Secure trading of unlicensed spectrum in cyber-physical systems

Current project

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Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are becoming the backbone of our critical infrastructure. The core of CPS operation often lies in the use of wireless technologies, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, and 5G, that use unlicensed frequency bands. This means that any third party may use these frequencies as well, introducing mutual interference. This will influence the performance of the CPS negatively, and as such present a security threat. 

Proposed Research

From an economic perspective, there is only one structural solution: entice wireless network operators to collaborate. We will therefore investigate if it feasible for these operators to negotiate and trade unlicensed spectrum with each other. As they generally do not trust each other, the prospective trading platform may need to rely on the use of blockchain. 


The goals of this applied engineering and business modeling project are:

  • Investigating what is the utility to be traded in the case of unlicensed spectrum as a economic resource, and how it can be valued
  • Design, develop, model, and test a trading platform for unlicensed spectrum
  • Run a field-trial with real-life stakeholders in a densely populated area

Type of work

This is an interdisciplinary project across computer science, wireless network engineering, and business, and will be carried out in close collaboration with industry stakeholders and residents. The work includes mathematical modeling, business modeling, platform architecture, implementation, and testing. It is expected that the project will become part of a larger "Industry PhD Program" (to be established), which aims to bring PhD projects in close relation to the needs of the industry, in their content as well as the skills acquired by the student.