CBRS Alliance to Expand Wireless Connectivity and Capacity Using the 3.5 GHz Band

Federated Wireless announced that the Citizens Radio Broadband Service (CBRS) Alliance has been formalized to develop, market and promote solutions using the 3.5 GHz band. The founding members along with Federated Wireless include Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless.

Federated Wireless has been instrumental in leading the creation of the shared spectrum ecosystem that will enable carriers and enterprises to seamlessly and cost effectively alleviate the challenges of sharing and managing spectrum while improving the performance and capacity of wireless networks for their customers. The CBRS Alliance can be a critical driver to the success of the shared spectrum deployment in the CBRS band, which has great potential to drive innovation, support new business models and spur economic growth.

Last April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for CBRS, which opens 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use. Because spectrum access is actively coordinated based on priority and granular location, it becomes possible for regulators to make previously allocated spectrum available to new entrants and services while providing necessary protections for incumbent users of the band.

The CBRS Alliance aims to further build a robust group of industry participants and make shared spectrum solutions as widely available as possible. For example, private enterprises, venues and fixed operators could autonomously deploy high-quality in-building LTE networks into which all mobile network subscribers can roam. Operators will benefit from a greatly expanded footprint and capacity of the new spectrum, while subscribers will enjoy a consistent wireless broadband experience, particularly in challenging high user density indoor locations such as, universities, schools, airports, stadiums and corporate campuses.

This Alliance has already made progress in paving the path to enable adoption of shared spectrum. The participating companies have supported the Wireless Innovation Forum’s efforts to develop standards around the unique aspects of operation in the CBRS band. The companies are also working towards LTE-based field trials in the second half of this year and a few showcased 3.5 GHz-ready technologies at Mobile World Congress in February 2016.

Furthermore, noteworthy progress has been made towards the commercialization of the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in the last month. Federated Wireless has signed several commercial incumbents to trial agreements and partnerships to use the CINQ XP platform, which includes their Spectrum Access System (SAS) and Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC), currently under review for final certification and interoperability verification with the FCC. In the meantime, they will be piloting their solution with other providers in the CBRS band.