A New Era in Spectrum Management and Wireless Technology Based on Spectrum Sharing

Jon M. Peha
Professor of EPP and ECE, and Associate Director of the Center for Wireless Broadband Networking
Carnegie Mellon University

According to conventional wisdom, we currently suffer from a shortage of spectrum. This supposedly limits our ability to introduce new wireless products and services such as ubiquitous broadband Internet access, limits our ability to make current systems like cellular telephony more common and less expensive, limits our ability to increase the data rates and ranges of existing products like wifi, and even limits our ability to provide firefighters, police, and paramedics with the communications systems they need to do their jobs. In actuality, if one measures spectrum utilization (as CMU students have), it is clear that much of the spectrum sits idle at any given time. One reason is that we often prevent interference between systems by giving each system exclusive access to a block of spectrum. Thus, whenever such a system is not transmitting, spectrum sits idle. In this project, we seek new methods that allow disparate wireless systems to share spectrum without causing excessive harmful interference to their neighbors. Our goal is to increase the amount of communications that can take place in a given amount of spectrum by orders of magnitude, which would lead to a revolution in wireless products and services. This project includes both purely technical research and policy research.

This work has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation, and by Intel.

Some sample papers:

More papers related to spectrum sharing are available at www.ece.cmu.edu/~peha/papers.html