Spectrum Knack

The journey of Mohammad Abbas who shone throughout his academic career has reached to a point where he is locally working on the global initiative for overcoming communication crisis, reports Saima Rashid

Er Muhammad Abbas receiving Gold Medal from then CM Omar Abdullah and Infosys Chairperson, Narayan Murthy in BGSBU.

With best brains working globally to overcome the spectrum scarcity in the communication field, a low-key engineer from Kashmir is on task for the same reason. Being local, Muhammad Abbas, is going global.

Amid user explosion in the virtual world, the radio spectrum has radically gone down, motivating Abbas, in 2013, to start the project. After two years of research, he has found ways to manage the limited radio spectrum, coming up with the concept, called spectrum sharing.

“Limited radio spectrum allocated to every telecom company has become scarce on face of swelling base of mobile users,” he says. And for that, he continues, cognitive radio – a smart radio that can be programmed and configured dynamically – is the best option. “Though there is technology available, like orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, for cognitive radios,” he says, “OFDM is best suited for cognitive radios but it is generating large side-lobes which causes interference to the nearby primary users in cognitive radios. In order to reduce the large side-lobes, we have various techniques like raised cosine windowing etc.” A technique called Raised Cosine Windowing is an antidote of side lobes, he says.

But before his technological forays, Abbas, 25, was any other boy growing in the outskirts of South city. Known for his brilliant math knack, he was the topper at Sainik School Manasbal. Sobriquet as “Mr Mathematician”, Abbas eventually cracked JKCET and opted for B Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from SSM College of Engineering. Later, he joined Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri to pursue the same course.

“I chose ECE branch deliberately,” he says, “as it has unlimited scope globally.” His dream academic run continued at BGSBU, where he topped all semesters and ended up receiving gold medal from the Infosys chairperson Narayan Murthy.

A thrice GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, an all India examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in Engineering and Technology) qualifier, Abbas finally managed to make it to NIT Srinagar for his M Tech. To his delight, he is again being bestowed with Gold medal, later this fall.

Currently, he is working as contractual faculty in the department of ECE in NIT Srinagar. For Abbas, he has just stepped in the world of engineering and is looking forward to work in telecom sector and do more research alongside. “In future, even Kashmir has a risk of falling into spectrum scarcity,” he believes, “but if some telecom companies are not utilising their entire allocated spectrum, they can share it with that company which are using their spectrum fully.” And this is what is called spectrum sharing, something he works on. “And once making use of it, users won’t even face any connectivity problem,” he says.

For him, engineering is his subsistence and innovation, his best friend. “When you aim to engineer something,” he says, “hunger and sleep must be liberated.” No wonder, he hasn’t slept for so many nights. “But today,” he says, “I sleep peacefully with a tinge of satisfaction.”

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