Spectrum is set to be core for the mobile telecom space as it moves towards the 5G world, with spectrum sharing seen as one way to tackle the challenge.
The push towards “5G” networks includes a laundry list of technological advances that look set to keep the mobile telecom space busy up to and well into the planned deployment of such networks. However, as has been the case for wireless communications since its inception, spectrum is also set to play a critical role in the continued evolution of the market.
With plans for deeper spectrum depths combed from a broader swath of sources, a key challenge for the industry will be in the management and distribution of those diverse spectrum assets to serve both the mobile telecom industry and also preserve current spectrum holders in some cases being asked to share their resources.
This has been highlighted by the Federal Communications Commission’s 3.5 GHz spectrum proceedings, also known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service band. The FCC is currently working through procedures that would allow up to 150 megahertz of spectrum in the band to be shared by potential users in support of licensed LTE and 5G services and also unlicensed services using a spectrum access system.
On this week’s carrier wrap we speak with Kurt Schaubach, CTO at Federated Wireless, to discuss the impact spectrum sharing has had on the mobile telecom space and how planned spectrum sharing plans are set to be critical as the industry moves into the 5G environment.
Federated Wireless recently announced it had set up a test bed in Norfolk, Virginia, to demonstrate and verify its Environmental Sensing Capability, which it claims can unlock the value of shared spectrum in major metropolitan areas. The company said the ESC platform is designed to increase available spectrum in coastal areas while providing “prioritized, interference-free use by incumbent federal users.”
“When the ESC sensor detects a federal transmission, it will activate a protection zone and inform the SAS to dynamically reallocate users in the area to other parts of the band,” the company noted.
The ESC service, along with Federated Wireless’ SAS to form the company’s CINQ XP platform, are said to be in the certification process with the FCC for commercial availability. Combined, the company said the platform can facilitate the coexistence of users in the shared 3.5 GHz band.
“By offering both the SAS and ESC for the 3.5 GHz band in a fully integrated manner, Federated Wireless can ensure that we can provide our shared spectrum solution to the entire country, and best guarantee the efficiency and security of the wireless ecosystem,” said Iyad Tarazi, Federated Wireless CEO, and former Sprint executive. “We recognize that field testing of our ESC in the near future is essential to build trust and confidence with federal incumbents, build momentum towards commercial use of the 3.5 GHz band and ready ourselves to deploy our network of sensors as soon our solution is approved by the FCC.”
Thanks for watching this week’s show, and make sure to check out our next Carrier Wrap episode when we speak with Dan Hays from PwC’s Strategy& division on the evolving used mobile device space.
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