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Paws Status Pages

Protocol to Access WS database (Concluded WG)
App Area: Barry Leiba | 2011-Jun-14 — 2015-May-22 

2015-03-26 charter

Protocol to Access WS database (paws)


 Current Status: Active

     Gabor Bajko <gaborbajko@gmail.com>
     Brian Rosen <br@brianrosen.net>

 Applications Area Directors:
     Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>

 Applications Area Advisor:
     Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>

 Mailing Lists:
     General Discussion: paws@ietf.org
     To Subscribe:       https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/paws
     Archive:            http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/paws/

Description of Working Group:


      Radio spectrum is a limited resource.  National and international
      bodies assign different frequencies for specific uses, and in
      most cases license the rights to use these frequencies.  Locally
      unused spectrum is commonly called "white space" and may be made
      available to other services on a basis of non-interference with
      the primary user of the frequencies concerned (if any). This
      technique can help "unlock" existing spectrum, for example to
      enable the wireless communications industry to provide more
      services over frequencies associated with unused television
      channels.  An obvious requirement is that white space uses must
      not interfere with the primary use of the spectrum.  This is
      achieved through spatial and/or temporal separation of the
      primary user and whitespace user with due consideration made to
      the radio characteristics of the two uses.

      Problem Statement

      The fundamental problem is enabling a radio device to determine, in
      a specific location and at specific time, if any white space is
      available for secondary use.  There are two parties to such an

      1. A database containing records about the protected contours (in
      space and time) of primary spectrum users.  Typically, such databases
      will be populated by information provided by the appropriate spectrum
      regulation bodies and by spectrum licensees.

      2. A radio device that wishes to query such a database. Typically, the
      nature of the query will depend on the needs of the device.

      The contents of white space databases, and the needs of radio devices,
      are being defined elsewhere.  However, these parties need a protocol
      for communication that will enable radio devices to find out what white
      space is available at a given time in a given location.

      It is expected that white space databases will be reachable via the
      Internet, and that radio devices too will have some form of Internet
      connectivity, directly or indirectly.  Therefore, it is appropriate
      to define an Internet-based protocol for querying white space databases
      and receiving responses from such databases.

      In rough outline, such a protocol would enable a radio device that
      knows its location and the current time to complete the following tasks:

      1. Determine the relevant white space database to query.

      2. Connect to the database using a well-defined communication method.

      3. Provide its geolocation and perhaps other data to the database
         using a well-defined format for querying the database.

      4. Receive in return a list of available white space spectrum
         with their characteristics, using a well-defined format for
         returning information.

      5. Report to the white space database anticipated spectrum usage
         at a suitable granularity.

      Once the device learns of the available white space (e.g., in a TV
      white space implementation, the list of available channels at that
      location), it can then select one of the bands from the list and
      begin to transmit and receive on the selected band.  If the device's
      parameters have changed (e.g., if some amount of time has passed or if
      the device has changed location beyond a specified threshold), it might
      need to query the database again to determine what white space is still


      The overall goals of this working group are to:

      1. Standardize a mechanism for discovering a white space database.

      2. Standardize a method for communicating with a white space

      3. Standardize the data formats to be carried over the defined
      database communication method.

      4. Ensure that the discovery mechanism, database access method,
      and query/response formats have appropriate security levels in place.

      By "standardize" is not meant that the working group will necessarily
      develop new technologies.  In completing its work, the group will:

      - Evaluate existing discovery mechanisms to determine if one of
        them provides the necessary application features and security
        properties (or can be extended to do so) for discovering a
        white space database.  Examples might include DNS.

      - Evaluate existing application-layer transport protocols to
        determine if one of them provides the necessary application
        features and security properties (or can be extended to do so)
        for use as a building block for communication between location-
        aware devices and white space databases.  If such a method
        exists, the group will reuse it; if not, the group will develop
        one.  Examples might include HTTP.

      - Develop a method for querying a white space database.  Such
        a method will utilize, so far as possible, the features of
        the application-layer transport protocol and not re-implement
        them in the new protocol. It will include mechanisms to verify
        that the requests and responses come from authorized sources,
        and that they have not been modified in transit.  Examples might
        include LDAP.

      - Define extensible formats for both location-specific queries and
        location-specific responses for interaction with radio white
        space databases.  The group will consider whether existing data
        formats can be reused.

      The protocol must protect both the channel enablement process and the
      privacy of users.  Robust privacy and security mechanisms are needed
      to prevent: device identity spoofing, modification of device requests,
      modification of channel enablement information, impersonation of
      registered database services, and unauthorized disclosure of a device's
      location.  The group will consider whether existing privacy and
      security mechanisms can be reused.

      The task of defining the structure and contents of the databases
      themselves is out of scope.  The group will standardize formats for
      communication between devices and databases, but not the information
      models for the databases, since those models are likely to be
      country-specific or application-specific.  In addition, the particular
      data exchanged between a device and a database might depend on the
      ranges of radio spectrum that are to be used, the requirements of the
      database operators and their governing regulations, and other factors.
      Therefore, the database access method and the query/response data
      formats that are exchanged using that method need to be designed for
      extensibility rather than being tied to any specific spectrum, country,
      or phy/mac/air interface.  For example, the working group should define
      extension points for the database access method and the query/response
      formats, so that use cases other than those currently envisioned can be
      addressed in the future if a community of interest wishes to do so.
      However, the access method and query/response formats will incorporate
      relevant aspects of the parameters needed for the currently envisioned
      use cases to ensure proper operation.

      In accordance with existing IETF processes, the group will communicate
      and invite participation with other relevant standards bodies and
      groups, and if necessary reuse existing liaison relationships or
      request the establishment of new liaison relationships, including but
      not limited to IEEE 802.11af and IEEE 802.22.  In order to ensure that
      it takes into account a broad range of possible use cases and
      requirements, the group should also reach out to other potential
      "customers" for a white space database access method and consider input
      from regulatory entities that are involved in the specification of the
      rules for secondary use of spectrum in specific radio bands.


      1. A description of the relevant use cases and requirements.  This
      document shall be Informational.  Subject to working group consensus,
      draft-probasco-paws-overview-usecases and draft-patil-paws-problem-stmt
      might be used as a starting point.

      2. A specification of the mechanism for discovering a white space
      database, the method for accessing a white space database, and the
      query/response formats for interacting with a white space database.
      This document shall be Standards Track.

Goals and Milestones:
  Aug 2012 - Submit 'Use Cases and Requirements for Accessing a Radio White Space Database' to the IESG for publication as Informational
  Apr 2013 - Submit 'Accessing a Radio White Space Database' to the IESG for publication as Proposed Standard

All charter page changes, including changes to draft-list, rfc-list and milestones:

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