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NetCity Papers and Publications


Spectrum Pooling for Next Generation Public Safety Radio Systems

William Lehr and Nancy Jesuale

Abstract - The Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) research and development community is maturing technologies that will enable radios to share RF spectrum much more intensively. Adoption of DSA technologies by the public safety community can better align systems with the future of wireless services more generally and can contribute to making next generation public safety radio systems more robust, capable, and flexible.

A critical first step toward a DSA-enabled future is to reform spectrum management in order to create spectrum pools that DSA-enabled devices such as Cognitive Radios (CRs) may make use of under the control of more dynamically flexible and adaptive prioritization policies than is possible with legacy technology. Appropriate reform will enable spectrum portability, facilitating the decoupling of spectrum rights from the provision of infrastructure.

This paper examines the economic, policy, and market challenges of enabling spectrum pooling and portability for public safety radios.


Smart Radios and Collaborative Public Safety Communications

Brad Bernthal and Nancy Jesuale

Abstract - Smart radios should play a pivotal role in addressing difficult organizational behavior issues which frustrate the migration of public safety communications toward extensive inter-organizational collaboration. This paper frames how non-technical hazards – such as mutual distrust, cultural frictions, inexperience in cooperative settings, and policy obstacles – present significant challenges to public safety cooperation. We further explain the collaborative advantage to be gained by migration toward a cooperative, federated network architecture. Finally, we emphasize how smart radio technologies could facilitate trust building and control mechanisms in inter-organizational relationships. Over time this will increase confidence in cooperation. Accordingly, we advance a perspective which bolsters the case for extending advanced military smart radio research into the development of public safety and homeland security advanced communications architectures.


A Policy Proposal to Enable Cognitive Radio for Public Safety and Industry in the Land Mobile Radio Bands

(A shorter version of this paper appeared in Mission Critical Magazine, April 2008)

Nancy Jesuale and Bernard C. Eydt

Abstract - The frequency bands that have been licensed to the land mobile radio (LMR) services for decades are a tremendously fertile field for the deployment of cognitive radio technology. This paper outlines several reasons why policy-based cognitive radios would be particularly useful for modern public safety, federal non-military and business/industrial applications, especially in the VHF and UHF bands, where 80% of the public safety, federal and business/industrial licenses are currently held. This paper argues that many interoperability deficiencies are directly related to the original approach to spectrum policy and radio frequency regulation developed in the early 1920's, which segmented uses of LMR spectrum into several use classes. It provides a historic perspective to explain why the current status of LMR infrastructure, operations and licensee behavior is a direct result of antiquated policies and technologies still applied and deployed in these bands.

The paper discusses the reasons that cognitive radio could be a successful solution for the apparent congestion in the bands. It suggests that policy-based cognitive radio systems operated on a cooperative, shared basis could lower costs of use and aid coordination for emergency responders across both public and private sectors of the traditional LMR user community. We discuss policy reforms and innovations such as spectrum pooling and spectrum portability that could spur new shared infrastructure development and spectrum efficiencies. We suggest several key policy reforms for consideration, including immediate cessation of ongoing narrowbanding initiatives, decoupling of spectrum licenses from spectrum access, and national spectrum management by frequency coordinators.


Cognitive Radio Use Cases and Spectrum Policy Issues for Public Safety and State and Local Government
Nancy Jesuale

Abstract—This paper describes challenges faced by local and state governments in providing advanced technical infrastructure for efficient delivery of public services, under current federal spectrum and telecommunications policy. The potential impact of new wireless communications technologies, particularly cognitive radio and broadband convergence are discussed. Within this context, the spectrum policy issues important to state and local governments are highlighted.


Overview of State and Local Government Interests in Spectrum Policy Issues
Nancy Jesuale

Abstract - This paper examines some of the policy issues and concerns of local municipalities with respect to dynamic spectrum policy, the establishment of secondary markets for spectrum use and the organization of first responder communications. The paper discusses local and state methods (current and future) for achieving interoperability between first responders and how local policy approaches affect those methods. The paper also discusses the convergence of public safety radio with other forms of communications, including municipal broadband and "Wi-Fi" networks and points out specific policy collisions that should be addressed. Finally, this paper suggests ways that cognitive radios and secondary spectrum markets could be implemented to provide the most benefit to local governments while protecting their interests in localism and self determination.