Are 'Smart Radios' A Solution to Spectrum Scarcity?

Are 'Smart Radios' A Solution to Spectrum Scarcity?
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The FCC seeks comment on so-called 'Smart Radios' or software-defined radios. Smart radios can adapt their spectrum use in response to information external to the radio. These radios sense their operating or radiofrequency environment and use this information to determine the optimal frequencies and transmit powers to use, while avoiding interference. Many smart radios also can interpret and transmit signals in different formats or modulation schemes.
The commission is looking at the devices as a possibility for using spectrum - both occupied and vacant - more efficiently. Certain smart radio capabilities are employed today in commercial mobile wireless services and wireless local area networks. The agency is seeking information to determine whether the devices could share broadcast spectrum. Comments should be filed with ET Docket No. 03-108.


A Spectrum Marker for 500 Kilocycles

For almost a century, 500 kHz was a lifeline for ships worldwide. Better known as 500 kilocycles, it was the spectrum reserved for ships and the shore stations that communicated with them in Morse Code (sometimes referred to as CW, for continuous wave).