Propagation Prediction Method Development in Support of International Spectrum Management

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With the growth of wireless technology for an ever-increasing range of devices, services, applications and users, the role of spectrum management is becoming more complex and difficult. National and international spectrum regulations define the use of frequencies from 9 kHz to 275 GHz, and most spectrum bands are allocated to two or more services. Furthermore, new technologies and growing technologies seek new spectrum allocations, sharing with existing services. To support the development of new technologies and to assist in spectrum planning decisions, Radiocommunication Study Group 3 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R SG 3) has developed and continues to improve a number of radiowave propagation prediction methods. Many of these methods are useful for system design, for example, to calculate the required link margin or the expected coverage area of a new system. A key technical aspect of spectrum management is understanding and predicting the potential for interference between different services in the same band. There is therefore a growing need for propagation prediction methods which can estimate the likelihood of signal levels able to cause interference from one system to another. Supporting these prediction methods are models of the natural variability of the environment, including climatic effects, terrain, building materials and vegetation. This paper will review a number of Study Group 3 Recommendations relating to both system planning and to interference prediction. It will discuss recent developments and identify areas for future work.
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