Wireless Networks Should Spread Spectrum Based on Demands

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Executive Summary

Today's local-area, mesh and cellular networks assign a single narrow-band channel to a node, and this assignment remains fixed over long time scales. Using network traces, this paper show that the load within a network can vary significantly even over short time scales on the order of tens of seconds. Therefore, this paper makes the case for allocating spectrum on demand to nodes and regions of the network that need it. This paper presents an architecture that shares the entire spectrum on-demand using spread-spectrum codes. If implemented, the system will achieve fine-grained spectrum allocation for bursty traffic without requiring inter-cell coordination. Preliminary experiments suggest a throughput improvement of 75% over commodity 802.11b networks.

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