Skip to content

Wireless Spectrum Research and Development


Dr. J. Nicholas Laneman had the distinct honor of being part of a small and specific group invited, on behalf of the Wireless Spectrum Research and Development Senior Steering Group (WSRD) of the Federal Government’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program (NITRD), to participate in the second technical workshop, Federal Government and Private Sector Collaboration on Research, Development, Experimentation and Testing of Innovative Spectrum Sharing Technologies held in Berkeley, California, on January 17-18, 2012, at the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC).


The Wireless Spectrum R&D (WSRD) Senior Steering Group (SSG) has been formed to coordinate spectrum-related research and development activities across the Federal government. The purpose is two-fold: to help coordinate and inform ongoing activities across Federal agencies; and to facilitate the identification of shortcomings in the Government’s R&D portfolio with respect to technologies that allow a more efficient use of spectrum. These activities are consistent with the guiding principles of WSRD, which are transparency, smart investment, and the solicitation of opportunities for technology transfer across and beyond the Federal government.


WSRD was formed to inventory, coordinate, and make recommendations on Federal programs to advance the goals of the June 28, 2010 Presidential Memorandum: Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution, Section 3. In addition, WSRD will work with academia and the private sector to help develop priorities, encourage private investment, and develop public/private partnerships when appropriate.


Current functions and activities include:

  • Developing an inventory of recently completed and/or ongoing wireless spectrum research and development projects in the 2006-2010 timeframe.
  • Completing a gap analysis of that inventory.
  • Consulting with academic and private sector researchers to confirm this analysis.
  • Developing recommendations for future research needs.

Dr. Laneman observed “There is a huge gap between the Federal government and commercial industry in terms of being able to understand what sort of sharing arrangements might be possible / attractive. In retrospect, the workshop seemed to be a vehicle to get these sides talking, but it only scratched the surface.”