Business Potential of Software Defined Radio Technology

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uppladdat: 2005-05-02
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The business potential of software defined radio (SDR) technology is studied by evaluating whether or not its characteristics correspond to those particular to a disruptive technology. The maturity of the SDR technology concept is illuminated by analyzing the opinions and perspectives of a selection of representatives for different stakeholders in the wireless communications market. Characteristics as, for example, the degree of consensus about the utility of SDR technology and the awareness of features and limitations are studied by application of the theory of technological frames. This theory helps us understand how and when technology evolution takes place. Finally we describe the value network structures of some potentially viable application areas for SDR and suggest some possible business opportunities based on SDR technology. This thesis is carried out as a case study and the research data is obtained from secondary sources, such as literature and Internet publications as well as interviews with people well experienced in the field of wireless communications. In particular, we study the perspectives of the personal communication services (PCS) manufacturing industry, the PCS providers (operators), the purchasers of military equipment (defense) and independent observers in academia. It is concluded that there are several definitions of SDR. Depending on which is adopted the potential for disruptive evolution of SDR is perceived differently. In the military sector, a disruption has already taken place from an equipment perspective. For the manufacturers of PCS equipment, i.e., infrastructure and terminals, SDR is viewed as a possible implementation technology, rather than a radically new and disruptive technology. The transformation of the RF transceiver processing from the analog to the digital and SW domains is seen as a sustaining technology evolution, virtually inevitable due to the need to support multiple air interface standards and cost reasons. However, one plausible trend is the separation of the HW and SW of the wireless communication platforms and this may open up for potential disruptive innovations. In particular, the provisioning of general purpose wireless processors and high-level abstraction SW with detailed knowledge about the RF processing hardware, described as SW primitives, will enable applications and services to be implemented by SW engineers without expert knowledge in wireless communications. There is a belief that this will fuel innovation, particularly in the areas of waveform software, middleware, services and applications. Another, potentially disruptive, feature that can be enabled by SDR technology is network transparency for services. SDR is also related to the issue of improved spectrum efficiency through the concept of cognitive radio. However, cognitive radio is believed to be more distant in the future than SDR technology. Several new areas in the networking sector will need to be addressed to achieve ubiquitious connectivity and interesting business opportunities open up when if this is to be enabled with SDR technology. Other areas that will need to be addressed are terminal management, infrastructure management, billing and routing in heterogenous networks. Unfortunately, the presence of a strong trend towards an increased demand of higher wireless data rates is not unambiguous and no apparent killer application based on ubiquitious connectivity has yet emerge...

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Inactive member [2005-05-02]   Business Potential of Software Defined Radio Technology
Mimers Brunn [Online]. [2020-06-06]

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