Several wireless companies have formed an alliance to tackle the challenges of commercializing the shared 3.5 GHz band. Calling themselves the Citizens Radio Broadband Service (CRBS) Alliance, initial members include Google, Federated Wireless, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless.
The goal is to 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,” said Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi.
The band consists of 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz). The FCC adopted rules for commercial use of the band last April.
Spectrum access is coordinated based on priority and location, allowing regulators to make it available to new entrants and services while also protecting incumbent users.
The CRBS Alliance intends to make shared spectrum solutions widely available. For example, private enterprises, venues and fixed operators could autonomously deploy in-building LTE networks into which all mobile network subscribers can roam. Operators would benefit from an expanded footprint and capacity using the new spectrum, while subscribers would enjoy a consistent wireless broadband experience, especially in challenging high user density indoor locations like, universities, schools, airports, stadiums and corporate campuses.
Participating alliance companies have supported the Wireless Innovation Forum’s standards and developing efforts centered around the unique aspects of operation in the 3.5 GHz band. The companies are working towards deploying LTE-based field trials later this year; a few showcased 3.5 GHz-ready technologies at the Mobile World Congress this February.
Federated Wireless in particular has signed several commercial incumbents to trial agreements to use its CINQ XP platform, under review for interoperability verification and FCC certification. They will pilot the new platform with other providers in the 3.5 GHz band.
The company says the new platform aims to deliver a balance between the low cost and versatility of unlicensed spectrum and the quality and predictability of licensed spectrum.