CommScope, Google Team up to Advance CBRS

CommScope, a wired and wireless network builder, designer and manager, recently announced it will team up with Google to develop, deploy and operate an Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) network in an effort to advance Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) to market.

The joint ESC network will leverage both companies’ technical capabilities with a consolidated footprint. The end result will be more places to deploy CBRS as well as higher availability spectrum for CBRS-based networks.

“This critical network infrastructure agreement represents a major commitment to CBRS by two major SAS providers and will help to ensure that the opportunities presented by CBRS will soon be realized,” Ben Cardwell, senior vice president, CommScope Mobility Solutions said in a statement. “Together, we can bring about a combined ESC network faster and more efficiently, leveraging the combined capabilities of two major companies.”

The CBRS band comprises 150 MHz of a 3.5 GHz spectrum that current incumbents like federal government radar systems and new commercial users will share. CBRS will bring new dynamically allocated shared spectrum for various use cases like private networks, fixed wireless access, wireless rural broadband, indoor wireless coverage, the Internet of Things (IoT) and more cellular capacity. With the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval of Spectrum Access Systems (SAS), commercial wireless services will gain support while current users remain protected.

The Spectrum Access System (SAS) manages CBRS spectrum, which requires an ESC network to sense radar operation. The ESC will alert the SASs of naval radar operations and in turn, SAS systems will be able to reconfigure spectrum allocations for local CBRS devices to operate without getting the way of naval activity.

Working together, CommScope and Google will supply independent SAS services and jointly build and operate the ESC network. The network is designed for high availability with the built-in redundancy and fault detection that is needed to offer such a crucial enabling capability. Both Google and CommScope will share responsibility for the overall network design.

As for who is handling which part of the network, Google developed the ESC sensor and cloud decision engine and will operate the cloud that communicates with each SAS. Meanwhile, CommScope will deploy and manage the physical network’s operation. The companies are working with the FCC and other government agencies to gain certification for the ESC.

“The ESC represents more than a check-the-box capability,” Google Vice President of Wireless Services Milo Medin said in a statement. “To effectively manage spectrum, a SAS relies on accurate ESC notifications that eliminate false positive readings—from a high availability sensing network. We are excited to work with CommScope toward the success of CBRS.”

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