Posted on September 8th, 2017 in News
You may have heard about the CBRS band, but may not know too much about it. What is it, exactly? And why are many big companies interested in this spectrum?
What is the CBRS Band?
Adopted in 2015 by the FCC, the Citizens Broadband Radio Service allows shared wireless broadband use of the 3550-3700 MHz band, also known as the 3.5 GHz band or the “innovation band.” This shared spectrum is perfect for service providers looking to extend their LTE coverage and capacity. It also gives cable companies interested in going wireless and allow private LTE networks (such as a wireless network in a sports stadium or conference center) to be created.
Many big names in telecommunications getting on the CBRS band wagon. In February, Qualcomm had announced that its Snapdragon X20 modem will support the CBRS spectrum.
Why is the 3.5 GHz band so appealing? Here are a few reasons from the FCC:
- Shared Allocations: Most spectrum bands are allocated to either federal uses or commercial uses. Normally, only one user can be the predominant user in a band. However, in the CBRS band, there is no primary user. Commercial users will share the spectrum with military radar systems.
- Authorization: We discussed before the reasons why you should have a licensed system. But things are a little different on the innovation band. Instead, the band is available for anyone to use without interference. However, it is important to note that demand for access, the FCC plans to hold auctions for short-term “priority access licenses,” that will provide interference protections in portions of the band.
- Equipment Sharing: Unfortunately, many spectrum bands have a tendency to skew to either a carrier network or a private network. Because of this, carriers and private networks couldn’t share the same equipment, which raises costs and can slow innovation. But on the CBRS band, private and carrier networks can share the same equipment.
How CBRS Can Help Expand 5G Networks
Although the CBRS Band currently involves in-building coverage for LTE networks, many big companies are considering using this spectrum for 5G. This is beneficial to any carrier who uses the spectrum. Because of the sharing system, it allows U.S. networks to participate in 5G. And with big names such as Qualcomm and Intel creating chipsets compatible with 5G in the 3.5 GHz band, this means more networks will benefit.
Considering getting on the CBRS band? We can help! Contact the wireless broadband experts at SWG, Inc. today for more information.