Underutilized Spectrum: Wireless Transmission” Technologies, Applications and Markets

Underutilized Spectrum: Wireless Transmission”Technologies, Applications and Markets

One of the main issues in the developing of 5G technologies is the limited amount of an available spectrum. The industry is trying to find solutions to resolve this problem.

Among multiple methods to cope with scarcity of available spectrum, two directions seem very promising. They are:

  • Intensification of utilization already occupied spectrum windows
  • Identification and utilization of vacant (or almost vacant) spectrum windows.
This report addresses only the second approach; and particular it concentrates on the following technologies:
  • Optical Wireless Communications (OWC)
  • a) VLC - Visible Light Communication b) FSF - Free Space Fiber
  • TV White Space Communications (TVWSC).
OWC includes VLC and FSF. Both these technologies utilize non-occupied (or more precisely, very lightly occupied) frequency spectrum.

TVWSC became possible after transition of analog TV to digital when a significant portion of previously occupied spectrum has been freed.

OWC is widely recognized as superior to radio frequency (RF) transmission for several use cases. Visible and invisible optical wireless links solve first/last mile connectivity problems, serve for signal distribution inside of premises, and provide secure, jam-free communication. OWC is license-free and can potentially deliver high-speed data rates in the order of tens Gb/s. Its advantages have fostered significant research efforts aimed at utilizing optical wireless communication, e.g. VLC, for high-speed, secure, indoor/outdoor communication under the IEEE 802.15.7 and other standards; as well as FSF for indoor and outdoor communications.

Both technologies are using free space as a communications medium; though they utilize such a medium in different ways and have both similar and specific communications channel properties.

TVWSC is another example how the industry makes the spectrum utilization more efficient. Though this technology, so far, did not receive expected popularity due, mostly, to regulatory barriers, it shows potentials in improvements of the RF spectrum utilization.

The report is analyzing OWC and TVWS technologies specifics, market features and industry expectations how they will contribute in the 5G development. It also analyzes the industries, advanced products and their applications.

The related standards are analyzed in details. Attachments present the survey of resent patents related to TVWS, IEEE802.22 and IEEE 802.11af and IEEE802.15.7.

The report was developed for a wide audience of engineers and managers that are working with advanced communications technologies.

1.0 Introduction
1.1 5G Concern
1.2 OWC
1.2.1 Structure
1.2.2 LED as Communications Transmitter
1.2.3 Free Space Fiber
1.4 Scope
1.5 Research Methodology
1.6 Target Audience
2.0 LED Specifics
2.1 General
2.2 Spectrum
2.3 Types
2.4 LED Modulation
2.4.1 Limitations
2.5 LED Evolution
2.5.1 General
2.5.2 Benefits
2.5.3 Market Characteristics
2.5.4 Factors
3.0 Visible Light Communications
3.1 General
3.1.1 Drivers
3.1.2 Industry Activity UC-Light Center Li-Fi Consortium
3.1.3 Free Space Fiber and VLC - Summary
3.2 VLC Standards Development
3.2.1 IEEE 802.15.7 Considerations Project Coexistence Essence Base Use Cases Physical Layer General Responsibilities Types Error Protection Rates Frequency Plan PHY Services Regulations MAC Layer Topologies Responsibilities Functionalities Security
3.2.2 Jeita (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) JEITA CP-1221 JEITA CP-1222 JEITA CP-1223 (2013)
3.2.3 Visible Light Communications Consortium (VLCC) General
3.3 Details
3.3.1 Communications Channel
3.3.2 Transmitter
3.3.3 Receiver Image Sensors
3.3.4 Major Characteristics General Modulation VLC Channel: Characteristics Summary Limiting Factors
3.3.5 Applications: Summary ITS Optical Wireless LAN Medical Localization City Wide Wireless Network Summary
3.4 Companies and Organizations
Fraunhofer IPMS
Nakagawa Laboratories
Outstanding Technology
Supreme Architecture
3.5 Market
3.6 5G View
3.6.1 Attocell
3.6.2 Cell Structures
4.0 Free Space Fiber
4.1 General
4.2 Major Characteristics
4.3 Protection
4.4 Applications
4.4.1 Major Use Cases
4.4.2 Requirements
4.4.3 Inter-satellite Links
4.4.4 Intra-building Communications
4.4.5 Inter-building Communications
4.5 FSF Communications Benefits and Limitations: Summary
4.5.1 Weather Factor
4.5.2 Building Swaying
4.6 Design Issues
4.7 Customers
4.8 FSF Market
4.8.1 General
4.8.2 Market Drivers Market Segments
4.8.3 Competition Fiber Optics Systems Microwave PONs
4.8.4 Forecast General Model Assumptions Structure Market Estimate
4.9 Vendors
AOptix (partially acquired by Anova in 2016)
Canon USA
Dailianxu Engineering Company
GeoDesy (acquired by Trimble in 2014)
Space Photonics
4.10 Standards
4.10.1 ITU G.640
4.10.2 ITU-R P.1814-2007
5.0 TV White Spaces
5.1 White Spaces Communications - Principles
5.1.1 Definition
5.1.2 Rational
5.1.3 Ecosystem and Use Cases
5.2 Standardization and Industry
5.2.1 Broadband Internet Wireless Access WS Alliance Wi-FAR WSAConnect Wireless Innovation Forum (WIF) – WS General Contributions
5.2.2 WS-related IEEE Standards IEEE 802.11af - 2013 General: Expectations – Wi-Fi on Steroids Differences Benefits Specifics Building Blocks PHY Summary IEEE 802.22 – 2011 General WG 802.22 and FCC Mechanism Physical Layer – Major Characteristics Frames Cognitive Functions and MAC MAC Features Summary-IEEE802.22
5.3 Industry
Carlson Wireless
Redline Communications
Saankhya Labs Pvt. Ltd
5.4 M2M and TVWS
5.4.1 Weightless Technologies
5.4.2 Weightless SIG
5.4.3 Weightless-W Weightless-W Specifics Changes
6.0 Conclusions
ATTACHMENT I: WS-related Patents
ATTACHMENT II: 802.22-related Patents
ATTACHMENT III: 802.11af-related Patents
ATTACHMENT IV: 802.15.7-related Patents
Figure 1: OWC Illustration
Figure 2: LED Structure
Figure 3: LED Spectrum
Figure 4: White LED Properties Illustration
Figure 5: Estimate: Lighting LED Market –U.S. ($B)
Figure 6: Estimate: Lighting LED Market –U.S. (Bil. Units Shipped)
Figure 7: LED Price Factor
Figure 8: Cost and Brightness- Light Sources
Figure 9: Characteristics
Figure 10: Topologies
Figure 11: Illustration-VLC Channel
Figure 12: VLC Market Categories
Figure 13: Estimate: VLC Market – Global ($B)
Figure 14: VLC Market Geography (2017)
Figure 15: Simplified FSF Device Diagram
Figure 16: FSF Market Segments
Figure 17: Estimate: FSF Market Value ($M)
Figure 18: FSF Market Geography
Table 1: VLC and FSF
Table 2: Wavelengths (nm)
Table 3: Properties - Laser vs. LED
Table 4: Light Sources Characteristics
Table 5: Use Cases
Table 6: Devices and Characteristics
Table 7: Frequency Plan
Table 8: VLC/RF Properties
Table 9: VL, IR and RF Communications ITS Applications Comparison
Table 10: Locations Technologies-VLC Place
Table 11: TVWS Regulations
Table 12: IEEE WS-related Standards
Table 13: 802.22 – Major Characteristics
Table 14: Iceni Characteristics

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