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Microsoft Scheme Sniffs Out ­nused Wireless Spectrum


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Microsoft researchers have developed SpecNet, an architecture for measuring whether licensed radio frequencies are being used so that unlicensed devices can utilize the unused white space. The licensed portions of the radio spectrum currently prohibits unlicensed wireless devices from using those frequencies, even if they are unused. The researchers want to enable users to utilized this unused white space in the radio spectrum.

"Opportunistic spectrum access (OSA) is now increasingly seen as a necessity to meet the growing demands of wireless applications," the researchers say. If a device needed bandwidth in a given area, it could query SpecNet and determine what frequencies are available, says Microsoft's Anand Padmanabha Iyer. SpecNet could measure available spectrum remotely and estimate the area covered by the primary transmitter of individual frequencies in certain areas.

Although white space use has been approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, no other country has permitted OSA. The researchers say that SpecNet could broaden international spectrum use studies and push other countries to approve OSA.

From Network World
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