Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Self-configuring multifunction mobile terminals


Software Defined Radios (SDRs) are mobile devices that can be reconfigured over the air. Users could download new services from network operators, and even have voice and email services provided by different networks. The SCOUT project has studied how SDRs will be regulated and marketed.

"From the high level perspective, mobile terminal evolution will drive network evolution," says Markus Dillinger of Siemens AG and SCOUT coordinator. "SDR Mobile terminals will evolve more and more capabilities. You could be connected, simultaneously, to a Wireless LAN network and UMTS or GPRS. I could check my emails whilst receiving phone calls."

The project has considered some of the big questions and started the debate in new areas. These include user, operator and regulator requirements in cellular and ad hoc networks, new business models for the reconfigurable mobile terminal, and procedures for managing the downloaded software on reconfigurable terminals.

"Telecom regulators have an interest in the deregulation of radio spectrum, which in turn could lead to new services and new ways of providing services, and which could drive the EU economy one step further," comments Dillinger."At the moment, frequency bands are allocated according to services, but one might consider refarming spectrum so that, for example, UMTS could operate in GSM frequency bands."

Achieving a coherent European view on frequency spectrum use and deregulation is difficult. Each country has its own issues and regulation policies are markedly different in, say, France, Germany and the UK. Nevertheless, one of the members of the SCOUT consortium was the German Regulator, Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post, which generated a questionnaire directed at manufacturers: what factors are important, what should be controlled by regulators, do regulators have a role to play vis-à-vis SDR? This has opened up the debate to a wider public and put SDR on the agenda.

More than a standard issue

"We’ve also considered so-called adaptive multiphase standards," adds Dillinger. "If you have a mobile terminal that can be reconfigured via the network, why should we have to wait for a fully-matured standard to be drawn up? You could reduce the time to market if a minimal standard was published and, as new parts were agreed, mobile terminals could download upgrades as required."

Agreement on the original GSM standard was relatively quick, because it was a small group of European interests. UMTS has taken longer to become adopted partly because discussions had to take place on a worldwide basis. "The next generation, 4G, may well take even longer unless the approach we take to standards improves. It’s difficult to please everyone and, in practice, not all aspects of the standard [or specification] may be in place within the prescribed discussion period," comments Dillinger.

Cognitive radio is a concept that takes into account the users’ preferences and immediate environment. "The mobile terminal would realise that you don’t want to download large email attachments while you’re in a metro train, and would only download the message headers," says Dillinger. "The terminal could also decide to use a UMTS connection rather than a Wireless LAN connection because it provided a better service or cheaper tariff at the user’s location."

Research shows that one of the most commonly-voiced user preference is the ability to roam across networks. For the SDR, this means not only roaming from one service provider to another, but from one technology to another: Wireless LAN, GSM, GPRS, UMTS, etc. "Roaming would very much be the enabler for SDR flexibility," says Dillinger. "What’s more, if there’s a need, reconfigurability could be used to provide even more services to the end user."

What technology should be used in these SDR mobile terminals? According to Dillinger: "Well-known standards, such as GSM and UMTS, are sufficiently stable and well-understood to have been committed to ASIC [Application Specific Integrated Circuit] early on, the programming of which is usually fixed at the time of manufacture. "But there are other devices, such as DSPs [Digital Signal Processors] and FPLAs [Field-programmable Logic Arrays] that are eminently suited to providing the processing power in an SDR because they can easily be reprogrammed."

The conflict between the classical standards approach and the IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force] still dominates how SDRs will be controlled. "To what extent should SDRs be supported by networks," says Dillinger. "At one extreme, you have UMTS and GSM networks that are controlled by operators, and at the other you have Wireless LAN networks that are privately owned and autonomous. We need to strike a balance that will, ultimately, stimulate economic growth. At the end of the day, however, you have to prove that spectrum deregulation is beneficial."


Markus Dillinger
Siemens AG
Gustav-Heinemann Ring 115
D-81730 Munich
Mobile: +49-172-6953019
Tel: +49-89-63644826

Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next Generation Cryptography
20.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>