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Software-defined radio: facets of a developing technology

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1 Author(s)
Tuttlebee, W.H.W. ; Roke Manor Res. Ltd., Romsey, UK

Software radio has emerged from obscurity to be heralded by some in the personal communications industry as offering a potential solution to man's historical inability to achieve common global standards. In such a scenario reconfigurable terminals, able to adapt to the differing regional radio interfaces, if feasible in the appropriate timescales, appear a very attractive option. In reality, the future of software-defined radio is perhaps, at the same time, both much less and much more than this. At one level, the advent of the true software-reconfigurable “universal handset” may lie beyond the launch date of third-generation systems. Equally, however, software radio will profoundly impact not only technology but also industry structures. Software-defined radio reflects the convergence of two dynamically developing technological forces: digital radio and real-time downloadable software. The former has facilitated the wireless revolution, and the latter has both facilitated and ridden the Internet wave. The massive growth and convergence of these two markets is both creating the applications demand for third-generation personal communications and simultaneously threatening some of the existing ground rules of the wireless industry. Software radio is in its infancy-in this article we explore its first steps, describe facets of the technological possibilities and implications, and try to postulate into what will it grow

Published in:

Personal Communications, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 1999

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