There has been some brief discussion about software designed radios
in mobile phones. From a technology point of view, it is possible to
create a completely software defined radio system for a mobile phone.
The phone could, within limits, adapt itself to any radio frequency
and modulation system in place. Thus you could get a "multiband"
phone that could work in Europe, the USA, Japan, Korea, and China,
etc., by changing a setup parameter, or even potentially
automatically detecting its operating environment.
Battery life and processing power are issues, but these are minor
compared to the regulatory issue. Most regulatory agencies are not
willing to license software defined radios. To ensure that radio
devices meet regulatory standards, they are depending on fixed
physical characteristics of the transmitters to ensure that the
devices do what they are supposed to, and do not do what they are not
- not too much power, no transmissions out of band, etc. With a
software defined radio, the assumptions underlying the testing and
approval methodology go out the window - the device will pass with
firmware A, but what happens when hackers get in and start changing
the firmware? There is already a lot of trouble with people
installing amplifiers and changing antenna configurations; software
defined radios compound the problem a hundredfold.
Mr. Eric Hildum
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Received on Mon Sep 18 21:15:52 2006