What’s going on with dynamic spectrum access?

Here, I try to summarize lessons from IEEE DySPAN 2011. The conference provided a rare and valuable place where academic researchers, industry leaders, and influential regulators mingle and talk to each other.

In the last day of the conference, a panelist said “I was in DySPAN 2008 in Chicago, and researchers were blaming regulators (for being slow). Now, regulators are blaming researchers.” Of course this was a joke, but it really has a point. Personally I think it summarizes DySAPN 2011 quite well.

After some years of active discussions, some regulators (FCC and Ofcom in particular) want to make the dynamic spectrum access a reality in a near future. They want to open TV white spaces for secondary spectrum access as soon as possible, and also look into the possibilities of secondary access to other bands and even more than that. Some industry leaders such as Ericsson and Microsoft are ready to plunge into the world of dynamic spectrum access.

On the other hand, academic researchers still stay in ivory tower dealing with some imaginary concepts on imaginary systems. The importance of theoretical and conceptual work cannot be overestimated especially in an infant stage of an idea. However, there is a time when practical stuffs become equally important, and this is it.

Regulators and industry gave the same messages to researchers again and again during the conference:
– do not stop at half backed concepts,
– work on hard details as well,
– go beyond TV white spaces,
– be creative, but base yourself on reality.

Why don’t we accept them?

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