CBRS and all that it implies is a true win-win for all stakeholders and should be viewed by the CRE Community as a tangible benefit in regards to tenant acquisition, retention and bottom line profits. Several months ago I wrote that “CBRS is basically an unlicensed LTE cellular signal source in the 3.5 GHz range. It should be simple to deploy and relatively inexpensive. Amazingly, it could enable 4 carrier coverage and capacity in a single CBRS small cell something not possible in single band small cells to date. Cumbersome carrier interactions will not be needed as CBRS is unlicensed just like Wi-Fi. As a matter of fact, MNOs should get a massive footprint expansion at little to no cost. CBRS small cells will put a big dent in overall coverage problems, especially in the Middleprise, while requiring no change to the operators’ core network. Lastly, because it is unlicensed it does not have to run through the carrier’s core so it can be made into a private in building network, which is ideal for such things as corporate data security and IoT/IIot applications”.
So who wins? The answer is everyone.
First, the tenant gets robust four-carrier LTE cellular services, not having to depend on spotty Wi-Fi/VoIP. Fundamentally, the tenant will pay the same or less and get more.
Second, the carriers have the opportunity to provide much more capacity. This equates to a better customer experience and it can be accomplished without substantial network change or increased costs.
Third, CRE developers now have the ability to implement cellular coverage and capacity with the simplicity and within the relative cost structure of Wi-Fi. That in itself is a dramatic positive change that has been sorely needed for many years
Fourth, commercial property managers rid themselves of the tenant complaints that their cell/smart phone don’t work inside the building. Plus building management can easily set up private networks within the venue for increased security, flexibility and overall lower operating costs.
Fifth, third party DAS/Neutral host systems integrators will now be implementing a superior product/service that is at long last affordable. Also, unlike DAS, it will require no Carrier permissions and can be standalone, or co-exist with installed Wi-Fi systems. This should stimulate demand and generate much more opportunity.
Citizens Broadband Radio Services will therefore truly be a win-win for all stakeholders.
Finally, it cannot be overstated, as CBRS small cells come to market this year CRE developers and building owners could miss an opportunity to build competitive advantage if they don’t recognize the positive attributes of CBRS and then implement it for in-building cellular amplification.
Note: As a contributor to Connected Real Estate magazine online and print I will be closely following CBRS and writing about it on a regular basis. If you have an immediate need for additional CBRS information contact Bob Butchko at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973.244.5868 x104 (O), 302.515.4811 (M).