Reconfigurable Radio

Introduction

Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) is a generic concept based on technologies such as Software Reconfiguration through Radio Applications and Cognitive Radio (CR) whose systems exploit the capabilities of reconfigurable radio and networks for self-adaptation to a dynamically-changing environment with the aim of improving supply chain, equipment and spectrum utilization.

Global interest in RRS solutions is being fuelled by the rapidly-growing demand for wireless communications for a wide range of purposes. For example, today there are already more than 4 billion mobile phone users and estimates such as those of the Wireless World Research Forum suggest that by 2017 there will be 7 trillion wireless devices serving 7 billion users. To meet these expectations with the limited radio spectrum, more flexible ways to share radio networks and frequencies amongst multiple services and radio networks are needed – and RRS technologies offer the solution. In this regard, there is particular interest worldwide for the so called "cognitive radio technologies".

Cognitive Radio (CR) can be defined as a radio with learning capabilities, i.e. a radio able to obtain knowledge of the radio operational environment and adjust its operationl parameters and protocols accordingly. Such an approach has a significant number of benefits in terms of spectrum efficiency and this is much more important when the spectrum is scarce, as it is the case nowadays. Thus, there is great interest in Cognitive Radio technologies at the European level as well as worldwide. One case study on cognitive technologies is in the use of so-called ‘White Spaces’ in the UHF band. Another direction relates to the development of Radio Environment Maps technologies, enabling the collection of cognitive radio context information to be exploited for decision making.

White Space (WS) is part of the spectrum which is available for a radio communication application at a given time in a given geographical area on a non-interfering/non protected basis with regard to primary services and other services with a higher priority on a national basis. The application of cognitive technologies in White Spaces in the UHF broadcast band (470-790 MHz) is currently under study in Europe but there are also other under-utilized frequency bands where such technologies could be applied. Coordinated as well as un-coordinated system approaches are developed by ETSI RRS.

Licensed Shared Access (LSA) is defined by the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) as “An individual licensed regime of a limited number of licensees in a frequency band, already allocated to one or more incumbent users, for which the additional users are allowed to use the spectrum (or part of the spectrum) in accordance with sharing rules included in the rights of use of spectrum granted to the licensees, thereby allowing all the licensees to provide a certain level of QoS”. This new concept can also take advantage of cognitive technologies allowing sharing spectrum in a more dynamic way and it is currently under study in 2,300 - 2,400 MHz frequency band.

Public safety has a very limited frequency allocation: the only harmonized public safety band in Europe (380-385 MHz/390-395 MHz) is heavily congested. In addition to spectrum congestion, Public Safety applications suffer from spectrum scarcity which hampers the development of high bit rate applications which could be of great help during an emergency crisis. The use of cognitive technologies to allow public safety systems to access White Space in the UHF and other bands could definitely help: while Reconfigurable Radio could mitigate the interoperability issue (there is still a plethora of heterogeneous wireless communications systems used by Public Safety organisations not compatible with each other), dynamic spectrum management and Cognitive Radio technologies could also improve the situation in terms of spectrum efficiency which could partially lighten the spectrum issues.

Software Reconfiguration through Radio Applications is a straightforward extension of the widely applied Applications (“Apps”) for Smartphones. Radio Applications are enabling Software Developers to access low-level parameters of a wireless equipment, such as a Mobile Device, within a controlled execution environment, a so-called Radio Virtual Machine (RVM). ETSI RRS develops standards on the required low-level interfaces as well as solutions for related novel approaches such that a continued compliance with applicable regulations is given.

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Our Role & Activities

The work of standardizing Reconfiguration through Radio Applications and Cognitive Radio is done in TC RRS (Reconfigurable Radio System). TC RRS's main responsibility is to carry out standardization activities related to Reconfigurable Radio Systems encompassing both Reconfiguration through Radio Applications and Cognitive Radio (CR). In doing so, TC RRS will take into account all the related requirements from relevant stakeholders, as well as the work done in other fora on the same subject so as to avoid  overlapping activities which could delay, if not hamper, the overall standardisation process in reconfigurable radio systems. TC RRS work includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Cognitive Radio Systems
  • (TV) White Spaces
  • Licensed Shared Access
  • Reconfigurable Mobile Devices
  • Certification aspects for Dynamic Equipment Reconfiguration
  • Reconfigurable Radio Systems for Civil Security
  • Security aspects for Reconfigurable Radio Systems

In addition to TC RRS, JTFER (Joint Task Force ERM RRS) is responsible for developing European Norms (ENs) intended to become Harmonised Standards for Reconfigurable Radio Systems.

Standards

The following is a list of the 20 latest published ETSI standards on reconfigurable radio.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
TR 103 087 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Security related use cases and threats in Reconfigurable Radio Systems
EN 303 146-2 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Mobile Device (MD) information models and protocols; Part 2: Reconfigurable Radio Frequency Interface (RRFI)
TS 103 146-3 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Mobile device information models and protocols; Part 3: Unified Radio Application Interface (URAI)
TR 102 967 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) ; Use cases for dynamic equipment reconfiguration
EN 303 387 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Signalling Protocols and information exchange for Coordinated use of TV White Spaces; Interface between Cognitive Radio System (CRS) and Spectrum Coordinator (SC)
EN 303 146-1 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Mobile Device Information Models and Protocols; Part 1: Multiradio Interface (MURI)
EN 303 143 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System architecture for information exchange between different Geo-location Databases (GLDBs) enabling the operation of White Space Devices (WSDs)
EN 303 144 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Enabling the operation of Cognitive Radio System (CRS) dependent for their use of radio spectrum on information obtained from Geo-location Databases (GLDBs); Parameters and procedures for information exchange between different GLDBs
EN 303 145 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System Architecture and High Level Procedures for Coordinated and Uncoordinated Use of TV White Spaces
TS 103 235 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System architecture and high level procedures for operation of Licensed Shared Access (LSA) in the 2 300 MHz - 2 400 MHz band
EN 303 095 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Radio Reconfiguration related Architecture for Mobile Devices
TS 103 146-2 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Mobile Device Information Models and Protocols; Part 2: Reconfigurable Radio Frequency Interface (RRFI)
TS 103 145 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System Architecture and High Level Procedures for Coordinated and Uncoordinated Use of TV White Spaces
TS 103 143 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System architecture for information exchange between different Geo-location Databases (GLDBs) enabling the operation of White Space Devices (WSDs)
EN 302 969 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Radio Reconfiguration related Requirements for Mobile Devices
TS 103 154 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System requirements for operation of Mobile Broadband Systems in the 2 300 MHz - 2 400 MHz band under Licensed Shared Access (LSA)
TS 102 946 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); System requirements for Operation in UHF TV Band White Spaces
TR 102 967 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) ; Use Cases for dynamic equipment reconfiguration
TS 103 146-1 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Mobile Device Information Models and Protocols; Part 1:Multiradio Interface (MURI)
TR 102 947 Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS); Use Cases for building and exploitation of Radio Environment Maps (REMs) for intra-operator scenarios