7The Wireless Spectrum Crunch: White Spaces for 5G?

Douglas C. Sicker1 and Lisa Blumensaadt2

1 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

2 Boulder, Colorado, USA

7.1 Introduction

This chapter explores the history and potential use of radio frequency white spaces – a range of frequencies not in use. We begin by describing the evolution of spectrum policy as it relates to radio, television, and radar, and how the spectrum management policy has produced a substantial number of white spaces as a result of the spectrum allocations, assignments, and uses. We then consider the challenges facing the deployment of white space technologies within both the radar and the television bands. Next we describe the various white space application areas, and discuss the test trials of white space access technology that are occurring around the world. We close by discussing the open issues facing broad-scale commercial deployment of white space networks, with a particular focus on the potential for including this white space technology in the future 5G standard.

Before diving deeply into the history of white spaces, we first briefly define white spaces and discuss two major technology approaches to accessing this spectrum, namely TV White Space (TVWS) and Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS).

Government bodies manage the radio frequency spectrum through a combination of national rules and international coordination. Nationally, it is the norm that specific parts of the radio spectrum are ...

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