SAS developed for CBRS speaks to dynamic spectrum management for 5G
Whether you’re a 5G skeptic or optimist, it will eventually happen at scale. And do that, operators need more spectrum and not just millimeter wave frequencies associated with high throughput but limited reach. Low-band will enable wide area coverage and mid-band provides a nice balance of coverage and capacity.
In many countries, mid-band spectrum, particularly the 3.5 GHz band, is a key piece of the 5G spectrum strategy. In the U.S., 3.5 GHz, known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service band, has been tapped for shared access with opportunities for both operators and enterprises to respectively add additional capacity and invest in private networks while still support incumbent use from federal stakeholders.
Federated Wireless has been a major proponent for CBRS and was instrumental in developing the spectrum access system and environmental sensing capability that make the three-tiered sharing scheme function.
In a recent blog post, Federated’s Vice President of Legal Advocacy Jennifer McCarthy discussed the broader role of the SAS developed for CBRS in future 5G spectrum management. “The legacy ‘clear-and-auction’ approach to spectrum management is not sustainable given the cost, time to implement and interruption to the federal mission, none of which aligns with the President’s request to be the first to roll out 5G. Spectrum sharing technologies must be leveraged to achieve this. The framework developed for CBRS is a testament to how sharing technologies can be used to support varied applications in a single band, balancing the needs of federal users, incumbents, new licensed users, and unlicensed users. This SAS-enabled sharing model can and should be replicated in other frequency bands as part of an effort to develop and execute a sustainable national spectrum strategy.”
On the vendor side, CommScope recently announced new antenna products for macro towers and small cells that support the aforementioned evolutionary path from CBRS to 5G. As CommScope SVP for Mobility Solutions Farid Firouzbakht put in a statement, “Network capacity is pushed to its limits, particularly in densely populated urban areas where additional sites are difficult or impossible to secure. Supporting 3.5 GHz spectrum with antenna designs that additionally offer spectral efficiency are two ways CommScope’s 3.5 GHz-capable antennas open up new avenues of capacity to these overburdened networks.”