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Mobile and Wireless Communications

Mobile and Wireless Communications

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Published by: Sriram on Nov 11, 2010
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In contrast to the private property model is another view sometimes called the
‘open spectrum’ approach. Advocates of this approach have placed their faith in
technological innovation to resolve the tragedy of the commons. One notable
supporter of the open spectrum approach is David Reed, an information systems
designer with the MIT Media Lab, who played an important role in contributing
to the original architecture of the Internet with the ‘end to end’ principle.10

end to end (E2E) principle is important in this case because Reed argues that it

Figure 8.2 Spectrum use in the PCS and Wi-Fi bands

Source: Forbes.com ‘Dead Air’, 25 November 2002. Retrieved April 2003. Available at http://

Bandwidth bonanza


should be the basis for a reformed spectrum management policy. Instead of
‘dividing [spectrum] into disjoint frequency bands and coverage areas’ to resolve
the interference problem, governments should recognize that the next generation
of intelligent digital radios could make the interference issue all but disappear.
Reed’s claim is part of a far more ambitious vision, where wireless networks will
flourish in much the same manner as the Internet and where innovations in radio
technology will make it difficult to plan spectrum allocation as it has been done in
the past. Reed forecasts a ubiquitous networked society of wireless personal
communications devices and information appliances:

[These] will be densely deployed, owned by users, small businesses, and
corporations, and will be deployed in an unplanned, ad hoc manner. An
important characteristic of such devices will be their mobility. Devices car-
ried by a user or carried in a vehicle will be mobile as a result of people
moving, whereas appliance devices will be moved just as furniture is moved –
as workplaces and home are rearranged. Communication reconfiguration
resulting from mobility will be the norm – it would be unacceptable to the
owners of these devices to buy new devices merely because one crosses an
artificial spectrum boundary.11

This is a vision of a world in which all kinds of devices have the capability to be
networked through a wireless connection. Here it is possible to detect something
like the IMT-2000 initiative, but extended far beyond telephones to include any
kind of potential information technology. If such a vision were ever to be realized,
spectrum would of course be in extremely high demand, even if it were only for
relatively small networks, such as LANs or PANs. A future of densely packed
wireless networks therefore would require bountiful access to spectrum and
flexibility for these networked devices to switch between frequencies and air-
interface standards when necessary. If such access were forthcoming it would open
up the possibility of a new form of wireless architecture known as the mesh

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