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Keynote Speakers

Are we really running out of radio frequency spectrum?
Geok-Leng Tan (May 15th, afternoon)
Spectrum trading
Sverrir Olafsson (May 15th, afternoon)
Intelligence in the Network
Joesph Evans (May 16th, morning)

Are we really running out of radio frequency spectrum? [Slides]

Geok-Leng Tan
Geok-Leng Tan
Chief Technology Officer
Infocomm Development Authority, Singapore


One look at the radio spectrum allocation chart of any country is likely to show that most of the spectrum below 6GHz has already been allocated. This has given rise to the perception that radio frequency spectrum is in short supply. But, are we really running out of radio frequency spectrum?

Analysis of intensity of radio spectrum usage over frequency, time and space by various groups in the United States and the UK has shown that in actuality, the radio spectrum is only used about 15% of the time on an average basis.

IDA Singapore in collaboration with the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) has conducted a short study to look at the intensity of use of radio spectrum in Singapore. This study, which is by no means comprehensive, does give a snapshot of spectrum usage in a certain area of Singapore. Our measurement results show that the average spectrum utilization in the frequency band from 80MHz to 5.85GHz is below 5%. Furthermore, we can clearly see that certain bands are completely free because they are set aside because of cross-border spectrum coordination with our neighbouring countries.

Given that the actual spectrum use intensity is relatively low in US, UK and now demonstrated, albeit on a sample basis in Singapore, it may be possible to explore the use of cognitive radio technologies to intensify the use of spectrum, provided it does not cause interference to the primary users. I look forward to learning about these cognitive radio technologies from the speakers at this conference.


Geok-Leng Tan is the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Director (Technology & Planning) at the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore. He is responsible to provide technical leadership and strategic planning at IDA and to communicate IDA’s vision for infocomm directions to stakeholders across Singapore.

Before joining IDA, Dr. Tan worked in Motorola developing pagers and walkie-talkies for the US and global market. After Motorola, he took up a scholarship to pursue a PhD in Digital Communications at Cambridge University, UK and subsequently worked for Scientific Generics, a Cambridge-based technology consulting company working in area of communications. On his return to Singapore, Dr. Tan was involved in several technology start-ups that provided consultancy, wireless communications product development and product miniaturization using advanced packaging technologies.

He holds a B.Sc in Electronics and Communications from Birmingham University and a Ph.D in Digital Communications from Cambridge University, UK. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Spectrum trading [Slides]

Sverrir Olafsson
Sverrir Olafsson
BT Mobility Research Centre, UK


The rapid growth in the density of wireless access devices, accompanied by increasing heterogeneity in wireless technologies, requires adaptive allocation and reallocation of spectrum. The traditional allocation of spectrum does not allow for its flexible utilisation. These shortcomings call for new ways to access spectrum, for example through opportunistic spectrum usage and spectrum trading.

As technologies emerge on ever-faster time-scales spectrum trading on shorter and shorter time-scales will eventually create the basis for a real-time and liquid market in spectrum. This process will be accompanied by rapidly developing means to dynamically price the use of spectrum and provide the basis for transparency in pricing. In these liquid markets users can acquire the spectrum that best suits their needs and they will pay for it an economic price determined collectively by the market.

We will discuss scenarios where spectrum trading will happen through brokers who continuously monitor the utilisation of different frequency bands and negotiate between those who need to buy or sell spectrum. The brokers may also have the role of a market maker and as such may be required to continuously quote the price of spectrum bands on the basis of their supply and demand situation.

We will discuss scenarios where spectrum could become an asset class not only traded for hedging purposes but perhaps for speculation as well. Major investment funds may want to include spectrum in their investment portfolios for enhanced diversification and risk management.


Sverrir Olafsson is a Chief Researcher at British Telecommunications Research Laboratories in the UK. He is also a Professor in Risk Management at Reykjavik University in Iceland.

In recent years his main focus has been on modelling utilisation of spectrum in wireless systems by the implementation of distributed optimisation techniques. With his team he has developed new approaches to dynamic power control with particular focus on stability conditions in large wireless systems. Recently this study has been extended to the development of interactive algorithms for channel optimisation and power control.

Previously Dr. Olafsson worked on self-organisation and game theory and applied it to open and dynamic service networks. His work on the usage of evolutionary game theory attracted considerable attention and has been worked on and extended by various PhD students. Dr. Olafsson has also worked on stochastic complexity and long-range correlations in data networks.

More recently his attention has been drawn to the wider aspects of spectrum management with particular attention on the commoditisation and securitisation of spectrum and spectrum trading. Of particular interest to him are questions such as: How do we price spectrum and how can network operators and service provider secure their timely access to spectrum? In his analysis he has drawn on hedging strategies based on derivative securities now widely and successfully used for the trading of conventional commodities in the financial markets.

Dr. Olafsson received his PhD in mathematical Physics from the University of Karlsruhe in 1983. He holds five patents and has over 80 refereed publications.


Intelligence in the Network [Slides]

Sverrir Olafsson
Joseph B. Evans
University of Kansas, USA


The ongoing revolution in computing and communications technology has changed many of the foundational assumptions of today's network architectures. The challenges of the increasingly complex networking environment - particularly wireless networking - make novel approaches to operations, control, and management of radios and networks imperative. In this talk, a multi-layered approach to solving wireless networking problems using cognition will be discussed. By incorporating collaborative sensing, control and management, and learning at multiple layers and on different time scales, wireless networks can be made to adapt to the dynamics caused by radio communications and mobility. This approach will be illustrated through cognitive examples at the radio layer, at the network layer, and at the management and control tier.


Joseph B. Evans is the Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Kansas (KU). He is also the Director of Research Information Technology for KU, reporting to the Vice Provost for Research. Dr. Evans served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2003 to 2005. At NSF, he had oversight responsibility for over $70 million in multi-organizational networking research efforts in wireless networking, cybersecurity, optical networking, and scientific applications. Further, he was responsible for over $50 million in new research and infrastructure awards in newly created programs. He was a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of NetGames USA, Inc., a network gaming company acquired by Microsoft in 2000; XBox Live, Microsoft's Internet gaming service, utilizes the company's technology. Dr. Evans has been involved in creating several other technology companies, including a start-up that has developed and deployed TIGR (Tactical Ground Reporting System) for DARPA and the US Army. He has been a researcher at the Olivetti & Oracle Research Laboratory, Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, USAF Rome Laboratories, and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Dr. Evans' recent activities include participation in the NSF Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) effort, serving as a member of the planning group and most recently as Substrate Working Group co-chair. He has been extensively involved in cognitive radio networking research, including systems prototyping and foundational science to inform the policy debate over use of radio spectrum white spaces. Dr. Evans received the B.S.E.E. degree from Lafayette College in 1983, and M.S.E., M.A., and Ph. D. degrees from Princeton University in 1984, 1986, and 1989, respectively.

Dates & News

Paper Submission
3 Feburary 2008

Acceptance Notification
8 March 2008

Final Manuscripts
24 March 2008

Special Session Proposal
15 December 2007

Tutorial Proposal
15 January 2008

Diamond Sponsor
Institute for Infocomm Research ICST Create-Net
Technical Co-Sponsors




IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S)