The radio spectrum obeys the laws of physics not of man. So, to make these two structures marry together, and to get the natural world to do humans’ bidding, requires spectrum engineering.
The mini-case studies below illustrates some of the areas where ATDI provides consultancy services.
Nature does not work in blocks, allocations or convenient pieces. The only measurement that the natural world provides for the width of Africa is that it is as wide as Africa. It took humans – and the human invention of the mile and kilometre – to delineate where one country ends and another begins. So it is with the radio spectrum. Only once the notion of frequencies and blocks of frequencies had been formulated could the spectrum be talked about in meaningful terms. Without those meaningful terms, there could be no trade in spectrum resources and, indeed, no radio equipment.
The beginning of spectrum engineering is modelling – establishing what the spectrum under scrutiny can be made to do without affecting the users of frequency blocks either side. Modelling, then, establishes the parameters of what the spectrum is capable of; spectrum engineering is making it actually do that thing.
Spectrum engineering means working with those using adjacent blocks and also with hardware companies. All radio equipment, clearly, needs to be compatible with the frequencies it is to use and needs to be capable of carrying out its purpose, so it is vital that there is good liaison between the sponsors of a new network and the manufacturers. In its two decades of business, ATDI has been an effective conduit between network operators and hardware companies; the company has a track record in advising both sides and helping them reach mutually beneficial solutions.
Furthermore, the company’s expertise extends beyond this to an international remit. Despite being an island nation, radio signals from the UK have the power to affect systems in other countries (and vice-versa) so it is vital there is liaison and coordination – not least with all the relevant spectrum regulators – if every user of spectrum is to get good service.
Spectrum engineering, then, encompasses all the practical elements of making a block of frequencies do a job without affecting neighbouring users.
Getting that job done on time and on budget – and to the satisfaction of all affected parties - is ATDI’s core competence.