Robert J. Matheson

Abstract: This paper provides definitions of spectrum efficiency for general communication systems, then simplifies the definitions so that the spectrum efficiency of several contemporary mobile radio systems can be easily compared. A variety of systems currently in use and proposed for near-term deployment are compared to analog FM dispatch radio. The calculations show a ratio of 1 million between the most efficient and least efficient of the systems considered. Based on these calculations, a comparison can be made between various technologies and their ability to deliver communication systems with a very high spectrum efficiency.

Keywords: spectrum efficiency; mobile radio; PCS; cellular radio; frequency reuse; spectrum policy; trunked radio systems; vocoders

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Ed Drocella, Chief,
Spectrum Engineering and Analysis Division
Office of Spectrum Management
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(202) 482-1652

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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