The Battle of the Frequency Bands: Earth vs. Space

The Battle of the Frequency Bands: Earth vs. Space

Improving the performance of terrestrial networks in the face of interference from satellite networks

As the number of Internet users continues to grow, the demand for high-speed data increases, as does competition for limited frequency bands.

An international team led by Mohamed Salim Al-Alawini has developed a practical framework to improve the performance of terrestrial networks when space networks interfere with data rates.

The challenge of spectral coexistence

The 28 GHz band is essential for 5G, the fastest currently available. It is also intended for ground stations that communicate with satellites. This results in spectrum coexistence, where terrestrial and satellite networks interfere with each other.

This interference impairs data transmission by cellular users in the 28 GHz band within a specific area of ​​ground stations, an area called the exclusion zone.

Optimal approach

Our approach aims to find the optimal size of blocking zones that maximizes the speed of terrestrial networks for all users “, explains Aneeq Rahman, a doctoral student at the universityOxford university Who obtained a master’s degree in KAUST While working on this project. ” It is a computationally demanding problem that will become more complex as more users connect to the Internet. »

To simplify the problem, Al-Rahman, Al-Alwaini, and Mustafa Kishk, who worked on the project as postdoctoral researchers at KAUST and is now an assistant professor at KAUST,Maynooth University In Ireland, stochastic engineering was applied to determine data rates in the 28 GHz band based on the sizes of earth station exclusion zones and connection points. Connection points act as routing points in terrestrial networks.

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Near real-time solution

This approach transforms the discrete frequency assignment problem into a continuous problem, transforming the problem from nearly computationally impossible to merely computationally expensive. To simplify the problem even further, they approximated continuous expressions using the sigmoid function, a mathematical expression that high school students had studied.

This innovation simplifies the optimization process, making it significantly faster and less complex compared to traditional combinatorial techniques.

With this near-instant solution, mobile users can benefit from an improvement in data speeds of up to 30%.


Faced with increasing demand for high-speed data and competition for limited frequency bands, an international team has developed a method to improve the performance of terrestrial networks in the event of interference with satellite networks. Using stochastic geometry and the sigmoid function, they successfully transformed a complex problem into a near real-time solution, improving data speeds by up to 30%.

For better understanding

What is spectral coexistence?

This is a situation where terrestrial and satellite networks interfere with each other, compromising data transmission.

What is an exclusion zone?

This is a specific area of ​​ground stations where interference disrupts data transmission by cellular users in the 28 GHz band.

What is stochastic geometry?

It is a mathematical method used to determine data rates based on the sizes of exclusion regions and Delivery points.

What is the function of the sigmoid?

It is a mathematical expression used to approximate continuous expressions, thus simplifying the optimization process.

What is the impact of this method on mobile phone users?

Helps improve data speeds by up to 30%.

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Key Caption: A practical framework developed by researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology could enable mobile phone users to improve data transfer speeds by 30%. 2023 King Abdullah University; Hino Huang.

Rahman, A.U., Kishk, M.A. & Al-Alawini, M.-S. Coexistence between terrestrial and space networks in the 28 GHz band. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systemspublished on August 16, 2023.| condition.

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