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Cognitive radio presents a new approach to wireless spectrum utilization and management. In this work, the potential performance improvement gained by applying cognitive radio to multiple-provider wireless systems is investigated. It is shown that virtual wireless networks can be created, utilizing only the residual wasted bandwidth of the primary service providers. These virtual networks are able to support large volumes of users, while still ensuring that QoS reliability requirements, such as blocking and dropping guarantees, are achieved. A Markov chain-based analysis of classic and cognitive systems is complemented by simulations in order to present a quantified perspective of the potential benefits of cognitive radio techniques.
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