Federated Wireless Announces Industry-first 3.5 GHz CBRS Network to Support Initial Commercial Deployments of Shared Spectrum Services

Working to accelerate the availability of high-speed, low-cost, wireless access to mobile data, Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) pioneer Federated Wireless today announced that it will begin initial commercial deployment (ICD) of its services to more than 20 customers in both urban and rural markets across 36 states in the U.S. immediately upon the FCC’s public notice of approval. In combination with the series C funding announced on September 4, this puts Federated Wireless squarely at the forefront of shared spectrum market development. The CBRS market is in a state of rapid and dynamic growth, with certification and full automation anticipated by EOY 2019 and licensed CBRS spectrum expected in mid-2020.

“Customers from all areas of business across the nation will begin to reap the benefits of the higher throughput, improved availability and low barrier-to-entry for high-performance CBRS services made available through shared spectrum in the 3.5GHz range,” said Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless. “We applaud the FCC for its leadership in opening this spectrum for general shared use and its stewardship in bringing the industry and all of its various players to this critical juncture. CBRS will be a huge boon to innovation and help to accelerate new business models.”

CBRS: The Innovation Band

Dubbed “The Innovation Band” since its inception, CBRS is a groundbreaking wireless technology that delivers the best attributes of traditional wireless and Wi-Fi, with lower fixed costs, higher quality and greater efficiency and scale. The 150 MHz available in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band is approximately equivalent to that owned by the largest national wireless carriers and is divided into three tiers of service dedicated to:

  • Incumbents, including the U.S. Navy, who use the spectrum for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications as well as defense system management

  • Priority Access Licenses (PALs), which will be used to expand national carrier network capacity

  • General Authorized Access (GAA), which is available to public venues, property managers and others who need to augment and improve their wireless communications networks and service capabilities

Critical Use Cases

Federated Wireless is working with customers and partners that represent each of the market segments poised to benefit from this massive swath of midband spectrum. These include Verizon, Charter, American Tower, Airspan, Boingo Wireless, Cambium Networks, Cradlepoint, Contour Networks, Ericsson, ExteNet Systems, Geoverse, JMA Wireless, Landmark Dividend, Motorola Solutions, Nokia, Samsung, Telrad and Wave Wireless.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)

CBRS allows Mobile Network Operators to quickly roll out additional network capacity for new indoor and outdoor wireless services while keeping customers on their network. As an extension of their existing networks, Quality of Service remains high. Unlike Wi-Fi bands which are getting crowded, access is dynamically managed by the Spectrum Access System (SAS) so interference is kept to a minimum. Unlike distributed antenna systems (DAS), which can be expensive to expand, CBRS deployment costs are on par with Wi-Fi for network and service extensions.

Cable Operators (MSOs)

CBRS lets Cable Operators cost-effectively add LTE to their millions of installed access points (APs), offering coverage extension and capacity augmentation. This can be translated into higher quality of service for existing customers and new revenue opportunities through premium enterprise wireless service offerings.

Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs)

CBRS offers a new opportunity for WISPs to invest in network upgrades that can expand the availability of reliable and affordable fixed broadband service. Many WISPs hold licenses in 3650-3700 MHz today, so adding CBRS technology to their toolkit will simply require a software upgrade to equipment that is already deployed. Because of the low-cost model, WISPs using CBRS spectrum for fixed wireless broadband access provides quick ROI and helps close the urban-rural digital divide.

Enterprise

CBRS offers a new opportunity for enterprises to upgrade their communications networks with high-speed private LTE solutions that they can deploy themselves, with the cost and simplicity of Wi-Fi. CBRS can be used to reduce interference on Wi-Fi networks, or to run specific IoT services like cameras and door entry systems that require security and reliability. CBRS also enables operator-neutral networks that serve both employees and customers, whether they are guests, patients, tenants, shoppers or sports fans.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

CBRS-based, high-quality, high-speed operator-neutral LTE networks let MSPs add a whole new set of service offering to their portfolios. For example, property managers can add indoor LTE to Wi-Fi as a selling point for attracting new tenants, while hotels and convention centers can keep their guests connected while they are anywhere on the property.

CBRS: A Bridge to 5G

While 5G promises great things, including mobile data throughput from 1-100 Gbps, low network latency approaching 1 millisecond (ms) and efficient support for larger numbers of cellular-connected IoT endpoints than 4G LTE, analysts estimate that the road to get there is long. In a recent report, Gartner estimated that “By 2020, 7% of CSPs worldwide will have a commercially viable wireless 5G service, shown significant progress from 5G proofs of concept or begun commercial network construction. Less than 45% of CSPs globally will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025.1”

CBRS provides an immediate bridge to 5G, providing much of the high-performance, cost-reduction and service breadth it promises with support for 4G service delivery as well as critical 5G capabilities including edge computing and private networks. CBRS delivers advanced services where high data throughput and low latency is essential, including remote robotic surgery, autonomous vehicles and precision manufacturing. It also supports services in which mobility is critical, including computer vision applications, augmented and virtual reality and 4K video streaming. Extensive CBRS 5G ecosystems are being developed across network and device manufacturers and other bands (6GHz, 3.1-3.55GHz) are available for sharing to support network and service expansion. The CBRS Alliance will deliver 5G industry standards by Q4 2019.

Supporting Quotes

 “Shared spectrum solutions like CBRS allow us to expand wireless coverage and capacity, especially in dense, high-trafficked areas such as airports and stadiums. The band is part of Boingo’s wireless portfolio and will be key for powering connectivity in the 5G era. We’re pleased to see the FCC’s commitment to opening more spectrum and are excited to begin ICD of CBRS for Boingo’s venue partners.” – Dr. Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer at Boingo and CBRS Alliance board member

“CBRS opens up new opportunities for many of our fixed wireless customers by adding additional attractive spectrum to allow for more subscribers and higher data rates, further enhancing rural broadband connectivity. In fact, network operators using existing Cambium Networks equipment in this band can easily migrate to CBRS to take advantage of more spectrum, higher power and dynamic sharing, because all Point-to-Multipoint 450 platform devices are now certified CBRS devices.” – Matt Mangriotis, Director of Product Management, Cambium Networks

“JCI US (Contour Networks) is pleased to be working with Federated Wireless on our initial commercial deployments for private LTE in large-scale retail and enterprise settings. Incorporating Contour’s USIM CBRS platform, system integration and security expertise, Contour is initially focused on leveraging CBRS for AI-based video analytics, point of sale and environmental controls.” – Greg Deickman, President, JCI US (Contour Networks)

“Cradlepoint is thrilled to be partnering with Federated Wireless to help joint customers make the most of this technology. In April, we became the first provider of gigabit-class private LTE software-driven solutions to achieve FCC Certification and Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD) status. As connected devices continue to proliferate, both enterprise and public sector organizations are poised to reap the benefits of CBRS and Cradlepoint is uniquely positioned and qualified to help customers utilize these emerging technologies.” – Ken Hosac, Vice President of IoT Strategy, Cradlepoint

“The initial commercial deployment of CBRS will bring the benefits of this innovative wireless technology to mobile network operators, cable and internet providers, as well as consumer and enterprise customers across the United States. CBRS provides much-needed access to 5G mid-band spectrum. Ericsson’s CBRS product portfolio encompasses both high performance indoor and outdoor solutions for LTE with an easy migration to 5G. The innovative CBRS spectrum approach serves mobility offload, fixed wireless access, industrial IoT, enterprise and other yet to be imagined use cases.” – Paul Challoner, Vice President of Network Product Solutions, Ericsson

“We are extremely bullish on the market for CBRS, and with our 1,000 plus CBRS ready sites already in deployment, we believe we have a head start and we are excited for our customers to start to benefit from this additional spectrum. We appreciate the work Federated Wireless has done to pioneer shared spectrum solutions, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with them as we expand the use cases for private LTE networks.  Initial 5G deployments are well under way, so enabling edge based wireless coverage and capacity solutions in this spectrum is something we are keenly looking forward to.” – Tormod Larsen, CTO, ExteNet Systems

“Clearly, the model for delivering wireless connectivity indoors has to transition, from both technical and economic standpoints, and private LTE solutions utilizing CBRS are a logical shift toward delivering on this new approach. With more than five million commercial buildings across the US and enterprises’ reliance on mobility and the cloud, backed by a growing product ecosystem and the emergence of 5G, there is a real opportunity for the CBRS vision enabling ubiquitous connectivity to be realized.” – Rod Nelson, CEO, Geoverse

 “Federated Wireless’ leadership and technical expertise make them an invaluable partner for JMA Wireless and the rest of the OnGo ecosystem. With their partnership and support, we are implementing into our most demanding and complex deployments such as stadiums and mixed use and entertainment venues where private spectrum will have an immediate impact.” – Kurt Jacobs, Director for Solutions, JMA Wireless

 “CBRS unlocks Private LTE for the enterprise and is driving a new industrial revolution enabled by increased innovation. It represents the future of wireless spectrum management, providing private connectivity to business sectors previously locked out of the LTE market. Most importantly, CBRS provides an open marketplace for deterministic private network services over LTE. We believe it to be one of the most investable markets in technology today.” – Dan Parsons, COO, Landmark Dividend LLC

 “Motorola Solutions is excited to see CBRS take this major step toward commercial deployment. We are grateful to Federated Wireless for its trusted partnership along the way. This milestone reflects industry commitment to delivering better and faster enterprise communications. We are eager to continue working with Federated Wireless to begin commercial deployments of our CBRS portfolio, to give our customers more capacity and coverage for their voice, data, and video communications.” – John Zidar, Corporate Vice President, North America Commercial, Channel & Carrier, Motorola Solutions

“More than three years back Nokia extended its innovative portfolio of small cell radios with CBRS and shipped thousands of them. Nokia worked closely with Federated Wireless and is happy to see beginning of ICD by Federated Wireless.”  Mark Atkinson, SVP, 5G and Small Cells Business Unit, Nokia

 “Samsung is committed to CBRS solutions with an expanding portfolio of networking products and devices to address opportunities across a range of customers and use cases. We see LTE-based technologies and 5G innovation advancing broadband availability across the U.S., and look forward to helping lead this evolution.” – Imran Akbar, Vice President, Networks Division, Samsung Electronics America

“Telrad’s BreezeCOMPACT 1000 LTE platform provides a software path to much needed additional spectrum – which will offer the ability to further improve network quality, density, NLOS performance and the option of delivering higher-tier packages including 100/20 Mbps. Telrad appreciates and values our partnership with Federated Wireless, who has been a trusted ally through years of development work. We are excited and looking forward to stepping into commercialization of the CBRS band. “ – Alex Freylekhman, Director of Sales, Telrad Networks

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of bringing CBRS to our commercial real estate and enterprise customers. The shared spectrum ecosystem will open new opportunities for our customers that were previously unavailable due to cost or technology constraints, and be a key driver in realizing the full potential of 5G.” – Manny Dureja, Founder & CEO, Wave Wireless

Carl Gunell