Why We Need To Pay Attention to CBRS Happenings Right Now

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“CBRS can be deployed both outdoors (i.e.: wireless carriers’ small cells) as well as indoors via private LTE networks, attracting enterprises, GAA licenses interest cablecos in their ambition to pursue wireless service via an ‘inside-out’ strategy, leveraging WiFi networks for their wireless service before roaming onto their MVNO cellular networks,” said Jennifer Fritzsche, Senior Analyst at Wells Fargo.

“The biggest benefit of CBRS in our view is the sharing ability,” Fritzsche said. “With CBRS, the antennas provide a single point of access for more than one mobile carrier instead of managing several different hardware components.” 

Unlike traditional 4G LTE, CBRS allows providers to share this one antenna and 150 MHz across the 3.5 GHz band instead of requiring each provider to operate in an individual unique RF spectrum. This has meaningful benefits for carriers and cable cos, Fritzsche said. “These benefits include, but are not limited to; lower infrastructure costs as well as the offload of indoor traffic (which some estimate to be ~70% of total wireless usage). For enterprises using this spectrum it also offers the ability to provide better indoor coverage and private LTE networks,” she said.  

Federated Wireless (who was a keynote at Wells Fargo’s event held yesterday) has a strong pipeline of customers which offer tangible evidence of this pent up demand and interest in this spectrum, Fritzsche said. To date, Federated has 19 customers already announced, 30 customers in deployment in total and 50+ enterprise customer logos entering the pipeline. “This is a remarkable stat considering the fact this spectrum is not even yet fully “live” and speaks loudly to the interest from a wide silo of customer segments,” she said.

Commercial deployments have been green-lit by the FCC, Inside Towers reported; the CBRS Alliance’s September 18 event officially launched a number of deployments that had been underway. Devices (including the recent iPhone 11) are being made to include CBRS Band 48. The FCC has kicked off a public comment period for auctioning 70 MHz of CBRS spectrum as Priority Access Licenses in June 2020. Comments are due by October 28 with reply comments due November 12. 

October 9, 2019

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