According to IEEE Xplore, in this year (2010), there are 845 IEEE papers titled with the words “cognitive radio,” out of which 145 are journal publications.
On the other hand, we have only 11 papers with “TV White Space” titles, in the whole IEEE conferences/journals of 2010. For IEEE 802.22, the number is 13.
I check with the year of 1996 (15 years back). There, we had 83 DS-CDMA papers, and 12 IS-95 papers.
Could anyone say something out of these numbers? First, we see there has been 10 times increase in the number of papers, even if the areas (DS-CDMA and Cognitive Radio) are different. The papers targeting practical systems are to be a smaller portion?
Wireless research community which we have understood, is well coupled with industry. Well, the researchers in 2010, are doing something else, where industry think those topics are still far way?
For the papers with “LTE” titles, these numbers are 306 (IEEE conference+journal) and 20 (IEEE journal), in 2010. How could we have 20 LTE (journal) papers, whereas there are 145 cognitive radio (journal) papers?
Well, there are always certain pet concepts that attract researchers – mainly because either they present (mathematical) challenges where we actual have the tools to handle them or are otherwise intriguing to the research community. If you look at some of the previous buzzwords, e.g. Tx Power Control, CDMA, MIMO are examples of concepts where we have neat mathematical tools, multihop networks and cognitive radio are intriguing – so many grad students write papers in these areas, regardless if they still are interesting to industry or not.
I agree with Jens. On the other hand, we probably remember when 3G evolves, wireless research community doesn’t seriously consider killer applicaitons, there was much debate over WCDMA vs. cdma2000, though. 3G deployment was delayed in most countries due to business reasons. In 2010, social networking and smartphones are out there hot in the market but in resarch communities seem to dig something else.
You are right, this is a problem. The academic system promote a behavior that you should keeps “digging where they stand” since in this way you get better at what you are doing, more papers published etc. So we will still see a lot of research in further refining PHY-layer schemes – even though the key challenges for industry now seem to lie in the networking and application domain. However, we now see that less and less funding goes in the traditional direction. Look at the FP7 program for instance – almost no funding is allocated to basic infrastructure research. It already now very difficult to find new funding for academic research in PHY layer issues as interest shifts to applications and future internet architectures. If you want to stay with the PHY layer stuff you need to go into areas like “Green radio” or the spectrum domain (e.g. “Cognitive radio”).