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Panel 2 – The struggle for spectrum: from exclusive global spectrum access to smart local on-demand spectrum sharing

Chair: Jorge Pereira, European Commission

While applications are getting more bandwidth hungry, the available spectrum is fixed. Spectrum hence needs to be consumed more efficiently, not only in unlicensed, but also in licensed bands! In the context of 5G, exclusive licensed spectrum is highly desired for professional vertical-specific deployments that require firm QoS guarantees. It is however impossible to allocate exclusive spectrum to any possible deployment for any specific vertical. It is therefore unavoidable that future deployments will more and more adopt licensed spectrum sharing models (using schemes like CBRS in US or Europe’s Licensed Shared Access) in accordance with temporary and local dynamic spectrum assignment policies and rules. Such shared licensed bands are further expected to be technology neutral, meaning that this creates also opportunities for non-MNOs that have the freedom to define the technology to be implemented. While the typical centralised scheduling schemes applied by MNOs in cellular networks have proven to be spectrum efficient in an exclusive licensed band operated by a single MNO, such shared access schemes may be much more difficult to control when multiple MNOs and non-MNOs implementing different wireless technologies that have to share the same licensed bands. Spectrum allocation and coordination strategies have to move away from fixed spectrum allocation and centralised scheduling approaches to more distributed and intelligent spectrum allocation and coordination schemes across heterogeneous technologies and across operator domains. Smart techniques combining knowledge from cognitive radio networks, software defined radios and machine learning (see also DARPA spectrum collaboration challenge), have successfully validated the harmonous coexistence of heterogeneous networks and technologies capable to deal with very diverse service demands beyond fairness and best effort services.

This panel will discuss the main challenges and identify the next steps towards a smarter use of the limited available spectrum.


  • Ruediger Martin, Radio Spectrum Support of DG Connect, Belgium
  • Jaime Afonso, ANACOM, Portugal (to be confirmed)
  • Jo De Waele, Astrid, Belgium
  • Danijela Cabric, Associate Professor and Area Director, Circuits & Embedded Systems, UCLA, USA (To be confirmed)
  • Domenico Giustiniano, Research Associate Professor, IMDEA Networks (to be confirmed)




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