Spectrum, the airwaves over which wireless devices communicate, is increasingly in demand throughout the world. As mobile broadband access is expanding and unprecedented numbers of smart devices come online, efficient use of wireless spectrum becomes increasingly important.
The Microsoft Spectrum Observatory was created to provide an intuitive presentation of wireless spectrum usage in locations around the world. Usage information is recorded through monitoring stations and is stored and processed for visualization through the Microsoft Azure cloud. The data is then easily accessible and freely available to the public.
Microsoft recently released all of the source code for the Microsoft Spectrum Observatory under the Apache 2.0 license, increasing the opportunity for collaboration among academics, governments and others interested in learning more about how wireless spectrum is used.
“The data provided by the [Microsoft] Spectrum Observatory is particularly useful for government regulators throughout the world, who are increasingly looking for new methods of managing spectrum that are more flexible and efficient,” said Anoop Gupta, Lead Software Development Engineer for the Microsoft’s Technology Policy Group. “Under current licensing systems, access to most spectrum bands is limited to a strict set of users and applications, resulting in a significant amount of spectrum that’s unused in any given time or place.”