CBRS momentum continues with finalization of specifications

Network and coexistence specifications included in CBRS Alliance release

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band is an attractive swatch of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz range that is the subject of significant interest from both operators and enterprises looking to expand the reach of LTE and set up private LTE networks, respectively.

To further the development of an attendant ecosystem, the CBRS Alliance recently published specifications designed to create a uniform network experience that also ensure fair coexistence with incumbent users of the frequency, largely Department of Defense and fixed satellite users.

“These are key specifications to enable commercial deployment of LTE systems in the CBRS Band,” said  Al Jette,  head of North American Standards at Nokia. “The coexistence specification ensures LTE systems in adjacent channels within the band can operate without the need for guard bands, making use of the spectrum more efficient.”

The Federal Communications Commission is currently considered rules that would establish a three-tier spectrum access system that would prioritize data traffic. Incumbents would sit at the top, with priority access licenses and general access licenses below that. A major point of the FCC’s decision-making process is whether priority licenses should be awarded based on U.S. Census tracts or much larger Partial Economic Areas.

Click here for a look at the publish CBRS specifications. 

For commercial real estate owners, providing in-building cellular is often a complicated process involving carriers, system integrators and other stakeholders. With CBRS, it’s conceivable that a large CRE interest could obtain the spectrum access and equipment necessary to deploy their own neutral host cellular system, which provides significant value in terms of lessee attraction and retention, while also creating the opportunity to establish new revenue streams.

Verizon is currently testing end-to-end CBRS with its initial partners as well as Google, Corning and Nokia. Google, like Federated, has developed a SAS, and Corning and Nokia, in addition to Verizon, provided radio equipment. For a Tier 1 operator with a differentiated supplier pool, testing mobility and handoffs between antennas manufactured by the Ericssons, Nokias and Cornings of the world is an important part of ensuring continuity of customer experience.

For more on how Verizon is approaching the CBRS opportunity, read this Connected Real Estate story.

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