The FCC has authorized Amdocs’s Spectrum Access System (SAS) for CBRS, meaning Amdocs can now operate as a SAS administrator on a commercial basis.
Amdocs says its advanced software capabilities, including SAS, and deep network services expertise help bridge the worlds of enterprise IT, IoT and LTE/5G wireless networks to address the unique requirements of utilities, healthcare organizations and other businesses.
The SAS approval follows FCC review of Amdocs’ Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD) report and consultation with the Department of Defense (DoD) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Amdocs was part of an initial wave of SAS applicants but did not get approved in January when Federated Wireless, Google, CommScope and Sony received their certifications to be SAS administrators in the 3.5 GHz band.
“We had a lot of moving parts,” when it came to completing the final tests, according to Yogen Patel, head of Product and Solutions Marketing, Amdocs Open Network. Amdocs is partnering with Key Bridge for the Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) piece, which detects incumbent radar signals along the U.S. coastlines.
“Our proposition is one where the SAS is just a piece of the overall puzzle,” he said, adding that Amdocs is targeting four main verticals with its network planning, design, integration and optimization services. Those include wireless internet service providers (WISPs); entertainment venues and other types of campuses; utilities; and manufacturing companies. It’s making progress with contract negotiations in all four areas but is not ready to announce any customers.
Companies like Amdocs say the private wireless network arena is ready to take off due to a number of factors. Spectrum is available via CBRS. The ecosystem of open network technology offers lower cost components and more vendor choices – Amdocs is heavily involved in the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) and other open RAN initiatives. And integrators are available to help the enterprises use spectrum.
Looking at it strictly from a SAS perspective, the market is probably somewhat limited, but when you layer other things on top of that, “it’s a pretty sizable market,” Patel said, and that can be relevant for multiple players in the market.
“When you think about the total dollar amount available out there, around all the services and solutions that enterprises and organizations are going to need as they start deploying capabilities and start addressing use cases on top of CBRS, there’s a lot of money there,” he said.
The COVID-10 crisis also is affecting what some potential clients want to do. For example, certain locations in the vicinity of medical centers are seeing congestion on wired broadband networks and that’s where wireless can come in and alleviate the capacity crunch.
Long known in the BSS/OSS sector, Amdocs started amassing network services expertise through a series of acquisitions. Last year, it acquired TTS Wireless, a privately owned provider of mobile network engineering services. Prior to that, Amdocs acquired Actix followed by the acquisition of Celcite, building on its network software and services strategy.