FCC clears 3.5GHz deployments - Mobile World Live

FCC clears 3.5GHz deployments

17 SEP 2019

US operators celebrated as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave long-awaited permission for initial commercial deployments in the shared 3.5GHz band, opening access to critical mid-band airwaves.

The regulator approved Amdocs, CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google and Sony to begin trials after their Spectrum Access Systems (SAS) passed final certification testing.

In the US, SAS are required for operations the 3.5GHz band to prevent interference between new and incumbent users.

Initial deployments will run for 30 days, during which time SAS administrators will send performance reports to the FCC for review. Full commercial deployments are expected to follow in Q4.

Opening the floodgates
CBRS Alliance president Dave Wright said in a statement an “unprecedented amount of coordination and joint development” had been done to prepare for deployments, and certify compatible components and devices.

Last week, Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi revealed more than 20 customers including Verizon were ready and waiting to move ahead with deployments once approval was granted.

Adam Koeppe, Verizon’s SVP of network planning, stated the band represents “a great way to add capacity” to its network and offer more spectrum to customers “so that they can do more and more things on their wireless devices”.

Other customers working with Federated Wireless include Charter Communications, American Tower, Boingo Wireless, VaporIO, JMA Wireless and Wave Wireless. Key use cases include fixed wireless access and private LTE.

The first 3.5GHz deployments will use unlicensed spectrum: priority licences for the band will likely be auctioned in mid-2020.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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