CBRS? Mommy, I Can’t Believe its Really Spectrum!

Cant Believe its Really Spectrum? Yes it is and it is free. Hundred billion dollars of it. Are you getting yours? Under CBRS or the Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service, 80 MHz of LTE and 5G Spectrum is free to use for anybody in the USA. Just come and get it!

The concept of LTE and 5G as free and easy to deploy as WiFi promises to transform the wireless industry as we know it. It takes us from having a handful of national scale networks to millions of small scale WiFi-like networks deployed by individuals, enterprises and communities. It’s the biggest giveaway in the history of the wireless industry in the hope that it will firmly establish the USA’s leadership in the emerging 5G economy.

 So what just happened?

On 23rd October 2018, the FCC passed its final order on CBRS and created a USD 80-260 billion surplus for the US economy (Furchtgott-Roth Report). CBRS is the biggest opportunity in wireless communications in nearly 50 years. The comparable parallel in the history of wireless communications is the delicensing of the ISM band in 1974 that led eventually to the creation of WiFi more than 20 years later. But unlike the ISM band which was spectrum looking for a technology, CBRS spectrum arrives just when data consumption is exploding and new applications like Industrial IoT, Connected Vehicles, AR/VR, Robotics and precision agriculture, home automation, new immersive entertainment services and a myriad of other uses are being unleashed. CBRS is spectrum gushing into a thirsty desert.

So how does it work?

The CBRS band consists of 150 MHz (think more spectrum than a national scale mobile operator could wish for) in the in the 3500 MHz Spectrum band. Also known as Band 48 to LTE geeks, this frequency is ideal for the localised services targeted by 4.9G and 5G. Of this, 80 MHz has been reserved for WiFi-like generalised access called GAA.

To set up a network, you need 3 important pieces.

– an LTE Radio in Band 48;

– a Spectrum Access Service (often bundled into the Radio) to make sure you don’t interfere with other prioritised users such as the Department of Defence; and

– a network controller (called a core network or EPC).

LTE Radios are available from a wide variety of manufacturers to suit different performance and budget requirements. Many of them will also bundle in the Spectrum Access Service.

The EPC, which is the intelligence and central nervous system of an LTE network, has historically been the most difficult piece of the solution to access. Up to now, they have been designed with the cost and complexity of mainframe computers that could only be operated by sophisticated national mobile operators with banks of telecom engineers on their staff – making it a barrier for private or small networks. Thankfully, Athonet’s BubbleCloud service on Amazon Web Services finally solves this last piece of the puzzle and makes LTE and future 5G accessible to everybody.

Click-to-deploy, one-stop LTE networks

The BubbleCloud on AWS allows anybody to deploy private, small-scale or national scale mobile networks with just a few mouse clicks. It provides a full mobile core network for less than the cost of a high-end iPhone. To make life easier, Athonet can also include the full radio and SAS solution as a tailored one-stop package. You may watch the video here:

There, so now you have your own private LTE network!

Still Can’t Believe its Really Spectrum? Follow our next blogs as we bring you a light-hearted look at the world of CBRS and serious tips on what you can do with your private LTE network for Industrial IoT, AR/VR, Connected Car, Smart Grids&Cities, Home Automation, Connecting the Unconnected and a myriad of other ways to benefit from CBRS. We also look at alternative open spectrum flavours which are now being adopted in Japan, Germany, France with other countries expected to follow suit.

Come join the #BubbleCloudRevolution