Network Radio – A New Paradigm for Improving Spectrum Efficiency

Co-author:  ChunSheng Xin, ECE Department, Old Dominion University, USA

The complicated spectrum environment, dynamic nature of spectrum bands, and diversified requirements on quality of services from multiple tiers of users require the radio of secondary users to be more powerful and intelligent to fully realize the potential of radio spectrum. Specifically, today’s cognitive radio needs to expand from a physical layer technology to a comprehensive network layer technology. We call this new paradigm network radio.

Network radio integrates critical components, including the spectrum access policies, security policies, network coexistence mechanisms, and incentive mechanisms. The access policy engine of the radio ensures that the spectrum sharing policies such as transmit power and channel vacation time are imposed. The security policies are imposed to effectively countermeasure attacks to either the radio device or the network. The coexistence mechanism ensures that the heterogeneous radio technologies and networks that use different technologies and architectures, and the multiple tiers of primary users and secondary users can harmoniously coexist or co-access at the same spectrum band, same time, and same location. With the incentive mechanisms, primary users are incentivized to cooperate in spectrum sharing, to grant spectrum access to secondary users.

Moreover, network radio is able to carry out the topology organization and adaptation, cross-layer optimization, and integrate new technologies to increase performance, such as MIMO and network coding.