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27.3.2017 : 12:39

Approach

The QoSMOS project was conceived as a result of these main ideas, since they align with the call objective ‘Efficient Radio Access to Future Networks’. The challenge of increasing mobile traffic will be met and changes in the spectrum regulatory regimes be embraced, with the result that the value chain will be opened up - and mobile services will have sustained growth.

QoSMOS will research and develop the tools and techniques that allow opportunistic use of radio spectrum where users are moving, while receiving a managed Quality of Service (QoS).

The QoSMOS concept is illustrated in this Figure:

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The QoSMOS concept includes the use of two cognitive managers (CM), which operate on different timescales and amounts of radio resource. The lower one in the figure is centralised and operates on a longer timescale, it builds a portfolio of the available resource in a particular region. This CM manages a set of rules, whose parameters can be initially programmed for different regulatory regimes. The upper CM is distributed and operates on a shorter timescale, allocating spectrum to individual wireless streams from the portfolio, also to a set of rules. Feedback flows from the upper one to the lower one to adjust and optimise the rules.

In order to make decisions about spectrum occupancy, equipment is required to have highly sophisticated sensing mechanisms and a system of metrics which enable them to correctly detect temporarily and/or spatially unused spectrum (the so-called spectrum holes) and make decisions on whether to use these without causing harmful interference to other users. This ability to make decisions to occupy spectrum is what we mean by a ‘cognitive’ approach.

Use of the spectrum will become more efficient if local decisions are made on what spectrum to occupy for a particular service at a particular time. If a mix of distributed triggers (e.g. from the user terminals) and centralised triggers (e.g. from the network) can be used in a cognitive decision making process, cost savings will be achieved through massive reuse of spectrum resources without the burden of large upfront investments.

Co-existence with and protection of other services sharing the spectrum is of utmost importance and is a differentiator between the US and Europe, issues continue to arise with European regulators taking defensive action against incompatibility of US 802.x equipment. For example there is activity in the US to pave the way for marketing of 802.22 TVWS equipment in Europe. This is not desirable for the protection of EU services that share the TVWS bands because of the population map, the geographical topology and the borders between countries (and hence different regulatory regimes). In QoSMOS, a framework is provided that allows policy adjustments to a spectrum manager to suit different EU countries (and the US).

The WAPECS (Wireless Access Policy for Electronic Communication Services) has identified a set of frequency bands to be agreed and used across Europe on a technology and service neutral basis for use for mobile, broadcasting, fixed wireless and other electronic communication services. The WAPECS bands provide another important opportunity for cognitive radio access, given also that they are planned to become available across the whole EU.

The QoSMOS project, therefore, will research, develop and validate new concepts, mechanisms, architecture and business models that are required to realize the benefits of cognitive opportunistic and flexible access to these new spectrum opportunities for European operators in a 3 – 5 year time-scale.

There is also a number of current standardisation activities aimed at exploiting the opportunistic spectrum opportunities offered by the cognitive technology. The IEEE 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN) is developing an air interface (i.e. PHY and MAC) based on cognitive technology for opportunistic operation in TVWS. The IEEE Standards Coordination Committee (SCC) 41 is defining new techniques and methods for dynamic spectrum access, and network and interference management. QoSMOS will engage with these, but also with other relevant standards (e.g. ETSI BRAN, and/or then the successor of RRS).

Further developments beyond the QoSMOS project can be undertaken by organisations, building on its results, towards a full democracy where all users contend for the wireless resource. Here, local decisions are taken on spectrum occupancy based on a new spectrum trading model (e.g. using congestion charging) and the role of spectrum broker is defined. This is not the work of an IP, since network operators will want to custom design the trading model to target market segments. The QoSMOS project provides the essential tools and techniques for this wider vision.