Idaho National Laboratory (INL) researchers are developing a method that aims to solve the approaching spectrum deficit by examining how cell networks could optimize spectrum use to get the most out of the existing range.
"It is estimated that connected life will account for $4.5 trillion globally in 2020, but if we have only half the spectrum we need to conduct business like we are used to doing, it could negatively impact the U.S. economy by about $750 million," says INL's Juan Deaton.
He notes that although Long Term Evolution technology increases spectrum efficiency, there is a physical limit to how much information can pass through a frequency channel. "The increased demand for data with the rise of smartphones, tablets, and especially machine-to-machine communication, will push us to that limit," Deaton notes.
He says INL's wireless optimization method features a framework to help meet the demand for mobile wireless broadband and relieve the impending deficit. The method assigns frequency channels to cell tower sites to best serve the largest number of users. The method also uses global information system data to incorporate population information, building footprints and cell tower sites to generate a network model. The method then shows optimal usage of spectrum in the network.
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