The past twenty years have seen the massive adoption of mobile communications and data services by the global user community, a remarkable expansion in worldwide wireless network capacity, and a meteoric rise in the wireless equipment and enabling technology markets. This cycle has driven both technological innovation and a continuously increasing demand for a decidedly limited resource in this ecosystem: radio frequency (RF) spectrum.
RF spectrum is a finite resource, and not all frequencies are equally desirable. The most desirable frequency bands (VHF, UHF, and the low microwave bands) are already very crowded, and the explosive growth of cellular communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving tremendous pressure for spectrum access. With devices as diverse as automobiles, washing machines, and wearables now featuring embedded wireless transmitters, it’s no wonder that by 2025, the installed base of IoT devices may exceed 75.4 billion*. Considering the possibility of nearly every person having multiple transmitters – many communicating nearly continuously and concurrently – it is easy to understand how quickly spectrum is becoming an even more valuable resource.
More users accessing increasingly scarce spectrum yields an increase in overall RF noise and RF interferers. Nulling interferers and reducing noise becomes more difficult – both technically and from a policy perspective – in this rapidly evolving, heterogeneous spectral environment.
Clearly, RF spectrum needs to be utilized in an optimal manner in order to extract every bit of spectrum availability. An approach that allows for the simultaneous dynamic sharing of this resource across the dimensions of frequency, time, physical layer code, MIMO multiplexed channel, and/or geography is required.
Based on LGS CEO Kevin Kelly interview with ‘Microwaves & RF’ magazine, Jan. 2017.