With mid-band spectrum being such a focal point of 5G around the world, it’s no wonder the CBRS Alliance is happy to report the completion of its 5G specifications for the 3.5 GHz Citizens Band Radio Services (CBRS) 3.5 GHz band here in the U.S.
Last year, the alliance predicted it would conclude work on Release 3 in the fourth quarter. Like so many things associated with CBRS, that didn’t quite happen on schedule, but the organization isn’t dwelling on that, noting that the market for its OnGo-branded services and solutions is quickly expanding.
In April 2019, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly remarked that the CBRS 3.5 GHz band would likely be the first mid-band 5G opportunity in the U.S.
"Today, the CBRS Alliance confirms this prediction is a reality,” the organization said in a press release. “Globally, industry and government are focusing on 3.5 GHz as the primary mid-band spectrum for 5G deployments," with testing underway in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.
“The CBRS band is fully authorized for commercial service at a moment when enabling 5G is an important step for the wireless community,” said Gary Boudreau, LTE and NR System Architect, Ericsson, and CBRS Alliance Technical Working Group Chair, in a statement. “Over the past year, the CBRS Alliance worked with 3GPP and Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) to develop technical specifications for shared spectrum and mobility to ensure that 5G NR use cases are supported in addition to LTE in the CBRS band. The specifications also address seamless interoperability, authentication, and roaming of data and voice.”
According to the alliance, the new specifications incorporate 5G NR definitions and standards developed by 3GPP to support a variety of 5G services, devices and deployments. The work conducted by the CBRS Alliance builds on those specifications to enable enterprise deployments and security, including:
- Extended authentication support
- Local break-out of data traffic for low latency, multi-access computing and reduced backhaul
- The creation of a foundation for industry support of commercial and private roaming of data and voice
The CBRS Alliance said Release 3 aligns with 3GPP’s Release 15 specifications and the work that continues in Release 4 will align with 3GPP Releases 16 and 17.
The General Authorized Access (GAA) part of the band is available for unlicensed use now. Auctions for the Priority Access License (PAL) tier of the CBRS band will begin on June 25.