Rahul Mahajan (10BM60066)
year, 2010-2012 batch
Vinod Gupta School of Management
The pervasive use of wireless technology has created an ever-increasing demand for more and more
spectrum. However the most recent studies highlight the fact that the current spectrum allocation method
is inefficient as the bands are underutilized.
There have been many technological developments to increase the efficiency of spectrum utilization. This
concentrated mainly on increasing the number of users in a frequency band. These developments are
evolutionary as such they evolve from the exiting technologies. However cognitive radio is one of recent
revolutionary advancement that promises to govern the future wireless world. It is considered to have a
profound effect the way we will mange, utilize and share radio spectrum in future.
In this paper the implications of cognitive radio for future management of spectrum is discussed.
Currently in wireless communication, all around the world, the availability of spectrum is governed by
regulatory and licensing bodies. This is called as Static spectrum allocation. In this, the spectrum
available is divided into fixed bands and each band is dedicated for a particular service or wireless
technology. This dedicated allocation of spectrum to particular services leads to inefficient utilization of
spectrum. However the growing need for more and more bandwidth is resulting in spectrum scarcity.
Cognitive radio is the most promising solution which can address this problem.
What is cognitive radio?
The term cognitive radio (CR) was coined by Mitola in 1999 .Quoting the definition of cognitive radio in his
words as “the point in which wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs) and the related networks are
sufficiently computationally intelligent about radio resources and related computer-to-computer
communication to: (a) detect user communications needs as a function of user context and (b) to provide
radio resources and wireless services most appropriate to those needs”.
A cognitive radio can be considered as a system which continuously interacts with its environment to
evaluate the availability of resources and needs of users so as to efficiently utilize the spectrum available.
It does so by changing its operation parameters like frequency of operation, modulation and coding
In essence the two most important features of cognitive radio are
1. Intelligent awareness - Being aware of the surrounding environment and continuously learning
from the user and environment needs
2. Re-configurability - Ability to make changes in the operating parameters like transmission or
reception in real time.
AN ANOLOGY The current spectrum allocation can be considered analogous in the way road traffic is
controlled with definite lanes and electronic signals, controlling and restricting the flow. The cognitive
radio can be considered analogous to a more distributed and self managed- regulated pedestrian traffic.
Why cognitive radio?
Globally wireless networks are increasingly facing bandwidth crisis .The spectrum available has become
a scarce resource. Today mobile communications are allowed only certain frequencies which are getting
crowded. As demand for new enhanced services like music, videos and internet are increasing day by
day requirement for bandwidth is far more then currently available. Hence fundamental problem facing
future wireless communication systems is where to find suitable carrier frequencies and bandwidths to
meet the predicted demand of future services.
However if one scans the radio spectrum, it would be found that
Some frequencies are unutilized for most of the time
Some frequencies are partially utilized
Some frequencies are heavily loaded for most of the time
Thus the available spectrum is inefficiently utilized.
One can identify a range of frequencies dedicated to a particular user, but at a particular time and place
this frequencies are not being utilized. Cognitive radio exploits this to efficiently utilize the available
spectrum. With cognitive radio technology one can use all available frequency even those dedicated to
TV and Satellite. Intelligent devices will negotiate with each other in order to utilize the whole spectrum
available in the most efficient way.
A cognitive radio thus would require the following core capabilities
1. FLEXIBILITY AND AGILITY: Ability to dynamically change the operational parameters. Full
flexibility would be possible if cognitive radios are built on top a software-defined radio. An SDR is
a radio in which the transmission properties such as signal bandwidth, carrier frequency,
modulation, and network access are defined by software. In addition to SDR, another important
requirement to achieve flexibility is reconfigure-ability and wideband antenna technologies.
2. SENSING: Ability to scan the RF environment and measure the current state of the environment,
including spectral occupancy. Sensing is necessary if the device has to change its operation
based on its current knowledge of environment.
3. LEARNING: Ability to make sense out of what is being sensed and learn from it.
4. ADAPTABILITY: Ability to modify internal operational behavior based on the resultant analysis
of the new situation,
5. LOCATION AWARENESS: Ability to respond to spatially variant regulatory policies or spatially
variant spectrum availabilities.
Cognitive radios thus results in
Proper utilization of available spectrum
Giving precedence to high priority communication
Optimum power consumption
Providing new services
KEY DRIVERS FOR COGNITIVE RADIO
DSA (DYNAMIC SYSTEM ALLOCATION)
Currently Static allocation model is deployed in which the portion of spectrum for a particular service is
always dedicated. This procedure ensures simplicity, guaranteed access to the licensee and better quality
of services. However deployment of cognitive networks call for a model in which if the licensee called the
primary user is not utilizing the band at a particular time then the secondary user can opportunistically use
the spectrum. This deployment called Dynamic Spectrum Access would open up vast amount of
The challenge lies in developing models that significantly improve spectrum efficiency without
compromising on the benefits of Static Allocation Model. How one would develop polices that would
ensure that the rights of licensee and quality of services are maintained. Also it must be economically
viable for manufactures to deploy DSA. The deployment of DSA possesses much technology, spectrum
policy and economic challenges.
CRN-(COGNITIVE RADIO NETWORKS)
Devices employing cognitive radios need to operate smoothly in multiple frequency bands. In addition
they must be able to decide which frequency band to use and configure the network appropriately.
Specifically, the devices need to agree on how to realize various physical, link, and network layer
functions in a way that makes best use of the available spectrum, while also satisfying the policy
constraints that apply in the selected band.
Cognitive Radio Networks (CRNs) are networks that would be able to sense their RF environment and
adapt themselves to achieve optimum efficiency. Wifi already use cognitive optimization (in terms of rate
adaptation) and spectrum agility. However the use is very restricted. For deployment of CR more robust
and aggressive adaptation techniques such as across wider spectrum band and radical runtime protocol
optimizations would be required.
SDR (Software Defined Radio)
Most of the radios today implement all the processing and protocol functions in hardware thereby limiting
runtime adaptability to very small changes. CRN would require a wireless device that is very flexible in
changing various protocol functions during runtime. For this SDR present an ideal platform.SDR would
enable deployment of several standards on the same hardware by reprogramming the software. In SDR
conversion of analog signal to digital signal takes place as early as possible at the front end while
conversion of digital signal to analog signal is done as late as possible at the back end. Hence much of
the processing takes place in the digital domain. Processing in digital domain is easy and enhances
devices flexibility and adaptability
However, due to the limitations of analog/digital converters, digital processing capacity and power
constraints, SDR are still not fully deployed. The flexibility offered by SDRs is very attractive, especially
when prototyping and evaluating cognitive networking technology.
1. Signal processing - The signal processing problems that would be typical in CR would be
making inference about the transmitted information base on received signals in an unknown and
dynamically changing environment. Conventional processing methods are computationally complex.
However the recently emerged Bayesian signal processing promises a simpler solution
2. Dynamic programming- Dynamic programming broadly refers to solve large complex problem
by breaking them down into simpler steps. In cognitive environment dynamic programming would suffer
from exponentially increased computational algorithm and resource requirements.
3. Learning machines with feedback- One of the key aspects that will be development of
techniques that can learn from the information collected in the past and present .There are techniques
currently deployed to fine tune radio parameters but these are in very nascent stage. A lot of research
needs to be done on learning , reasoning and resulting intelligence in CR networks
4. Cross-layer protocol design. Currently in wireless network protocol design each layer is
designed and operated independently. In cross-layer protocol design adaptivity and optimization across
multiple layers of the protocol stack are needed. Each layer responds to variations local to that layer and
information from other layers with the aim of joint optimization of all protocol layers.
PRESENT SCENARIO –KEY PLAYERS
DISA- US Defense Information Systems Agency
The US Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is moving into the age of dynamic spectrum access
(DSA), which is the key near-term contribution of cognitive radio. DISA's Defense Spectrum Organization
(DSO) is the DoD center of excellence for spectrum management. The key DSO elements are
Global Electromagnetic Spectrum Information System Program Management Office (GEMSIS
PMO) Global Electromagnetic Spectrum Information System (GEMSIS) is the joint program of record that
will transform spectrum operations from a pre-planned and static frequency assignment into a dynamic,
responsive, and agile capability. GEMSIS is focused on increasing the efficiency of DoD spectrum use by
eliminating inefficient preplanned and static frequency assignment.
Joint Spectrum Center (JSC) JSC is a source of engineering expertise and services dedicated to
ensuring effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum. JSC provides services such as spectrum-
planning guidance, system integration, system vulnerability analysis, environmental analysis, test and
measurement support, operational support and spectrum management software development.
Nokia a market leader with the aim of improving user experiences for more innovative and integrated
telecommunication has already adapted cognitive radio within allocated spectrum bands to manage
heterogeneous more efficiently. Nokia research center is working extensively in this field
COGNITIVE ACCESS TO TV BANDS
In UK digital switchover is expected to be completed by 2012 that would require the TV stations to
convert from analogue to digital transmission. After the switchover a portion of TV analogue channels
would become vacant which be auctioned off by regulators to other services.
In addition there will be a number of TV channels in a given area that would not be used by DTV station
because such stations would not be able to operate without interference to adjacent channels.
However low power unlicensed device can operate on these vacant spaces that could not be used by
DTV due to interferences. These vacant TV channel care called white spaces. The proposed new rules
would, in principle allow the operation of both fixed and portable broadband devices on a non-interference
basis in this white spaces.
A preliminary study by Ofcom indicates that “at any one location, around 100 MHz on average is not
being used by DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) and could, in principle be used by license-exempt
PROMOSING APPLICATION OF COGNITIVE
Cognitive radio has the potential to drastically alter the way we would mange our communication in the
future. Some of the promising applications are
1. Emergency Services Use of Cognitive Radio The public safety users have direct application
for cognitive radios. In conditions of emergency need for quality of service and interoperability
among various standards becomes vital. CR with there inherent ability to adapt and adjust to
different standards would help in such situation.
2. Low Cost Internet Access .The dynamic spectrum access model approach would enable
broadband access on the unused spectrums, thereby enabling lower Internet access cost by
drastically reducing cost component associated with purchase of spectrum.
3. Rural connectivity By deploying smart mesh CRN systems remote rural areas can be provided
4. New services Radio based advertising in which the user gets only relevant information
Application in public safety: Consider a situation during an emergency. Emergency situation generally
require great deal of co ordination of between different relief workers, fire brigade, police and other
concerned person. Chances of communication breakdown both internally and externally increase due to
lack of common standards and overburden of emergency bands.
Cognitive radio would help in such situation by prioritizing such communication and enabling
communication all standards.
Application in security: Imagine a situation in which a soldier has to only turn on the device which he is
carrying. Once engaged the cognitive radio will determine what spectrum to use, sense any disruptions in
the environment (jamming) and adjust accordingly.
Application in daily life: A flight entering into the borders of another country. Currently the radio
parameters need to be set by the pilot with the help of ground controllers as the standards for
communication are different in different countries With cognitive radios no human involvement would be
ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF COGNITIVE RADIOS
What would ultimately justify the functionality of cognitive radio into user equipment and the network
operator is economics
VALUE FOR THE PROVIDER
In many regions of world the telecom infrastructure is at its peak and to improve infrastructure density is
practically impossible. In order to support the demand for continuous growth cognitive radios can come
handy. More efficient use of spectrum in these regions would easily translate into revenue stream for the
network operators with increased users. Additionally they would also be able to offer more sophisticated
services and rich experience to end users.
In many regions of the world especially the rural area it is highly uneconomical to lay down fiber cables.
And generally broadcast TV source are generally very far from this users and as such there is nearly no
spectrum use. There are significant opportunities to provide telecom and internet service using this under
VALUE FOR THE USER
Ultimately it’s the end user that must feel or realize the incremental value that he would be benefiting from
by adopting cognitive radio. Cognitive radio envisions a learning radio that would be realizing user and
network requirements to determine performance. The sophisticated services that one would be able to
realize from having such flexibility are immense and would be truly helpful to subscribers.
Initial Cognitive radio would come at a slight higher cost to the end user. However this won’t deter
customer from availing this service as the benefits associated with it are lucrative enough to out weigh the
added cost. Cognitive radio has the potential of providing seamless connectivity anywhere anytime.
KEY DIFFERENTIATING FEATURE
The differentiating feature of successful service providers in the future would be one who accommodates
user’s current needs most efficiently. With cognitive radio a service provider would be able to bundle all
the services that a user can possibly demand (like Cellular WiFi Wimax Bluetooth video services etc.)
together. Based on user requirements and network resource the service provider would be able to
provide economical and seamless service.
ECONOMIC APPROACHES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF
COGNITIVE RADIO NETWORKS
For implementation of CRN we need to understand the feasibility of various economic approaches as well
as the associated technical challenges. The licensed users are called primary users and the users of the
CRN are called secondary users. For peaceful existences of both accurate information of the usage of
spectrum is required .There are two different approaches that can be followed
OPPORTUNISTIC SPECTRUM ACCESS: Secondary users scan the primary user spectrum to determine
any vacant spectra. Sensing becomes a critical issue.
RESOURCE TRADING: Primary user explicitly provides any relevant information to secondary users. By
allowing some monetary to primary users can get some monetary benefits by allowing secondary users to
In opportunistic spectrum access since there is no motivation for primary user it becomes difficult to
guarantee a peaceful coexistence of both. Hence a resource trading based approach is a better option
A combination of different economic approaches can be applied in order to have a resource trading based
spectrum sharing. These approaches are briefly described next
GAME THEORY It’s the study of cooperation and conflict among individuals or groups. It provides an
analytical framework for decision making based on this. It aims at maximum optimization of all resources
at same time protecting the interest of primary users.
PRICE THEORY For resource trade based spectrum sharing appropriate schemes for setting up the price
of the spectrum, formulating models that maximizes payoff to both primary users in terms of monetary
value and secondary users in terms of service is an important issue
MARKET THEORY -Stability would be required overall in order to have a feasible model
CHALLENGES IN DEPLOYMENT OF COGNITIVE RADIO
Cognitive radio is an advanced technology. Successful implementation of such revolutionary technologies
in an economy and policy regime thrives heavily upon how and where it return value that too without
impeding other technologies or innovation. Thus the success of cognitive radios would greatly depend on
what policy changes would be required throughout the world and corresponding consequences. Research
would be required to support any proposed policy reform. Demonstration of improved performance over
the other technology is a must. Improved spectrum utilization and cost effectiveness must be visible to the
Implementation of cognitive radio requires a model with following requirements
Sharing among equals, or giving some wireless systems primary rights and others secondary status.
Cooperation among systems from different administration domains,
Assumptions that systems are licensed or unlicensed or a mix of the two.
A proper research addressing critical issues such as how devices would operate in a given band, what
are the levels of risk involved in case of harmful interference, possibility of congestion and interferences
under different regulatory approaches, what be the role and responsibility of standard bodies, industry
and user groups, what would be the social and economic benefits and potential impact on business and
technological strategies would be required.
SECURITY RELATED ISSUE
Security would be one of the major concerns while deploying cognitive radio. In a system where radios
can decide how to use the available spectral resources proper identification and authentication is must.
Rouge player trying to cause major communication disruption would flourish. Mechanism would be
required to develop to identify such systems and deactivate or block them. Hence proper and successful
implementation of robust security measures becomes vital while deploying cognitive radios.
Being aware of the environment cognitive radio chooses the best available option based on certain
performance parameters such as carrier frequency, type of modulation, antenna, power bandwidth etc.
This means that the radio would have to deal with different RF spectrum and baseband varieties at the
same time, thus requiring a more robust, efficient and reconfigurable hardware architecture. Clearly, the
introduction of this revolutionary paradigm poses many challenges across all layers of a cognitive radio
system design like spectrum sensing, interference management, resource allocation, RF design and
1. SPECTRUM SENSING TECHNIQUES
One of the most important functions of cognitive radio is to sense its environment accurately and thereby
choose its operation parameter. Spectrum sensing has been identified as a key enabling cognitive radio
to not interfere with primary users, by reliability detecting primary user’s signals. And sensing is not
merely enough. Making sense out of what it being sensed is another all together different issue.
Sensing techniques available today are susceptible to changing levels of interference and noise levels.
Also these techniques can only detect the presence or absence of signal. They are not able to
differentiate whether the detected signal is a noise, interference or information carrying signal.
The hurdle lies in developing fast low-cost detecting techniques that are able to detect weak signals and
also differentiate between them.
2. HARDWARE DESIGN
Another major hurdle is designing of a flexible hardware that can be used for wideband sensing and
multiband communication purposes. Conventionally, in the design of RF circuit for radio certain
assumptions regarding interferes and worst case scenarios can be made fairly. This greatly eased the
design of hardware for a desired performance.
However cognitive radio operates in a dynamic environment. Additionally not having prior information on
the frequency of operation bandwidth and other operation parameters greatly complicates the situation. If
one follows the conventional approach it would lead to design of excessive circuit blocks thereby
increasing space, cost and complexity. Designing a flexible circuit giving a minimal level of performance
under all expected and unexpected scenarios becomes a challenge
3. ON CHIP IMPLEMENTATION
Designing the digital baseband processing of such a complex system also posses an uphill task. The
power usage would increase significantly due to increase in functionality. Also the memory requirement
would increase significantly due to operation in an unknown dynamically changing environment.
4. PROTOCOL ARCHITECTURES
The extreme flexible requirements of cognitive radios involve redesigning of network algorithms and
protocols. In particular cross layer algorithms that adapt to changes in quality, network structure, and
physical link availability would require an advanced management framework. Design of network protocols
that can enable cognitive devices to exchange key information like frequency coordination network
configuration transmission parameters would be critical.
THE WAY FORWARD
CURRENT SCENARIO FUTURE SCENARIO
Cognitive radio would enable interaction between all types of radio devices
A simple embedding of a radio in any object could mean interaction of all objects!!
Verify and control your identity, online and offline all at the same time
All time connectivity not only through network cells but also through formation of spontaneous networks
New marketing strategy - Radio enabled advertising sends customized information to your phone in your
In this paper we examined how cognitive radio can impact the way spectrum will be managed and
regulated in future. The concept of cognitive radio is promising to improve the utilization of spectrum. With
technological advancement in device cognitive and re-configurability capabilities we may see current
static spectrum management model completely disappear. Spectrum would be managed by a society of
intelligence cognitive devices which on behalf of their user would be continuously involved in
communication negotiation cooperation and trading.
This would require the need of formation of new regulation in the future. Many key technological,
economical and legal issue need to be explored before cognitive radios are fully deployed. Significant
new research is required to address these challenges. The potential for cognitive radio to make a
significant difference to wireless communications is immense. The key issue in the final evolution of
cognitive radio for any application would be-
• Trust by the users of cognitive radio;
• Trust by all other users who might be interfered with.
1. Radio electronics.com: Future of Cognitive Radio - an interview with Dr Joseph Mitola
2. Maziar Nekovee : Impact of Cognitive Radio on Future Management of Spectrum
3. Cristian Ianculescu: Cognitive radio and dynamic spectrum sharing
4. Dr. Bruce Fette, Ph.D. Cognitive radios: The future of SDR technology
5. Joseph Mitola Cognitive Radio: Making Software Radios More Personal
6. Sabita Maharjan · Yan Zhang · Stein Gjessing: Economic Approaches for Cognitive Radio
7. Angsuman Rudra Cognitive radio: An evolution from software radio
8. Nokia research center: http://research.nokia.com/