Radio Interface for White Space Dynamic Spectrum Access Radio Systems Supporting Fixed and Mobile Operation
  • Ad hoc group on Dynamic Spectrum Access in Vehicular Environments (DSA-VE)
DySPAN SC is currently one of the most active standardization bodies for dynamic spectrum access radio systems and networks. 


CEPT/ECC WG Spectrum Engineering (SE), project team SE43

The ECC WGSE (Spectrum Engineering) has set up a special project dealing with cognitive radio matters. The SE43 was set up in May 2009 and finished its work in January 2011 by completing the ECC Report “Technical and Operational Requirements for the Possible Operation of Cognitive Radio Systems in the ‘White Spaces’ of the Frequency Band 470-790 MHz”The WG SE adopted the ECC Report 159 on white space devices for publication, in January 2011. This report can be downloaded from the undefinedCEPT/ECC website.

The main focus of the report is, as the title suggest, on coexistence with incumbent or primary systems. It contains definitions of “White Space”, cognitive radio and introduces the term “White Space Device” – WSD. The latter being the term used for the cognitive radio unit. The definition of “White Space” is taken from CEPT Report 24 “Technical considerations regarding harmonisation options for the Digital Dividend “ The report defines different scenarios for CR operation in terms of WSD types (personal/portable, home/office and public access points) and also discusses the three well known types of cognitive techniques: spectrum sensing, geo-location and beacons.
The report is focussed on protection of four possible incumbent systems: broadcast systems (BS), Program making and special events (PMSE), radio astronomy (RAS) and aeronautical radio navigation systems (ARNS). Comprehensive data on possible sensing and separation distances are given, and ends in operational and technical characteristics for white spaces devices to operate in the band. An estimate of available white space is also included.


Wightless


Weightless operates in an 8MHz-wide channel, to fit into the slots used for broadcast TV (and will thus have to squeeze into 6MHz if used across the pond where TV is smaller). Weightless is a Time Division Duplex (TDD) protocol, so access point and clients take turns to transmit.

When the hub device checks with the national database, it supplies a location and receives a list of 8MHz slots which aren't being used to transmit TV in that location. Weightless will hop between available slots every second or so, skipping any which turn out to be too cluttered (though periodically checking back in case they've cleared).

Showing its M2M roots, a Weightless access point only pages connected devices every 15 minutes, so those devices only need power up the radio four times an hour. Neul reckons that running the radio for two seconds at such intervals results in power consumption roughly equal to the decay rate of an idle battery, so being connected (and idle) has no perceivable impact on battery life.

That means a single Weightless hub can run connections to hundreds devices, across a network spanning 10km or so. Those devices could easily have a battery life measured in years, and be capable of responding with megabytes of data within 15 minutes.

A device which wants to connect to the network won't want to wait that long, and neither will one with something to report. In such circumstances the client can pick up a transmitted frame, which comes every second or two, and register an interest in sending some data upstream.

The security side of Weightless has yet to be worked out, with mutual authentication being considered more important than encrypting the content. Having someone listening in to a meter reading isn't that important, having someone faking a reading is, and content can always be encrypted at a higher level (Weightless will happily carry IPv4 and IPv6 packets).

Once on the network, a device has to wait for the hub to say when it can talk, though it has the chance to request communication slots. The speed of transmission is dependent on the quality of the signal. Each frame is addressed in a basically encoded header; all other devices can switch off their radios once they know the frame isn't addressed to them, and if the receiving device is nearby (as established by the signal strength) then the rest of the frame can be tightly encoded in the knowledge that little will be lost en route.

That means a Weightless hub can speak to hundreds of devices on the same network, with the speed of connection varying between devices. A receiver near the hub might therefore get 10Mb/sec or better, but one operating on the same network, from the same hub, could be running at a few hundred Kb in the same timeframe.