How do we stop the airways running out of space for wireless technology?
EECS’ Antennas Research Group forms part of “DISTRIBUTE” team winning European Union Horizon Prize for driving innovation in wireless networking.
The €0.5m European Union Horizon Prize for Collaborative Spectrum Sharing was awared to the team best able to demonstrate a real-world solution for the looming capacity crunch of wireless networks. The available frequencies used to carry wireless signals are severely overloaded after the recent explosion in wireless communication usage combined with continued rapid expansion and demand for future mobile services
In order to tackle the spectrum scarcity problem, the European Commission (EC) issued a challenge to improve the usage of spectrum resources by providing alternative and decentralised spectrum management approaches (referred to as the "Collaborative Spectrum Sharing Prize"). The EC were looking for novel, highly collaborative and decentralised approaches to spectrum.
EECS’ Antennas Research group formed part of the winning team "DISTRIBUTE", together with four other partners: King’s College London, UK (Coordinator); Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland; Fairspectrum Oy, Finland; and a branch of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, based in Italy. The team receive one of the twelve Horizon Prizes introduced by the EC under its flagship H2020 programme on Research and Innovation, to promote innovative solutions to real world challenges.
The DISTRIBUTE partners bring together their experience from previous spectrum-related collaborations, but the projects investigating TV white Space (TVWS) were pivotal to the success of the DISTRIBUTE partners.
EECS had been working on the development of a TV White Space testbed with robust spectrum sensing algorithms for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications funded by EPSRC. TVWS spectrum refers to the UHF TV frequencies released after the analogue TV switch off across europe. These frequencies are not being used by existing licensees at all times or at all locations and so TVWS provides an excellent opportunity to enable these M2M and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications to use the band. TVWS offers the added advantage that the UHF TV spectrum enable signals to propagate further and penetrate buildings more readily than in the higher frequency bands typically available for mobile connections.
“The Horizon Prize award has shown the critical importance of developing theoretical research into real-world demonstration which echoes the philosophy of our antennas group over the past 40 years”, Prof Clive Parini says.
Yue Gao - Head of Whitespace Machine Communication Lab at EECS, QMUL