Spectrum is a finite natural resource. Advanced wireless signal processing and optimized dynamic allocation techniques will continue to enable increasingly efficient spectrum usage, but greater user demand for both military and commercial applications such as IOT, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and advanced multi-media data services will outstrip the gains enabled by improved spectral efficiency alone.
To address the growing need and attendant financial opportunities posed by these applications, spectrum substrata must be allocated more narrowly and maximized through spatial system level techniques such as very small cells with their extremely high density footprints. To support 5G protocols, highly adaptive heterogeneous wireless networks and standards will be needed to achieve optimal spectrum utilization throughout the network.
Beyond these breakthroughs in making effective use of bandwidth, our ability to dynamically sense the wireless network environment and adapt to it will be paramount. This cognitive sensing component will be critical to the design of end-user devices and to the evolution of the wireless infrastructure itself. Only through cognitive sensing will we be able to monitor and enforce spectrum usage rules, maintain our awareness of network anomalies and spectrum interference, and deploy the wireless data analytics needed to serve many mission needs simultaneously.
Based on LGS CEO Kevin Kelly interview with ‘Microwaves & RF’ magazine, Jan. 2017.