PhD Defense of Lei Shi: Efficient Spectrum Utilization of UHF Broadcast Band

PhD defense
Date and time: June 12, 2014 14:00 -
Place: Room E, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista

Title:                Efficient Spectrum Utilization of UHF Broadcast Band

Date:               Thursday, June 12, 2014

Time:              14:00

Location:        Room E, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista

Candidate:      Lei Shi


  • Professor Linda Doyle, Director, CTVR / Telecommunications Research Centre, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland.


  • Professor Tommy Svensson, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Professor Mikael Skoglund, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Doctor Joachim Sachs, Ericsson Research, Sweden


  • Professor Jens Zander


  • Docent Ki Won Sung

The dissertation is available in electronic format at the following URL (Links to Diva portal will be available soon):

Hard copies will be available at the defense seminar.


The UHF band between 470-790 MHz, currently occupied by digital ter- restrial TV (DTT) distribution in Europe, is widely regarded as a premium spectrum band for providing mobile coverage. With the exponential increase in wireless data traffic in recent years, there has been growing interests in gaining access to this spectrum band for wireless broadband services. The secondary access in TV White Space is considered as one cost-effective way to reuse the spectrum unoccupied by the primary DTT network. On the other hand, the declining influence of DTT and the converging trends of video con- sumption on TV and mobile platforms are new incentives for the regulator to reconsider the optimal utilization of the UHF broadcast band. The proposal to re-farm the UHF band for a converged content distribution network was born under theses circumstances.

This thesis intends to develop a methodology for evaluating the technical performance of these options for utilizing UHF broadcast band and quantify- ing their gains in terms of achievable extra capacity and spectrum savings. For the secondary access in TV white space, our study indicates a considerable po- tential for low power secondary, which is mostly limited by the adjacent chan- nel interference generated from the densely deployed secondary devices due to the cumulative effect of multichannel interference. On the other hand, this potential does not translate directly into capacity for a WiFi-like secondary system based on CSMA/CA protocol, as the network congestion and self- interference within the secondary system has a greater impact on the network throughput than the primary interference constraint.

Our study on the cellular content distribution network reveals more po- tential benefits for re-farming the UHF broadcast band and reallocating it for a converged platform. This platform is based on cellular infrastructure and can provide TV service with the same level of quality requirement as DTT by delivering the video content via either broadcast or unicast as the situa- tion dictates. We have developed a resource manage framework to minimize its spectrum requirement for providing TV service and identified a significant amount of spectrum that can be reused by the converged platform to provide extra mobile broadband capacity in urban and sparsely populated rural areas.

Overall, we have arrived at the conclusion that the concept of cellular con- tent distribution in a re-farmed UHF band shows a more promising prospect than the secondary access in TV white space in the long run. Nevertheless, low power secondary is still considered as a flexible and low-cost way to exploit the underutilized spectrum in the short term, despite its uncertainty in future availability. On the other hand, the re-farming of UHF broadcast band is a long and difficult regulation process with substantial opposition from the in- cumbent.The results from this study could serve as input for future regulatory decisions on the UHF band allocation and cost-benefit analysis for deploying new systems to access this spectrum band.


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