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[802SEC] FW: [new-work] WG Review: Protocol to Access White Space database (paws)

WG Chairs,

Your working group members may be interested in the following announcement from the IETF.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of IESG Secretary
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 9:58 AM
Subject: [new-work] WG Review: Protocol to Access White Space database (paws)

A new IETF working group has been proposed.  The IESG has not made any
determination as yet. The following draft charter was submitted, and is
provided for informational purposes only. Please send your comments to the
IESG mailing list ( by Tuesday, April 26, 2011.            

Protocol to Access White Space database (paws)
Current Status: Proposed Working Group
Last updated: 2011-04-14


Area Directors:

Area Advisor:

Mailing lists:
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Description of Working Group:

Governments around the world continue to search for new pieces of radio
spectrum which can be used by the expanding wireless communications
industry to provide more services in the usable spectrum. The concept
of allowing secondary transmissions (licensed or unlicensed) in
frequencies allocated to a primary user is a technique to "unlock"
existing spectrum for new use. An obvious requirement is that these
secondary transmissions do not interfere with the primary use of the
spectrum. Often, in a given physical location, the primary user(s) may
not be using the entire band allocated to them. The available spectrum
for a secondary use would then depend on the location of the secondary
user. The primary user may have a schedule when it uses the spectrum,
which may be available for secondary use outside that schedule. The
fundamental issue is how to determine for a specific location and
specific time, if any of the primary spectrum is available for secondary
use. One simple mechanism is to use a geospatial database that records
protected contours for primary users, and require the secondary users to
check the database prior to selecting what part of the spectrum they
use. Such databases could be available on the Internet for query by

In a typical implementation of geolocation and database to access TV
white space, a radio is configured with, or has the capability to
determine its location in latitude and longitude. At power-on, before
the device can transmit or use any of the spectrum set aside for
secondary use, the device must identify the relevant database to query,
contact the database, provide its geolocation and receive in return a
list of unoccupied or "white space" spectrum (for example, in a TV
White space implementation, the list of available channels at that
location). The device can then select one of the channels from the list
and begin to transmit and receive on the selected channel. The device
must query the database subsequently on a periodic basis for a list of
unoccupied channels based on certain conditions, e.g. a fixed amount of
time has passed or the device has changed location beyond a specified

The databases are expected to be reachable via the Internet and the
devices querying these databases are expected to have some form of
Internet connectivity, directly or indirectly. The databases may be
country specific since the available spectrum and regulations may vary,
but the fundamental operation of the protocol should be country
independent, thus extensibility of data structures will be required. The
solution will not be tied to any specific spectrum, country, or
phy/mac/air interface but may incorporate relevant aspects of these as
needed for proper operation.

The proposed working group will :
- standardize a protocol for querying the database, which includes a
location sensitive database discovery mechanism and security for the
protocol, and application services.
- Standardize the data structure to be carried by the query

The protocol must protect both the channel enablement process and the
privacy of users. Robust security mechanisms are required to prevent:
device identity spoofing, modification of device requests, modification
of channel enablement information, impersonation of registered database
services and unauthorized disclosure of a users location.

Existing IETF location data structures and privacy mechanisms may be
considered for use. The WG will also investigate the need for other
mechanisms and related protocols to the White Space DB.

The Working Group will set up and maintain appropriate contact and
liaison with other relevant standards bodies and groups, including IEEE
802.11af and IEEE 802.22 to begin with. The working group may also
consider input from regulatory entities that are involved in the
specification of the rules for secondary use of spectrum in specific

Goals and Milestones

Sep 2011  Submit 'Requirements and Framework' to the IESG for
          publication as Informational

Apr 2012  Submit 'Protocol for Querying a Whitespace Database' to
          the IESG for publication as Proposed Standard

Apr 2012  Submit 'Data Model for Whitespace query protocol' to the
          IESG for publication as Proposed Standard
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