ExteNet testing CBRS gear from multiple vendors

building (Pixabay)
The tests are in preparation for ExteNet’s anticipated deployment of both indoor and outdoor CBRS networks.

ExteNet Systems, which bills itself as the leading provider of distributed network systems (DNS), is asking the FCC for Special Temporary Authority (STA) for ongoing integration testing of Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) base station and end user equipment.

The company explained that new and updated equipment continues to be released by multiple vendors, and it wants to verify correct operation of networks based on gear from multiple vendors. Specifically, the company lists equipment from Ruckus Wireless and Nokia.

“This testing is in preparation for ExteNet’s anticipated deployment of both indoor and outdoor CBRS networks when commercial service is authorized by the FCC,” the company stated in its application. The integration tests will take place at ExteNet headquarters in Lisle, Illinois.

A Fierce 15 company in 2012, ExteNet Systems has played a critical role in the deployment of DNS, helping wireless carriers and venues extend and enhance wireless coverage and capacity in high-usage and hard-to-reach areas. The company is a member of the CBRS Alliance, which has grown exponentially over the past year as the industry ramps up to launch the CBRS ecosystem around 3.5 GHz.

ExteNet also is a supplier of small cells to Sprint, which deployed 200 ExteNet small cells in Manhattan last year and saw median download speeds increase 43% and median upload speeds increase 56%.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) several years ago identified the 3.5 GHz band as suitable for shared use between government and commercial interests as long as incumbents, including the Department of Defense and fixed satellite services, were given protection. In 2015, the FCC proposed a three-tiered sharing framework for the CBRS 3.5 GHz band. Under former chairman Tom Wheeler, the commission voted on the rules in 2016, making 150 MHz available for mobile broadband and other commercial uses.

While some entities have been pushing the FCC to move ahead with certification efforts for the 3.5 GHz band—its unique sharing setup requires Spectrum Access System (SAS) and Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) administrators approved by the FCC—others have been lobbying for the FCC to change the rules they approved last year. CTIA and T-Mobile are recommending longer licensing terms and closer alignment of the 3.5 GHz with the rest of the world for 5G.