Wireless radio communications systems form the basis for mobile network connections in the digital society. A limited amount of radio spectrum and a spatially densified use of wireless communications systems require a resource-efficient use of the spectrum. Mechanisms of cognitive radio may hold the key to a more efficient use of the available spectrum under consideration of quality of service requirements. These mechanisms take advantage of location-specific knowledge of the wireless channel occupation in the dimensions of frequency, time, location and direction in space and therefore enable co-existent and reliable wireless communication. The authors give an introduction to the status of cognitive wireless communication technology, which represents the starting point of a series of research projects promoted by BMBF during 2012–2014.
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