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Collaborative spectrum sharing - € 500 000


In order to tackle the expected capacity crunch of wireless networks, the challenge set for this €500 000 prize is to improve the usage of scarce spectrum resources by providing alternative and decentralised spectrum management approaches (referred to as "Collaborative Spectrum Sharing").


Why this Prize?

The data rates and the number of people using mobile communications have both increased dramatically over the last two decades and this rapid expansion is expected to continue. The demand for wireless services will increase by at least 1000 times over the next decade!

The available spectrum is one of the crucial limiting factors for enabling new services and driving the development of wireless systems. Revenues from wireless services using spectrum resources will grow by 17% between 2013 and 2018 (+3% a year on average), reaching €826 billion in 2018 compared to $67 billion in 1995.

A linear improvement of today's spectrum access technologies alone won’t be able to respond to such explosive growth of data rates and users.

At the same time, there has been very little practical experimentation to demonstrate the system capabilities of novel distributed methods. In general, existing efforts have focused on centralized database solutions. Possible solutions such as terminal-centric approaches have not been considered at the system level and are not mature enough for regulatory actions due to the uncertainty of their performance.

Taking into account the limitations in the R&D landscape mentioned above, the objective of this prize is to show the technical feasibility of disruptive spectrum access and sharing methods, which go beyond the traditional cellular evolution and centralised sharing approaches.

It should also help overcome the heterogeneous nature of spectrum access implementation in Europe.



We need novel, highly collaborative and decentralised approaches to spectrum sharing. The Horizon Prize for collaborative spectrum sharing will be awarded to an innovative and disruptive approach which will enable a significant increase in spectrum sharing and re-use, beyond the currently applicable spectrum sharing methods and centralised techniques.

The winning solution should be a significant step forward from current technologies and solutions in terms of shared spectrum usage metrics and will have to prove its economic viability. The feasibility of the approach will have to be demonstrated through clear experimental results.



The contest has been launched and will run until 2016.

Submissions closed on 17 December 2015.

The rules of contest are available online.



Collaborative spectrum sharing

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