CBRS Alliance continuing on path to support 5G NR at 3.5 GHz

Originally posted on RCR Wireless on July 18, 2019 

Back in March, the CBRS Alliance said it will incorporate support for the 5G New Radio standard over shared 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum. The technical details are set for inclusion in its upcoming Release 3 which is due for completion in the fourth quarter. With an eye on commercial 5G NR-based CBRS deployments in the first-half of 2020, stakeholders hit a milestone this week with the WinnForum lending its support to the necessary air interfaces.

In its current form, CBRS is an LTE technology that allows for shared access to the valuable mid-band spectrum in the United States. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission recently gave the OK to the environmental sensing capability (ESC) component of CBRS and is still testing the spectrum access system needed to govern three-tired shared access to the spectrum. The SAS lets devices access the CBRS band and the ESC, a network of coastal sensors, detects incumbent use of the band by naval radar systems.

As it relates to LTE, analyst firms Maravedis and EJL Wireless recently partnered on a market analysis. According to Adlane Fellah of Maraverdis, there are two segments poised for early adoption. “The first segment is for private LTE networks for secure mission critical IoT and voice/data applications that do not require any public access. The second segment is pretty much all other enterprises that need a combination of both private LTE as well as public access connectivity. The early adopters of private LTE over CBRS will be hotels/casinos, public venues, warehouses, and industrial/manufacturing.”

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