CBRS & Private LTE

LTE is the mobile broadband technology of choice for mobile service providers around the world, powering 1.7 B devices at the end of 2016, and expected to serve over 4.6 B devices by the end of 2022. LTE offers high bandwidth connectivity with predictable latency. It is extremely secure, has a large ecosystem of suppliers and offers a robust roadmap. Yet, enterprises are unable to use LTE for their private wireless networks because LTE requires licensed spectrum.

This is about to change in the United States with the availability of Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) spectrum. Enterprises will be able to use this spectrum, from 3.55 GHz to 3.70 GHz, to deploy private wireless networks based on LTE without obtaining licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

SpiderCloud has authored a wide ranging Private LTE white paper that will help enterprise Telecom executives and decision makers understand how Private LTE closes the last wireless gaps in contemporary enterprise communications architectures. The Private LTE white paper informs the reader about the business demands, vertical market applications and SpiderCloud’s solution architecture. Additionally, it includes a CBRS primer that encompasses it from end-to-end. 

Get the White Paper

Introduction to CBRS Spectrum

Citizens Broadband Radio Service is composed of a pair of LTE bands (42 – 3550-3660Mhz & 43 – 3660-3700Mhz) that have been allocated to low power cellular service in the United States. Spectrum allocation is tiered with two relevant tiers for LTE usage.

  • Priority Access Licenses “PAL” are non-renewable authorization to use a 10 Mhz channel within the 3550-3650 MHz portion of the band in a single census tract for three-years. Each PAL is awarded in a competitive bid process.
  • General Authorized Access “GAA” are dynamically allocated10 Mhz channels within the 3550-3700 Mhz portion of the band that do not conflict with any PAL. Any census tract can have from 80-100 Mhz available for GAA usage depending on assigned PALs.

What’s different about CBRS is thatmobile network infrastructure makes a request for spectrum from a Spectrum Allocation System “SAS” that connects to a database that manages overall licensed usage.

SpiderCloud has developed and completed interoperability testing with Federated Wireless of a SAS proxy module in the Services Node. The proxy performs SAS channel request activity for all the Radio Nodes that it manages. This value added feature enables an E-RAN to make one request to use one or two adjacent CBRS channels to form a 10 or 20 Mhz wide LTE carrier that appears on the Radio Nodes.

CBRS opens up new business models and will accelerate both indoor and outdoor small cells because the typical concerns of co-channel interference are removed. Enterprise LTE with private mobile core and neutral host LTE are possible in the CBRS service bands.