A cognitive radio could be called a radio that learns. The idea is to make telecommunications systems smarter in order to optimize the use of the frequency spectrum. There are increasing demands on the spectrum because of the growing use of telecommunications devices.

There are two key motivators behind cognitive radio research. The first is to develop more techniques for the more efficient use of the available spectrum, enabling higher data rates and a greater number of wireless devices. The second is to develop automated procedures for organizing and maintaining wireless infrastructure with a minimum of human interaction.

In order to attain these goals, several enabling technologies are under development or need to be researched. With the new techniques, radios can transmit at a frequency already being used by other devices without causing interference with the original transmission. However, this will require alterations to be made to the legal framework controlling the use of radio frequency bands, since the spectrum is divided into bands and stations the world over, and cognitive radio uses a radically different approach.





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