Spectrum sharing for the digital ecosystem towards 6G

As part of 2021 Joint EuCNC (European Conference on Networks and Communications) & 6G Summit, a workshop organized by CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) on spectrum sharing took place on 8 June 2021. The workshop was jointly organized by EC Joint Research Centre (JRC) and European Communications Office of CEPT (ECO).

The motivation and background for the workshop was as follows:

This workshop is intended to highlight the current status and future strategic challenges of studies, techniques and regulation to enable the shared and efficient access to spectrum and further develop the spectrum sharing paradigm with appreciation of regulatory needs and technological enablers, as well as underlying research challenges.

The 5G and future 6G ecosystems blur the traditional boundaries between wired and wireless, terrestrial and satellite, as well as between the use of licensed and unlicensed frequency bands, under different authorisation regimes. As a result, the efficient use of spectrum is becoming a major regulatory challenge, which calls for future-proof strategies and rules to allow more rapid access to airwaves and to promote innovation. Spectrum sharing is the key enabler to maximise efficiency of spectrum resources, deliver digital services in the coming decades and provide more flexibility in spectrum management for verticals.

Emerging technologies such as cognitive radio, geolocation databases and the use of higher frequencies bring new opportunities for sharing, but pose new technical and regulatory challenges. Balanced access to spectrum is required, allowing new users while granting protection to incumbents. Coexistence should be assessed through simulations and measurements under proper assumptions derived from the best available information. In this context, Machine Learning and Deep Learning (Artificial Intelligence) can play a significant role to enhance the spectrum sharing efficiency. 

The workshop will describe some key aspects for the application of artificial intelligence to spectrum sharing. Another important aspect is the experimental evaluation of new techniques and approaches, such as cognitive radio or geolocation databases, through open testbeds and development platforms for spectrum sharing, which can be used by the research community.

The workshop will put together a visionary team of leading researchers, spectrum regulators and industry players to explore a forward-looking roadmap towards a flexible spectrum management strategy in Europe.

The following is the agenda outline:

  • Session 1: Spectrum sharing – setting the scene
  • Session 2: Machine Learning/Deep Learning in Spectrum Sharing
  • Session 3: Techniques and tools to enable the shared access to spectrum
  • Session 4: Experiments and pilots on spectrum sharing
  • Session 5: International perspective on spectrum sharing
  • Session 6: Regulator’s perspective on spectrum sharing (panel)
  • Discussion and Conclusion

All presentations from the workshop are available on CEPT page here.

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