Security and Performance Issues in Spectrum Sharing between Disparate Wireless Networks

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Virginia Tech

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its recent report and order has prescribed the creation of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CRBS) in the 3.5 GHz band to enable sharing between wireless broadband devices and incumbent radar systems. This sharing will be enabled by use of geolocation database with supporting infrastructure termed as Spectrum Access System (SAS). Although using SAS for spectrum sharing has many pragmatic advantages, it also raises potentially serious operational security (OPSEC) issues. In this thesis, we explore OPSEC, location privacy in particular, of incumbent radars in the 3.5 GHz band. First, we show that adversarial secondary users can easily infer the locations of incumbent radars by making seemingly innocuous queries to the database. Then, we propose several obfuscation techniques that can be implemented by the SAS for countering such inference attacks. We also investigate obfuscation techniques' efficacy in minimizing spectral efficiency loss while preserving incumbent privacy.

Recently, the 3GPP Rel.13 has specified a new standard to provide wide-area connectivity for IoT, termed as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). NB-IoT achieves excellent coexistence with legacy mobile standards, and can be deployed in any of the 2G/3G/4G spectrum (450 MHz to 3.5 GHz). Recent industry efforts show deployment of IoT networks in unlicensed spectrum, including shared bands (e.g., 3.5 GHz band). However, operating NB-IoT systems in the 3.5 GHz band can result in significant BLER and coverage loss. In this thesis, we analyse results from extensive experimental studies on the coexistence of NB-IoT and radar systems, and demonstrate the coverage loss of NB-IoT in shared spectrum.

Location Privacy, Coexistence, Spectrum Sharing, NB-IoT, Radar Systems