Ayman Sabbah, Mohamed Ibnkahla, Omneya Issa, and Bernard Doray


Cognitive radio (CR) technology offers a promising solution to the spectrum scarcity problem via dynamic spectrum access (DSA). Due to the nature of cooperative cognitive radio networks (CRNs), where two distinct networks are active simultaneously, a significant amount of control messaging is required in order to coordinate channel access, schedule sensing, and establish and release connections. Efficient control plane messaging can be achieved by the selection of an appropriate control channel (CC). Major selection strategies of CCs are categorized as either dedicated or dynamic strategies. This paper studies the major potential techniques for selecting reliable CCs for coordination and information distribution in license-exempt (LE) bands. This involves determining the potential and limitations of each technique in terms of availability, complexity, and robustness. We consider real-life scenarios including an outdoor stadium and an indoor environment. Recommendations are given for different situations.