European activities on Cognitive Radio and Software Defined radio systems


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This page gathers information on the activities relating to Cognitive Radio Systems (CRS) and Software Defined Radio (SDR) systems within CEPT


WRC-07 decided to place A.I. 1.19 (introduction of software-defined radio and cognitive radio systems) onto the WRC-12 Agenda. In the ITU Working Party (WP) 1B of ITU-R Study Group 1 was identified as the Responsible Group for this Agenda item. Within CEPT this AI is under the responsibility of CPG PTA.


ECC (9–13 March 2009, Vienna, Austria) decided to task WG SE to investigate and define technical and operational requirements for the operation of cognitive radio systems in the ‘white spaces’ of the frequency band 470-790 MHz. A new project team (SE43) of WG SE was established. An ECC Correspondence Group was set up to collect the necessary information on CRS in order to identify which issues should be studied by the ECC.


ECC (26-30 October 2009, FYR of Macedonia) considered the comprehensive report delivered by the Correspondence Group and decided that:


   -    WG FM should coordinate the future work on SDR and CRS using the ECC work structure distribution. 

   -    ECC should however take the overall responsibility, especially if decisions have to be taken resulting from cross relations between subordinate groups.

   -    WG RA could already start initial considerations on the enforcement issues.



Following areas of the activities related to CRS and SDR are covered: 

·     SE43

·     STG

·     WG FM

·     WG RA

·     CPG PTA

·     CPM-11-2

·     ITU-R WP 5D

Latest news

SE43 corner:


SE43 was created at the 53rd meeting of WG SE in Hvar (Croatia). A dedicated page has been created on ECO web site SE43 web page


SE43 held its 8th meeting from 8 to 10 December 2010 in Geneva (Switzerland).  SE43 considered the comments received during Public Consultation on draft ECC Report 159 on “Technical and operational requirements for the operation of cognitive radio systems in the ‘white spaces’ of the frequency band 470-790 MHz” and revised the report accordingly.

The revision work on draft ECC Report 159 was organised in two groups. In particular, the discussion of the proposals for further studies on WSDs was moved in a drafting group chaired by Mr. Bruno Espinosa (France), whereas the proposed changes to the main body of the report and its annexes were considered during the plenary sessions.

The meeting approved also the document to be submitted to WG SE that provides information on the actions taken by the group with regard to the comments received during Public Consultation on draft ECC Report 159.

The meeting discussed a number of technical, operational, and regulatory issues that need to be considered before WSDs can be deployed in the band 470-790 MHz without interfering to incumbent radio services/systems in this band and adjacent bands. It was noted that SE43 may continue studies on some issues immediately. However, for some other issues, which are considered as areas for further work, information from the WSD industry and the ETSI would be required before SE43 can address these issues.

Pending to the decision of the WG SE, the group provisionally scheduled two meetings in 2011:

·         14 – 15 April 2011 (ECO, Copenhagen); 

·         5 – 7 July 2011 [TBD].

Read the details of the 8th SE43 meeting in the Minutes of the meeting.



STG corner:

The Cognitive Radio (Spectrum Sensing) feature is now implemented in SEAMCAT. Further information on the algorithm and the manual are available here.

WG FM corner:


WG FM discussed and decided at its 71th meeting on 31 January - 4 February 2011 in Luxemburg as follows:


The coordinator of the CG CRS introduced the report of the correspondence group (doc. FM(11)051).

A LS from ETSI TC ERM and TC RRS was introduced informing that TC RRS is developing a roadmap for proposed standardisation activities in the framework of ETSI RRS. The information will be provided to WG FM as soon as possible.

The WGFM Chairman presented LS from WG SE presenting finally approved by the group in January 2011 ECC Report 159. It was stressed in LS that Chapter 11 of this ECC Report lists pending issues regarding a potential deployment of WSDs in the frequency band 470-790 MHz. WG FM is invited to review the information provided in ECC Report 159 and to provide its feedback directly to SE43 which next meetings have been scheduled on 14-15 April 2011 and 5-7 July 2011.

It was suggested by the WGFM meeting to task CG CRS to work on regulatory consideration on the protection of PMSE on the basis of Chapter 11 of ECC Report 159 and to provide comments directly to SE43. 

An e-mail reflector, managed by the chairman of the correspondence group (Mr. Benoist Deschamps), has been established by the ECO with the following address: [email protected]

To subscribe to this CG please send e-mail to  WGFM CG CRS   


WG RA corner:


RA WS_CR is developing a new ECC Report on “consideration of the regulatory mechanisms needed to facilitate the introduction of cognitive radio systems (CRS) in the ‘white spaces’ of the frequency band 470-790 MHz”. The Report will be complementary to the recently approved by WGSE ECC Report 159 and will focus on different regulatory models for the management of CR databases.

The draft EU RSPG Opinion on Cognitive Radio will be also taken into account by RA WS_СR in developing the new ECC Report.


CPG PTA corner:


CPG PTA had its 7th meeting from 7th to 11th September 2010. 8th meeting of CPG PTA (November 2010) did not consider AI 1.19.


At the 7th meeting of CPG PTA the draft CEPT Brief was updated and, amongst other things, an example for a possible Resolution ITU-R [CRS] "Studies on the implementation and use of cognitive radio systems (CRS)" was annexed to the Brief. It contains a proposal for an ITU-R Resolution which could be adopted by RA-12 to give guidance to ITU-R study groups for studies on the implementation and use of CRS. Follow-up of the scheme relating to this possible Resolution will be taken care of by CPG PTE, which was called to life by CPG12-6.


In addition, PTA developed a new preliminary draft ECP echoing the long-settled preliminary CEPT positions in the Brief.


CPM-11-2 corner:


CPM-11-2 held in February 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. CPM text on WRC-12 Agenda item 1.19 was approved by the meeting. The CPM text suggests following options to satisfy WRC-12 AI 1.19:


·         for software-defined radio (SDR), the meeting is in agreement that no change (NOC) to the Radio Regulations was needed (issue A, Method A);

·         for the issues of cognitive radio systems (CRS) following methods were proposed (issue B, Method B1):

§         Option A:  supports NOC to the Radio Regulations;

§         Option B: is NOC to the Radio Regulations and calls for the development of an ITU-R Resolution to provide a framework in order to facilitate studies on technical and operational considerations related to the implementation of CRS technologies in the radiocommunication services.

·         Issue B, Method B2:

§         add a WRC Resolution to provide a framework for guidance of the studies on technical and operational considerations related to the CRS technologies implemented in any systems of a radiocommunication service (no other changes to the Radio Regulations proposed under Method B2).

Under both methods, Resolution 956 (WRC-07) is proposed to be suppressed.


ITU-R WP5D corner:


WP5D “IMT Systems” is working on a Report on Cognitive Radio Systems (CRS) Specific to IMT Systems [IMT.CRS]. SDR will be also addressed in the Report. The Report is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.


ECC Correspondence Group corner:


Doc. ECC(09)136 was introduced by Margit Huhtala, Convener of the Correspondence group on CR at the ECC meeting (26-30 October 2009, Skopje, FYR of Macedonia).  The Document summarises the work done by the group. As requested by the ECC the group has improved the wording of the tasks, added some more explanation in the section concerning applications, taken into account the experience with the pre-cognitive systems, outlined a roadmap with milestones for future work and considered its attribution within the ECC structure. The work done by SE43 and WG FM has also been taken into account. Emphasis was given to the improved Tasks 1 and 2 as well as on the established milestone plan.  The tasks are foreseen as follows:

Task 1: Technical studies/analysis and compatibility issues. 

Task 2: Regulatory mechanisms needed to facilitate introduction of CRS.

Task 3: Further to Task 1 and 2, study, if necessary, the impact of cognitive devices on current framework for placing equipment on the market, including assignment of responsibilities in the case of radio equipment (in particular if data bases in support of the geo-location are provided by third parties), and enforcement, in order to make proposals on the basis of these findings to the relevant bodies.


A roadmap with four stages until WRC-2012, to maximise the benefits of the CRS work in the ECC, was presented by the CG. The four stages given below are proposed to cover the work items of Task 1 (technical work and compatibility), Task 2 (regulatory work) and Task 3 (impact on current framework) as well as the foreseen applications and the on-going work within WG FM and SE43. Close co-operation between all stakeholders is necessary.

Stage 1: Identification of types of CRS applications, review of spectrum needs and existing spectrum usage (Task 1, work is ongoing within WG FM).

Stage 2: Feasibility study, addressing identified CRS applications (Task 1, work is ongoing within WG FM and SE43).

Stage 3: Identification of bands and regulation, addressing identified CRS applications (work is ongoing within WG FM and SE43, Task 1 and 2).

Stage 4: Impact on current regulatory framework for equipment (Task 2 and 3).

ECC appreciated this comprehensive response from the CG and decided to continue in accordance with the proposed roadmap. The Report of the Correspondence Group can be downloaded here.

ETSI TC RSS corner:

There is ongoing activity within ETSI TC RSS on CRS and SDR standardisation (link to the ETSI TC RSS).


ETSI RRS TC created the following four WGs, in which the technical discussions are organized and reports are produced:


 ·          WG1 (System Aspects (SA)) focuses on system aspects and develops proposals from a system aspects point of view for a common framework in RRS TC with the aim to guarantee coherence among the different RRS TC WGs and to avoid overlapping and gaps between related activities.

·          WG2 (Radio Equipment Architecture (REA)) focuses on SDR technology with a particular interest in radio equipment architecture and proposes common reference architectures for SDR/CR radio equipment (mobile handset devices, radio base stations, etc.), related interfaces, and so on.

·          WG3 (Cognitive Management and Control) focuses on cognitive management and control; the group collects and defines the system functionalities for reconfigurable radio systems related to spectrum management and joint radio resource management across heterogeneous access technologies. Furthermore, the group has developed a functional architecture for the management and control of reconfigurable radio   systems as well as a report on the CPC as an enabler to support the management of the RRS.

·          WG4 (Public Safety) focuses on public safety and collects and defines the related RRS requirements from relevant stakeholders in the public safety and defense domain. The group defines the system aspects for the applications of RRS in public safety and defense.



European corner:

The RAS (Radio Access and Spectrum) Cluster Workshop took place on the 28th January 2010. The setup of the workshop was FP7 projects on Cognitive Radio and Spectrum Sharing presenting their technology concepts and discussed regulatory implications. The workshop’s presentations are available on the webpage of the Workshop.


Some of the following projects have been finalized and some have been recently launched:  

-  End-to-End Efficiency (E3) project was finalised in December 2009. The key objective of it was to transform current wireless system infrastructures into an integrated, scalable and efficiently managed Beyond-3rd-Generation (B3G) cognitive system framework, which ensures seamless access to applications and services and exploits the full diversity of corresponding heterogeneous systems. In the course of the project collaborative and autonomous algorithms were developed.

-  PHYDYAS (Physical Layer for Dynamic Spectrum Access and Cognitive Radio). A short term objective is to develop and demonstrate algorithms for single and multiantenna terminals, scalability and adaptivity, and multiple accesses. The proposed technique is a filter bank-based multicarrier (FBMC) which offers high spectrum resolution and can provide independent sub-channels, while maintaining or enhancing the high data rate capability. Critical aspect is that sub-channels (so-called sub-carriers) can be independent. Spectrum sensing and transmitting can be performed simultaneously.

-  SENDORA (Sensor Network for Dynamic and Cognitive Radio) – main motivation of the project is that radio spectrum is a scarce resource but is paradoxically under-utilized in some frequency bands. Start date = 1st January 2008; duration: 36 months. Innovative idea is to perform sensing and control interference level at the same time. Objective is develop a technology able to reuse the licensed but unused spectrum in an opportunistic manner, operating as secondary system in the considered bands.

Approach is to develop SENDORA Wireless Sensor Network aided to Cognitive Radio network. network and provide himself the secondary system with transmission opportunities. Selected scenario: nomadic broadband access in urban and suburban areas. Start date 01.01.2008; duration: 36 months.

-  SACRA (Spectrum and Energy Efficiency through multi-band Cognitive Radio). Motivation of the project is to study and demonstrate spectrum and energy efficient communications through multi-band cognitive radio. Project was launched on 01.01.2010; duration is 36 months.

Main objective: study and demonstration of spectrum and energy efficient communications through multi-band cognitive radio. Possible scenario: mobile broadband communications on several separate bands. Target bands: 2.6 GHz and upper part of UHF band.

-  ARAGORN (Adaptive Reconfigurable Access and Generic Interfaces in Radio Networks). Duration: January 2008 – June 2010.  Project explores CR principles in ISM-band domain. Increase efficiency through cooperation and cognitive radio principle. To invent in the existing architecture the cognitive radio manager (CRM) and investigate what are its inherent components. The opportunity of the usage of the white spaces is dependent on the given thresholds to depict or measure ‘gaps’.

-  FARAMIR (Flexible and spectrum-Aware Radio Access through Measurements and Modelling). The project was recently launched. It will mainly deal with measurements.

-  EUWB (Coexisting Short Range Radio by Advanced Ultra-Wideband Radio Technology). Time schedule: 01.04.2008 – 31.03.2011. Objectives of EUWB are to explore the economic potential of the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) radio technology, extend the UWB concept with advanced cognitive radio, multi-band/multimode networking and multiple antenna system concepts; reliable data link between sensor and control unit; reduce cable harness complexity. Implementation is planned for automotive UWB frontends and antenna concepts. Methods include short term (spectrum sensing with its challenges like long scanning time because of the wide range and changing environment) and long term (co-operative spectrum sensing).

- WALTER  (Wireless Alliance for Testing Experiment and Research). Project was started in 2008 and was finalised in the end of 2009. Main objective was fulfilled. Test beds were developed to measure UWB signal in order to allow conformity assessment to the devices to be presented on the market.

-  SAPHYRE (Sharing Physical Resources: Mechanisms and Implementations for Wireless Networks). Project was recently launched, consists of 6 Work Packages. The main topics emphasised in the SAPHYRE project are: self-organising infrastructure sharing, new adaptive spectrum sharing models, efficient autonomous co-ordination, and high spectral efficiency. “Innovation idea is to pave the way for paradigm change from exclusive resource allocation to voluntary physical resource sharing”.  Technical platform will be created based on Broadband wireless experimental system which belongs to Fraunhofer Institute.

-   QoSMOS (Quality of Service and Mobility driven cognitive radio Systems). Project was started on 01.01.2010. The main objective is to provide a platform for efficient radio access to future networks. Some challenges for CR implementation such as sensing; spectrum portfolio database; other mitigation technique methods will be studied.

Following opportunities for Cognitive Radio can be studied further such as home and street coverage; smart metering / grid; rural access; cellular extension; public safety; TV white spaces.

-  QUASAR (Quantitative Assessment of Secondary Spectrum Access). Following scenarios and use cases for a secondary system will be investigated: 1) Mobile broadband access; 2) High-speed Rural broadband; 3) Next generation home networks; 4) Cellular deployments with low/high towers; 5) Backhauling; 6) Emergency services /ad hoc networks.

Following frequencies for white space usage will be considered: broadcasting bands; radar bands; satellite bands. the decision about cellular bands is under consideration.

Expected output of the Project will be to asses the amount of “white spaces” and its usefulness. Secondary system performance and white space availability map.

-   CoGEU (Cognitive radio systems for efficient sharing of TV white spaces in EUropean context). Duration 36 months (January 2010-December 2012).

CoGEU will consider a centralized architecture with a spectrum broker. The spectrum broker controls the amount of bandwidth and power assigned to each user in order to keep the desired QoS and interference below the interference limits. Project combines geolocation databases and sensing techniques for incumbent detection and determining usable channels in TVWS.

CoGEU approach: 1) emulate possible scenario; 2) develop software to calculate possible amount of spectrum and check the correctness of the approach; 3) combine geolocation and sensing techniques.  


Information about COST-TERRA as one of the European networking project within the framework of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) can be found here.



Non-exhaustive list of European Research Institutes dealing with CRS:


·          COGNAC (Cognitive and opportunistic wireless communication networks) is a national (finnish) research project lead by Centre for wireless communications (CWC)/University of Oulu. The main aim of the project is to develop fundamental knowledge on the techniques of opportunistic spectrum usage for broadband wireless communication systems enabling the provision of multitude of services. In addition to the development of practical techniques and solutions, an equally important goal is to achieve good understanding on the fundamental behavior of opportunistic and heterogeneous traffic behavior in order to develop suitable models for analysis and simulation purposes. This three year project is ending at the end of 2010. More that 35 scientific journal and conference articles have been produced. Cognac is funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, University of Oulu (Centre for Wireless Communications) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Contact details: Timo Bräysy (Project Manager), CWC/University of Oulu, email: [email protected]

  • Summary of the work done with the participation of scientists from Eurecom, France can be downloaded here.

CEPT Meetings

List of meetings related to cognitive radio within CEPT. 



Meeting dates

28th ECC meeting

7 - 11 March 2011, Porto, Portugal


29 - 31 March 2011, ECO, Copenhagen


14 - 15 April 2011, [ECO, Copenhagen]

23 nd WG RA

3 - 6 May 2011, Paris, France

72 nd WG FM

16 - 20 May 2011, Miesbach, Germany


6 May 2011, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland

29th ECC meeting

20 - 24 May 2011, [Croatia]


5 - 7 July 2011, TBD

24 th WG RA

20 - 23 September 2011, Prague, Czech Republic

73 rd WG FM

17 - 21 October 2011, France

30th ECC meeting

5 - 9 December 2011, TBD

Further information about meetings is available in the ECO Meeting calendar.

Top of the document

ECO contact for Cognitive Radio related enquiries: Stella Lyubchenko (ECO)  e-mail "" or phone +45 33 89 63 09


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