Fixed, remote, unmanned and mobile monitoring stations can be combined to provide a network of integrated tools for verification of licensing compliance, channel occupancy, spectrum planning, and regulatory enforcement. Those can also provide greater flexibility in the design of national and regional monitoring systems. Monitoring equipment and integrated software tools are very complex and expensive and integrated monitoring systems can be very expensive as well. Fortunately, advances in computerization, monitoring technology, and security techniques have permitted greater use of remote unmanned monitoring techniques involving integrated spectrum observations.
Alongside advances in technology, tactics and work practices are also changing. There is a reduced emphasis on continuous monitoring of all utilized spectrum to focus on areas of known problems and congestion. Memoranda of agreement can be used whereby an agency of government or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) assumes responsibility for essential monitoring activities and shares information on problems affecting civilian applications. Another example involves industry associations taking responsibility for monitoring and taking steps to resolve interference problems in fixed-link microwave services. Finally, the spectrum regulator concentrates its monitoring resources on public priority frequency bands affecting essential services, including air navigational aids, fire, safety, ambulance, police and areas of concentrated commercial activity such as is typically found in VHF/UHF.
Spectrum management policy decisions involve trade-offs: the desire and needs of the regulator and industry for complete and accurate information; cost of implementation and maintenance; and accountability and technical capabilities.