Cognitive Radios

:
Definining the ext Generation Communication etwork
Phillip Babatunde Oni (u96761) Master’s Degree Student Telecommunication Engineering Program Department of Computer Science University of Vaasa Vaasa, Finland. tundephillip@ieee.org || u96761@student.uwasa.fi
Abstract — Considering the exponential growth in the use of mobile communication spectrum over the last decades, there is need for load balancing with underutilized spectrums. This piece of work explores the idea behind cognitive radios; why should we adopt this technology? Also, it highlights some of the research challenges confronting the full implementation of cognitive radios, and concludes by explaining the economic impact of this technology from both users’ and service providers’ point of view.

spectrum hole unoccupied by the primary user at the right location and the time in question. The need for improvement of the current mobile communications bandwidth cannot be underestimated, considering the current global wireless bandwidth crisis. Therefore, it seems more that the hustle for the realization of an effective next generation networks will be fruitless if CR technology is not considered as the perfect solution to bandwidth crisis. Though, there are political threats to the adoption of CR technology, the need for CR technology should to be explored in order to convince every party involved in policy making globally, of how much this innovation is needed to drive future wireless communication towards an effective direction. As the target of this piece of work goes, the main objectives of this technology will be discussed in the following section. In section III, the importance of bridging CR technology with current NGN research works will be thoroughly touched, while in section IV and V, the benefits of CR and research/standards challenges of CR will be discussed respectively. The concluding section will be a summary of all discussions in this paper, with recommendations for further research. So, it’s time to explore the reason why cognitive radio has become the global most discussed wireless communication innovation in the recent time. II. WHY COG ITIVE RADIO?

I. I TRODUCTIO Right from the inception of wireless communications and systems, the electromagnetic spectrum has been a natural resource, which requires government license before it can be utilized. Wireless system and devices continue to hit the market in different flavors without considering the utilization rate of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and globally, mobile networks face a wireless bandwidth problem, until recent time when Mitola [1] proposed cognitive radios (CR) as a technique that will promote efficient use of the radio spectrum. As culled from [2], not all the portions of the radio spectrum are being utilized even the spectrum allocated to users in the urban-areas. In other words, some frequency bands in the spectrum are largely unoccupied, some are only partially occupied, and some are heavily occupied. For instance, over the last decades, the use of mobile communication service has increased exponentially, and the bands allocated to mobile communication services are getting saturated or heavily occupied. The underutilization of some portions of the radio spectrum while heavily utilizing the other portions is not an efficient way of consuming or managing the natural resource, hence, the need for cognitive radio technology. According to Haykin in [2], underutilization of the electromagnetic spectrum has been termed as spectrum hole, which means a band of frequencies assigned to a primary user, but, at a particular time and specific geographic location, and the band is not being utilized by that user. In other words, some frequency bands are not being fully utilized at all time and location, and this reduces the efficiency of those bands, which could be used by a secondary user while the primary user is not utilizing the bands. In [2], it was stated that spectrum utilization can be improved significantly by making it possible for secondary user (who is not being served) to access the

A. The Concept of Cognitive Radios In 1999, Mitola [3] first made public presentation of the idea behind cognitive radios, and today CR is a well known wireless technology. The technology forecasts predict that CR will be a critical part of many future radio systems and networks [5]. Obviously, it seems like the next generation networks (NGNs) is one of the radio systems that will be CRfriendly because of the dynamic spectrum access potential promised in CR. In section III of this text, the correlation between CR and NGNs will be discussed. Back to the concept of CR, CR [3], [4] inclusive of software-defined radio (SDR) has been proposed as the means to promote the efficient use of the spectrum by exploiting the existence of spectrum hole. And as discussed in [2], CR is an intelligent wireless communication system that is aware of its

technologies like the mobile communication that are struggling with limited frequency bands will have sufficient bandwidth to accommodate increasing number of users and provide efficient network operation. reduction in wastage of electromagnetic resources by irregular or infrequent primary user. or satellite [6]. and reliable spectrum use by adapting the radio’s operating characteristics to the real-time conditions of the environment [8]. stated how CR will revolutionized the wireless area networking using the existing TV broadcast bands in the high-VHF/low-UHF range. Stevenson Carl and others in [9]. it means that devices of different frequency background can coexist in the same spectrum without any interference. Since CR promised unlimited data access speed and the use of any spectrum of the electromagnetic spectrum. At the moment. This implies that future wireless communication systems will have room to coexist with the existing systems without interference. This means that with CRs. which is one attractive solution to the problem of securing bands for new communication systems. B. Vaasa. Cognitive Radio (CR) was coined as a solution to ensure optimum usage of the radio spectrum. efficient.surrounding environment and uses the methodology of understanding-by-building to learn from the environment and adapt its internal states to statistical variations in the incoming RF stimuli by making corresponding changes in certain operating parameters such as transmit power. Figure II depicts the kind of dynamic or interactive wireless networks promised by cognitive radio technology where all wireless devices regardless of their radio characteristics can share the entire radio spectrum and coexist in a peaceful order because of their intelligence nature. The term radio technology means any kind of wireless communication that uses the electromagnetic spectrum. and interaction with other dissimilar devices to share information will be possible. and modulation technique. CR is revolutionizing wireless communication industry. and based on these changes they can vary transmitted power. This means that the use of electromagnetic spectrum will be more dynamic than ever. FM & AM radio. the primary aim of CRs is to provide a technology that will enable flexible. In [6]. which might not be sufficient for effective operation. Telecommunication Engineering Program. any channel can be used even though it is dedicated to television. it’s stated that with CR. This coexistence means higher throughput and efficient use of the radio spectrum. Then wireless system will not be restricted to certain frequency band. In the same context of using CR to achieve efficient spectrum usage. and interaction between dissimilar wireless systems is feasible. same level of RF transmission power. Next discussion in part B of this section is based on the two cogent objectives of CR. Wireless communication services are increasing. communication is possible between radio of the same kind. Cognitive radio defines the secondary usage of the band by recycling the licensed bands. there is no dynamic interaction between dissimilar wireless systems or devices in the current planned electromagnetic spectrum because each kind of radio technology has distinct spectrum allocated to it. CR is advocating the use of any channel for transmission of electromagnetic signals from one point to another. in real-time [2]. carrierfrequency. Intelligent devices built on CR methodology will be able to negotiate in order to use the whole electromagnetic spectrum in most efficient way. With the emergence and adoption of CR. radio devices can communicate with radio of the same kind [6]. The new systems will require new bands. it is a different story entirely. and exploiting similar modulation method. and there is need to initiate new communication systems. but most of the technically feasible bands are already allocated or licensed. choose any available suitable carrier-wave and modulation technique in order to ensure effective communication. University of Vaasa. This type of wireless technology will promote the use of current large number of vacant TV channels especially in rural With cognitive radio. This good tiding seems more applicable to mobile communication networks whose frequency bands are getting crowded with no room for expansion or scalability. As depicted in Figure I below. Department of Computer Science. Finland . having carrier-waves with similar characteristics. Objectives of Cognitive Radios As culled from [7]. So. all radio devices or wireless systems will become more environmental friendly for the first time in the history of wireless communications. we can multiply the current network speed and thereby resulting in unlimited internet access speed. since CR intelligence devices can adapt to network changes. and only the primary users of each spectrum can interact within the frequency bands. that is.

In wireless communication we are close to the actualization of 3G and beyond 3G. with CR technology it is possible. the assurance here is that such sponsorship will yield huge ROI. Also. For 3G. since such adaptation is possible. multi-tenant buildings. imagine if the same desktop box or handheld delivers email. and which channel should CR-NGN use to avoid interference with primary user’s bandwidth for best QoS? Therefore. most of the completed V. IT.22 WRAN networks include single-family residential. and the provision of services using the unlicensed frequency bands or the white spaces. small businesses.areas with lesser population density. wireless broadband can be delivered to users at a very high speed and affordable service charge. The motivations to develop a new technology in mobile communication includes but not limited to demand for highspeed data. multi-dwelling units. media. IP Multimedia subsystem (IMS) seems to be the actual convergence system of data and telecommunication services. and they expect one subscription to be sufficient for all the services to be accessed. the current mobile communication networks need to be improved because the proposed quality of services (QoS) cannot be delivered over the current crowded mobile network. so it is with cognitive radio. it means that users regardless of their location at a given time can have access to communication networks provided the device is intelligent enough to respond to environmental stimuli such as changing to another frequency band. . The possible correlation between NGNs and CRs will be discussed in the following section. with the current availability of unused TV spectrum in some rural and suburban areas. Now. In [10]. In [8]. it seems that every newly proposed technology is confronted with certain challenges.g. and content. Exploiting the potential of dynamic spectrum access is the means to achieve such robust communication. For this network to meet users’ demands. desire to access data anywhere and anytime. the provision of highly reliable communications whenever and wherever needed is another goal to be achieved with CR technology. the application and markets for this CR-based technology were discussed as thus: the most prominent target application of 802. The emerging markets in wireless communication open opportunities for service providers to offer varieties of services. capacity limitations of existing network technologies. So. demand for global seamless roaming. Users want to transmit more than what the network capacity can currently process. which is aimed at providing wireless broadband services comparable to that of DSL and cable modems. could yield optimization problem. but none has fully implement all the needs for 3G or NGNs as aforementioned. and to enhance the efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum or to prevent certain frequency bands from being dormant. SOHO. convergence between telecommunication. DSL and cable modems). There is no doubt that many wireless communication corporations and government entities have been sponsoring research on provision of CR-based services or the design of CR-based smart devices. Cognitive radio technology does not only favor the end users but also the service and hardware providers. RESEARCH A D STA DARDS CHALLE GES OF COG ITIVER RADIO Historically. the CR-NGN implementation needs to address areas like transmission power rate. there are other emerging technologies based on CR that will provide equal wireless services to users regardless of their location. having said above that CR objectives are to provide highly reliable communications whenever and wherever needed. how long will a mobile dwell on white space. and also implement a cost-effective convergence network. using these spectrum holes. IV. radio broadcasts. In other words. in [8] another key target market addressed for users by 802. which require huge bandwidth.22 WRAN. In addition to the efficient use of electromagnetic spectrum. Now. TV shows. VoIP etc. III. and public and private campuses. There are current research activities ongoing in the area of cognitive radio. Often time we refer to NGNs as third generation (3G) or beyond 3G networks. Apart from 802. also mobile communication services will be more personal to the users and users can enjoy greater or improved throughput and have value for every penny spent on subscription [8]. whereby cognitive radio observes its environment and modifies its transmission characteristics accordingly [9]. so with CR-based NGNs. So. and the first of its kind was originally designed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) [11] with the aim of providing IP multimedia services to end users through the use of telecommunication infrastructure. they want to use one device to access all network services. Customers’ or End Users’Perspective One of the emerging technologies based on CR is the 802. Also. B. either by increasing or decreasing the transmitted power. COG ITIVE RADIOS A D THE EXT GE ERATIO ETWORKS Before discussing where and how cognitive radio fits into Next Generation Networks (NGNs). providing answers to these questions through proper implementation plan will help achieve the target QoS and deliverables of NGNs. another perspective to look from is the area of device or hardware to access different wireless services. but the use of CR in IMS NGN architecture for instance. As adapted from [9]. virtually multiple services can be accessed. With cognitive radio-based devices. and demand for more data centric services [11]. it is obvious that the research works and development of next generation networks (NGNs) should integrate cognitive radios technology. For the benefits to end users. BE EFITS OF COG ITIVE RADIO A. though we’ve seen some implementation of 3G networks like the WiMax and LTE. the discussion of what motivated the development of NGN will be a good starting point. The vacant TV channels can be used to provide broadband access to rural inhabitants [9]. This will improve the capacity of the overall mobile network. all in one box at a high-speed where delay and latency are negligible. the mobile can sense its RF environment and detect spectrum holes (white spaces especially) in order to use them for communication. Operators’ and Infrastructure/Hardware providers’ point of view.22 WRANs is wireless broadband access in rural and remote areas. with performance comparable to those of existing fixed broadband access technologies (e.22 Wireless Regional Area Network. trend shows that NGNs will be dominated by multimedia traffic. multimedia services request.

Consequently. Although. Hayar. Apruva et. Heikki. Haykin. et. IEEE 802. Eurecom. And from the operators’ point of view. the problem of low usage of the electromagnetic spectrum now seems solved with the proposed cognitive radio technology. and diversifying into more wireless communication businesses means more revenue and huge return on investment (ROI). al. Similarly. U. Vol. (KTH). 13–18. Sherman. (2009) "Systems Engineering in Wireless Communications.nokia. The basic idea is that. A. IEEE 802. “Cognitive radio: Making software radios more personal. CR is worthwhile considering benefits of adopting it as the livewire of future wireless communication technology. in which one desktop box or handheld can serve many purposes.2. April 2006.22: An Introduction to the First Wireless Standard based on Cognitive Radios. the real digital communication convergence is now possible. stated that some recent studies extend the CR protocols to allow the CR users to transmit simultaneously with the primary users in the same frequency band. Hayar et al. J. Spectrum sensing techniques. Sweden. challenges are encountered in designing flexible and energy efficient architectures [13]. current research are investigating different techniques of using CR to reuse locally unused spectrum to increase the total system capacity. et al. Dynamic Spectrum Access.. "Capacity for Spectrum Sharing Cognitive Radios with MRC Diversity at the Secondary Receiver under Asymmetric Fading. France. but cannot differentiate between modulated signals. The success of CR will not only be to sense and use white spaces. “Cognitive radio: An integrated agent architecture for software defined radio. Royal Inst. Ltd. al. but include the ability to have a CR architecture that implements an energy detector capable of sensing the spectrum with lower susceptibility to noise level and interference in the white spaces. Designing such architecture means that the current research aim to develop efficient algorithm for achieving maximum QoS for secondary user will be a success.S. K. ISBN 978-0-470-02178-1 Cordeiro. Government agencies in charge of spectrum management worldwide should consider the economic importance of CR technology more than the political side of it. Mody N. al. Designing the digital baseband processing of such an extremely agile system is a very challenging task. This will provide efficient bandwidth and greater throughput for the secondary users while avoiding interference with primary users. "A Survey of IEEE Standards Supporting Cognitive Radio and Dynamic Spectrum Access. J. Apparently. Anthony Chan.” <research. reliability. users can have reliable access to communication services at a high-speed transmission rate and at affordable charges since there are no restrictions on frequency bands usage. Carl. “Nokia Future Technologies. Ruifeng. In the spectrum sensing techniques. Technol.A Siddiqui.” IEEE Communications Magazine. so the hardware corporations should go to drawing board now as the revolution in wireless communication and next generation networks is around the corner. according to Haya et al. McGraw-Hill Companies. Also. et. July 2008. These laid the ground work for the automated detection and spectrum sharing techniques that later evolved [9]. (2009) “IEEE 802. it is also challenging to design linear and spectrally-agile components and architectures in the radio frequency front-end of the transceiver. 1999." John Wiley and Sons. Mitola et al." Mobile Communications Laboratory Institute. we are trying to achieve efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum by allowing secondary users’ access to underutilized bands.” Doctor of Technology.” IEEE Pers. which is the key wireless communication technology that will provide flexibility. In addition to having an effective energy detector or spectrum sensor. the two major areas of challenges in CR are: spectrum sensing and interference management and resource allocation. "Resource Management of Next Generation Networks using Cognitive Radio Networks. and the required power is huge in most of the functional unit [13]. February 2005. 2000. Vol. which is susceptible to unknown or changing noise levels and interference. (2006) “Roaming in Wireless Networks. but the challenging part of this is designing a technique to minimize interference with the primary user. 6.com/research/cognitive_radio> Accessed:6/11/2011 Koivo. Also. 4.2-2003 [12]. Aug. Stevenson R. Publication..15. RF design for cognitive radio system is another key area of research in CR technology.. So. and Co-existence. 1 No 1. which have potential to improve wireless communication in near future. Pg 304 – 330. Huwaei Technologies. pp. Mohammed Elmusrati. Shahid. Inc. Simon. and definitely the revenue from license fees will increase because more licenses can be issued on those dormant or unused frequency bands from the previously allocated bands.22. “IEEE Standards Supporting Cognitive Radio and Networks. (2006) “IEEE 802. K Benon. noise. research can be conducted to clear all doubts about interference and security concerns.2-2001. and efficiency in the use of radio spectrum provided the radio devices’ operating characteristics can adapt to the real-time conditions of the frequency environment. In [13]. Thanks to FCC for stimulating the development of technologies based on CR. Mitola. most successful stories have been on the design of energy detector. but not necessarily limited to these.” McGraw-Hill Communications Engineering.” Academic Publisher: Journal of Communications. allowing simultaneous transmission by both primary and secondary users requires a well-defined protocol that keeps the level of interference with the primary user remains within a specified acceptable range. "Cognitive Radio Research and Implementation Challenges." Survey of CR Activities within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nokia Resaerch Center. another challenge is in the area of interference management and resource allocation. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] ." Coucil of Scientific and Industrial Research. Sophia Antipolis. are generally categorized into energy detection and feature detection [13]. Commun. and mechanisms to mitigate it. et al. within the next decades we can expect to see more services convergence devices in the market. Menouni et al. Co-existence standards that depend on mutual coordination are included because they define what constitutes interference. No. 23. CO CLUSIO Finally." IEEE Journal On Selected Areas in Communications. "Cognitive Radio: Brain-Empowered Wireless Communications.. REFERE CES [1] Duan. VI. no.22: The First Cognitive Radio Wireless Regional Area Network Standard. ISBN 0-07-145505-1 M. Texas.standards to date deal with co-existence of one form or another. Stockholm. vol." IEEE Communications Society: IEEE Globecom 2010 proceedings. Some of the completed standard activities to date are IEEE 802.” IEEE Standards in Communications and Networking: IEEE Communications Magazine Muwonge. this energy detector can only sense the presence of the signal or white space.16. Carlos. and interference [13].

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