Monday, 16 August 2021 13:20

Sony and Mitsui enabling Dynamic Spectrum Access System

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Sony chairman president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and Mitsui president and CEO Kenichi Hori, jointly announced that they have achieved the world’s first successful operation of Sony’s Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technology in a standalone 5G environment. Along with this success, the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter a partnership to study the commercial potential for this technology and ways to use it to support effective use of spectrum resources.


The companies said that spectrum resources are limited, and the strain on these resources is becoming an issue. DSA technology is expected to help solve this problem by optimising the use of radio frequency resources. The companies say that it provides for centralised management of radio frequencies via a real-time resource management database, replacing the traditional method of managing each frequency band separately.

Sony and Mitsui say that this allows spatio-temporally under-utilised spectrum to be allocated for use by new operators and users, while protecting incumbent operator networks and their users from harmful interference.

Practical implementation of DSA technology is already under way in Europe and the United States, with spectrum assignment for 4G/5G in certain regions and locations, along with infrastructure development, making it a growing global trend, the companies said.

Accompanying this kind of diversification occurring in radio frequency resource assignment methods, new use cases and innovation in various industry applications, as well as automated spectrum management using DSA technology, are also being explored, leading Sony and Mitsui to join forces in looking into the commercial potential.

Sony and Mitsui track records and the partnership goals

Mitsui says it is involved in a wide range of industrial domains, employing a multifaceted business approach, including building social infrastructure that uses ICT to drive smart transformation of cities and building sustainable infrastructure to improve quality of life in Asian and other developing nations.

Also, through its subsidiary, Mitsui Knowledge Industry, the company is driving the use of “Local 5G,” an advanced scheme for implementing local 5G networks in Japan, in view of the growing need for wireless usage in industrial applications.

Sony said it has built its track record by engaging in research and development of DSA technology since an early stage. In the world’s first case of large-scale practical implementation on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) system in the United States, Sony has been approved by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for commercial operation to provide spectrum management services (spectrum assignment, spectrum use authorisation, operational parameter configuration such as maximum allowable transmission power) in the 3.5 GHz band (3GPP B48/n48).

Also, based on this approval, Sony has been designated a CBRS SAS administrator to operate in the United States and is recognised for holding excellent commercial-level technologies and many vital patents.

Sony and Mitsui aim to build on these strengths to implement an effective spectrum utilisation model and establish cutting-edge business and technology platforms to help achieve this goal across a broad geographic area, which includes not only Japan, the U.S. and Europe, but also Asia and other regions, as they work together to explore various possibilities. Through this project, they aim to create new businesses meeting continuously growing wireless demands that provide a strong contribution to society.

DSA application in Australia

The applications in Australia are probably well out in the future.

Possible applications might be assigning:

  • spectrum for a private event, e.g., telemetry for a F1 or motor rallying event.
  • spectrum for public safety were an incident requires large numbers of emergency personnel with bandwidth hungry applications.
  • spectrum on a temporary basis for private use for industry, e.g., during day-light hours then reassigning back to consumer use in peak evening hours.
  • and managing white-space spectrum.

I do recall a merchant bank, a couple of decades ago, exploring 'spectrum trading'. Their concept was for spectrum holders to have spectrum available for short term lease and that operators would 'just turn it on' in a particular area, for a period of time. Conceptually a good idea, however as I advised, at the time, unworkable. The amount of time and administration required to bring spectrum on-line was lengthy. Perhaps this solution could reinvigorate this commercial construct.


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