Advocacy Agenda - Innovation & Competition

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2.1 Government Strategic Investment

The Forum advocates for government strategic investment of joint research and development between industry and academia; in particular to address industry needs identified in the Wireless Innovation Forum’s ten most wanted innovations list10. The Wireless Innovation Forum’s Top 10 list (cover at right) identifies major technical, business or regulatory innovations required for future generations of wireless devices. The Forum believes these innovations, would address various shortcomings in existing wireless communications from the point of view of the different stakeholders in the wireless industry value-chain. Key stakeholders include users, radio and platform manufacturers, software and hardware component providers, operators and service providers, as well as spectrum regulators.

2.2 Spectrum Test Beds and Test Cities

The Forum advocates for the establishment and utilization of real world Spectrum Test Beds and Test Cities to mature and validate Cognitive Radio and Network technologies. Industry and academia have been researching techniques that could conceivably improve spectrum efficiency through improved sharing techniques; however, experimentation with these technologies is difficult given the need to protect incumbent operations. In many situations, critical services are using this spectrum and any disruption in service could cause significant harm.

Test-Beds provide an environment in which new technologies can be evaluated to prove their efficacy in improving spectrum utilization. In order to achieve this objective, the Test-Bed should focus specifically on (1) the capabilities of cognitive radios, (2) ways to reliably identify harmful interference, (3) measuring spectrum efficiency, (4) determining ways to increase spectrum efficiency, and (5) investigation of new efficient technologies as well as (6) the potential value to the economy and society. In addition, Test-Bed experiments must be executed in a controlled and repeatable manner in order to reliably detect and report incidents of harmful interference and avoid conflicts between simultaneous uncoordinated experiments. If done properly, these experiments could lead to improved spectrum sharing mechanisms that enhance interference avoidance capabilities while enabling increased spectrum efficiency.11 The Forum advocates government sponsorship and funding be made available to facilitate real world Spectrum test beds and overcome existing barriers to spectrum sharing by adjacent and co-channel incumbent spectrum holders.

The Forum advocates Test-Bed concept should allow for the progression from testing in a controlled environment to trial deployments in a “real-world” trial environment that more closely aligns with the intended deployment area and target market. The Forum advocates the development of Corporative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) to support industry and academic participation in development and deployment of Test-Beds. This approach would provide opportunities for wireless system and applications developers to trial and assess the capabilities of their innovative technologies in more complex environments e.g. a Test City. By adopting this two stage approach, the Forum believes the gaps between experimental development and the release of a new market offering can be narrowed by comprehensively addressing the technical hurdles that need to be overcome thereby reducing the time to market. In addition, the Test City approach would help increase market and investor confidence and serve as a valuable innovation showcase for wireless communications technologies and companies.

2.3 Experimental Spectrum Licenses

The Forum advocates for easy access to experimental spectrum licenses for industry and academia. Experiments, including test-beds are necessary part of the innovative environment to develop multiband, cognitive radios and DSA technologies to improve spectral efficiency. It is critical to experiment with a wide variety of technologies in order to maximize this promise. To allow this, industry and academia should be provided the maximum flexibility to engage in a wide variety of experiments. Experimental licenses are necessary for spectrum experiments to protect licensees from interference. However, mechanisms are necessary to ensure experimental licenses are issued quickly and are flexible to accommodate unique situations that will arise when experimenting with agile multi-band, cognitive radio and dynamic spectrum access technologies.

2.4 Minimizing Regulatory Barriers

The Forum advocates for minimizing regulatory barriers to entry and promotes technological innovation enabling incumbents and entrepreneurs to pursue new business opportunities throughout the wireless value chain. Modern flexible, market-based regulatory policies can overlay existing licensing schemes to further enable innovative technologies. Such technologies enable innovative flexible frameworks that can apply across multiple bands and wireless services.

Traditional international and domestic regulatory frameworks govern access to RF spectrum based on "static" frequency allocations and assignments. The Forum advocates establishment of new, “dynamic” rules authorizing advanced wireless devices and systems to operate across a wide swath of frequency bands on a temporary, cooperative or opportunistic basis depending on the nature and characteristics of the existing authorized systems. Examples of such frameworks are given in Innovation #10 of the Wireless Innovation Forum’s Top Ten Innovations.12  


10 Top 10 Most Wanted Wireless Innovations – 2013, WINNF-11-P-0014-V2.0.0

11 Comments of the Software Defined Radio Forum, Creation of a Spectrum Sharing Innovation Test-Bed, ET Docket No. 06-89 (2006);

12 Top 10 Most Wanted Wireless Innovations – 2013


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WINNF Advocacy Agenda WINNF-R-12-0007-V1.0.0

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