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CBRS ramps toward commercialization

A number of new infrastructure products have been announced with support for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum at 3.5 GHz, as the industry prepares for commercialization of the band and network launches expected early next year.

Motorola Solutions launched a new offering for private enterprise networks with push-to-talk and data functionality, using CBRS spectrum. The company’s new MOTOTRBO Nitro network offering is aimed at hotels, university campuses and warehouses, and Motorola Solutions has developed a specific PTT radio (its SLN 100) for CBRS, which requires a SIM card to operate.

“By leveraging the flexible managed new spectrum available with CBRS to create a cloud-based broadband land mobile radio system, Motorola provides enterprises with the benefits of trusted push-to-talk functionality based on MOTOTRBO as well as a comprehensive private LTE data network,” said Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst for critical communications at IHS Markit. “The approach should deliver increased voice and data functionality with a compelling total cost of ownership.”

Motorola Solutions will use Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Access System.

Meanwhile, Federated Wireless is also providing its Spectrum Controller product for infrastructure vendor Cambium Networks. Cambium announced last week that it was working with Federated to add CBRS to its portfolio for fixed wireless access, saying that the new spectrum “will allow WISPs and other network operators to immediately expand their usable spectrum capacity from 50 MHz to 150 MHz in any given region.”

“While the traditional licensed spectrum approach has served the largest U.S. mobile operators well, it has also constrained network operators like WISPs who operate smaller networks throughout the U.S., as well as government and industrial network operators seeking to optimize their operations via wireless networks” said Scott Imhoff, SVP of product management and marketing at Cambium Networks. “CBRS changes everything – unlocking a large slice of spectrum for broader commercial use. … Our partnership with Federated Wireless gives network operators a path to deliver high-speed services in a spectrum band they use today without requiring costly hardware upgrades.”

In related CBRS news, the Wireless Innovation Forum approved Nokia as the administrator of the first Certified Professional Installer training program for CBRS. CPIs are required by the FCC, WinnForum noted, in order to make sure that the registration data that is entered into SASes for CBRS devices is accurate, that the device is valid to be registered and request a spectrum grant. Some Category A (lower-power devices for indoor use) and all Category B (higher-power/outdoor) CBRS devices need to be installed by a CPI, and the WinnForum handles the accreditation standard for CPIs.

While Nokia is the first approved administrator, more CPI approvals are underway, WinnForum said, with CEO Lee Pucker adding that the forum “is developing a rich ecosystem of companies supporting the initial commercial deployment anticipated for early next year.”

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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