Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)

General Networking Technologies

What it means:

In 2015, FCC authorized the use of the 3.5 GHz band (3550 MHz to 3700 MHz) for shared wireless access, opening up spectrum currently used by the US Navy and other DoD members.

The band utilizes standard LTE (in band 48) but it’s unique in how spectrum is allocated: Usage is individually requested and assigned on a case-by-case basis. When the use of the spectrum is no longer required, the specific channel is freed up and made available to other users.

To use CBRS spectrum, one must request and be assigned a band by a Spectrum Allocation Server (SAS). The SAS calculates RF density and channel availability using terrain, radio propagation and current usage data before approving the request and allocating the spectrum.

Why should you care?

Shared spectrum with CBRS is a game changer in wireless connectivity in the US. It will enable simply better wireless experiences.

Who is this for? Basically everyone (in the US).

Mobile operators will leverage this band to augment their existing mobile coverage.

Cable operators will be able to utilize this spectrum in their new wireless offerings.

Organizations in the U.S. will, for the first time, be able to build their own LTE networks to address their most challenging business-critical use cases with CBRS.

Once CBRS supported mobile phones will be prevalent venues will be able to deploy neutral host networks. A single CBRS small cell will be able to provide cellular coverage to multiple operators. This could address in-building coverage issues with a very cost effective and straightforward solution.

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