SpectrumX Postdoc, Pedro Bustamante, wins student competition at TPRC 2022

By Christina Clark

On Saturday, September 17, 2022, Pedro Bustamante, former SpectrumX member and postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh, and current Assistant Teaching Professor at the Information and Networking Institute at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded the first prize of the student paper competition at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) 2022. Bustamante’s paper is entitled “Mitigating conflict situations in spectrum sharing: A localized and decentralized governance approach.” 

For Bustamante, his journey to SpectrumX and spectrum innovation began in Ecuador. He worked in the Telecommunications Regulatory and Control Agency, where his focus was technical management and the regulation of telecommunication services. When he came to study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information, he met Martin Weiss, SpectrumX Economics and Policy Research Working Group, and Associate Director of the Center of Governance and Markets. While studying under Weiss, Bustamante’s focus turned to policy and economics. Bustamante said Weiss introduced him to a new approach to studying spectrum issues.

Martin asked if he would like to become involved with SpectrumX as the center received its funding in September 2021. Bustamante did not hesitate to join the center. He saw it as a unique opportunity to broaden the discussions around the research on the radio spectrum in general, and the enforcement aspects of telecommunications in particular.

One of the current topics to which Bustamante contributed is the issue of property rights for satellite communications. On August 2, 2022, “Spectrum Rights in Outer Space: Interference Management for Mega constellations’’ was published by 9 authors from SpectrumX, including Bustamante.

Bustamante has also explored implementing blockchain applications for spectrum management.

“It always goes back to governance. We are trying to find a way to apply the blockchain concepts of decentralized governance into spectrum management and regulation,” Bustamante said.

The approach Bustamante and Weiss take to examine challenges in spectrum is different from many of their colleagues, Bustamante said. “Our main priority is not always the analysis of the technical aspects of spectrum management as we try to consider the policy and economic challenges of wireless technologies. For instance, we have learned about different approaches for governance and ways to apply commons-related management experience into managing the spectrum,” he said.

Bustamante credited Weiss with being his mentor as he pursued his doctorate in Information Sciences, with a concentration in Telecommunications and Networking from the University of Pittsburgh. Bustamante successfully defended his dissertation in December 2021, and he continued his postdoctoral research with Weiss and the University of Pittsburgh, before accepting his position at Carnegie Mellon University in August 2022.

“Pedro is an excellent researcher, and contributed significantly to discussions on spectrum management,” Weiss said. “I look forward to seeing great, continued work moving forward from him in his next venture as a professor.”

About SpectrumX

SpectrumX is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Spectrum Innovation Initiative, under grant number AST 21-32700. SpectrumX is the world’s largest academic hub where all radio spectrum stakeholders can innovate, collaborate, and contribute to maximizing social welfare of this precious resource.

To learn more about SpectrumX, please visit spectrumx.org.


Christina Clark, Research Communications Specialist

SpectrumX / Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame

cclark26@nd.edu / 574.631.2665