Prof. Sriram Vishwanath is working on a novel solution to the wireless bandwidth needs of the future. Wireless multimedia applications require significant bandwidth, some of which will be provided by third-generation (3G) services. Even with substantial investment in 3G infrastructure, the radio spectrum allocated to 3G will be limited.
Cognitive radio—an extension of software radio that employs model-based reasoning about users, multimedia content, and communications context—offers a mechanism for the flexible pooling of radio spectrum using a new class of protocols called formal radio etiquettes. This approach could expand the bandwidth available for conventional uses (e.g., police, fire and rescue) and extend the spatial coverage of 3G.