Companies Try to Create Room on Radio Spectrum
W4KRL at dcm-va.com
Mon Jun 11 22:58:37 CDT 2012
Cellphone carriers like AT&T and Verizon say they are worried about running
out of the radio spectrum that carries wireless calls and data, and they
want the government to give them more chunks of it. But a number of
companies are developing technology that could change the whole spectrum
game by using radio frequencies more efficiently.
Their efforts are getting a powerful endorsement. A presidential advisory
committee, which includes executives from Google and Microsoft, plans to
present a report this month that explores ways in which computerized radio
technologies could make better use of spectrum.
In a presentation last month, the committee said the technologies would
allow federal agencies and other organizations to share the spectrum bands
they control with the carriers, and could potentially improve efficiency by
a factor of 40,000. [!!!!]
One technology addressed by the report is called cognitive radio, in which
cellphones scan for available frequencies and choose the best one to use.
For example, if the government has reserved some spectrum for use at an Air
Force bombing range, but no bombing is happening on a particular day,
cognitive radio could allow a phone to sense the open channel and switch to
A Florida-based company, xG Technology, developed a version of cognitive
radio for the Army that allows communication on military bases. Its
technology scans for open channels and clears up interference on busy
channels so more people can use them.
Cellphone carriers have been warning the government about a looming
"spectrum crisis" - a situation in which the rising demand for wireless data
will eventually exhaust their resources. This, they say, could slow mobile
devices and stifle the economy. But the report suggests that spectrum
constraints could be resolved if the government were to push carriers to
embrace technologies that provide greater efficiency.
Other companies in this industry include Shared Spectrum, which has also
developed cognitive radio systems for the Defense Department, and Cognitive
Radio Technologies, which is working to commercialize technology developed
at Virginia Tech.
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