Opportunistic Usage of Maritime VHF Band—Deployment Challenges for a New Regulatory Framework


Similarly to other domains, maritime community requests for broadband services have been significantly increasing. Worldwide navigation footprint and the lack of practical alternatives to Satellite Communications (SATCOM) empower VHF band as the natural choice to support most of those demands. Nevertheless, the major challenge for an implementation of maritime broadband VHF services is unquestionably the spectrum availability and management. Eventually, the solution must include spectrum sharing, using a Cognitive Radio (CR) based approach, but unfortunately current regulatory framework and spectrum management regime are not appropriate for such concepts and emerging technologies. To overcome such constraints, it is necessary to address a whole field of regulatory and standardization issues in order to prepare an evolution towards a more flexible and dynamic approach to spectrum management and a transition that would ensure incumbents live operations and legacy systems. The required paradigm change encompasses a new policy definition, an enforcement mechanism implementation and a comprehensive transition plan. The presented analysis pretends to address the regulatory feasibility of a framework change, discusses its evolving process and points some challenges related with practical aspects associated to Quality of Service (QoS) enforcement metrics definition, centering the arguments in maritime VHF band.

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E. Bolas, N. Carvalho, J. Vieira and P. Oliveira, "Opportunistic Usage of Maritime VHF Band—Deployment Challenges for a New Regulatory Framework," Wireless Engineering and Technology, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 1-10. doi: 10.4236/wet.2014.51001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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