CBRS Alliance picks CTIA for product certification management

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All kinds of industries are expected to benefit from the CBRS band, including hospitality and healthcare.

In a not-particularly-surprising move, the CBRS Alliance announced that CTIA has been selected to manage its new product certification program for LTE equipment in the U.S. 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band, ensuring multivendor interoperability.

CTIA joined the board of the CBRS Alliance this past spring, represented by Vice President for Spectrum Planning Paul Anuszkiewicz, who also served as a member of the Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum), which worked diligently on creating technical specifications related to 3.5 GHz CBRS in the U.S.

The CBRS Alliance said it awarded the contract to CTIA after an extensive proposal and evaluation process, noting CTIA's long track record in the certification and testing space.  

"CTIA shares our strong interest in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band and understands the importance of shared spectrum in the development of LTE-based technologies," said Neville Meijers, VP of business development at Qualcomm Technologies and chairman of the board for the CBRS Alliance, in a release. "We look forward to collaborating with CTIA as we continue to pave the way for innovative solutions that will shape the future of wireless."

"CTIA is pleased to be selected by the CBRS Alliance to run its certification program," said Tom Sawanobori, CTIA Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. "CTIA is proud of its reputation in operating wireless certification programs, and we are excited about enabling LTE solutions for the 3.5 GHz ecosystem."

RELATED: CBRS Alliance elects CTIA spectrum expert Anuszkiewicz to board seat

The process will include the establishment of a one-stop-shopping approach for certification of CBRS ecosystem devices to address FCC certification, WInnForum-specific test certification and compliance with CBRS Alliance specifications. The program is scheduled to launch by the end of this year.

The CBRS Alliance has been steadily growing since it was founded by six companies (Federated Wireless, Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless) back in August 2016. Ericsson has since joined as a sponsor member, and it’s now up to 70 corporate members, including the four U.S. nationwide mobile operators.

The group recently conducted a CBRS Alliance member meeting in San Diego, where 90 member and guest organizations were represented by more than 180 attendees over the course of three days. The event opened with keynote from FCC Commissioner Michael O'Reilly, who said procedurally, the hope is that the commission will vote on a notice of proposed rulemaking of “proposed enhancements” to CBRS in the fall and an order by the New Year or soon thereafter.

RELATED: FCC’s O’Rielly makes case for rule changes at CBRS Alliance meeting

The alliance will host an event at Mobile World Congress Americas at 9 a.m. PT on Wednesday, September 13, titled "Shared Spectrum. Expanded Opportunities." It’s inviting individuals from across industries—including but not limited to hospitality, venue management, healthcare, education, enterprise, industrial, wireless and others—to attend. The event will demonstrate how LTE-based solutions in the 3.5 GHz band, using shared spectrum, can enable in-building and outdoor coverage and capacity expansion at massive scale.

Speakers include Andrew Scott of the Port of Los Angeles, Ed Chan, SVP at Verizon, Neville Meijers, VP of business at Qualcomm Technologies, Craig Cowden, SVP at Charter Communications, Michael Peeters, head of Innovation at Nokia, and Preston Marshall, principal wireless architect at Alphabet.