O2, the second largest mobile carrier in the UK, was the most recent to make reference to the looming spectrum shortage when it announced this week that it expects to run out of spectrum on its macro cell layer around 2014. According to their chief radio engineer, this would occur even taking into account the spectrum acquisitions O2 hopes to gain from the digital dividend auction in 2013.
Similar to the spectrum crisis that has been extensively reported in the United States, the UK is experiencing an unprecedented increase in mobile data usage that is straining the capacity of wireless systems. UK telecom regulator Ofcom released a study earlier this year that pointed to potential shortages resulting from rollouts of mobile broadband into rural areas and the anticipated launch of a broadband public safety wireless network.
Among the key technologies current being trialed in the field are "adaptive" or cognitive radios. These technologies, with their ability to use spectrum far more efficiently than ever before, have the potential to substantially change the wireless business. Both in tests conducted in the UK, as well as the deployment trials of xG's xMax cognitive radio system (which was called a "potential gamechanger" by US Army evaluators), the ability of these technologies to approach the spectrum problem in a new way were very evident.
As one of the companies at the forefront of these emerging technologies, xG has been receiving increasing coverage, most recently in a New York Times feature article that discussed how companies are using innovative approaches to make more room on radio spectrum. As noted in an xG blog post, a recent report from a presidential panel urged making spectrum more efficient with smart technologies. An official recommendation stemming from the report is due out in the near future.
xG Technology, Inc.