Federated Wireless last week celebrated a milestone in the launch of its CINQ XP platform, a sort of Uber for spectrum in that it will be allocated when and where people need it.
CINQ XP is the company's first commercial product that provides a private, cloud-based network for carriers to share spectrum and it will facilitate the use of the company's proprietary Spectrum Access System once testing and certification are completed.
"We think it's a very big milestone for a variety of reasons," Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless, told FierceWirelessTech. For one thing, when the movement started, people were not sure that cloud and sensor technologies had advanced to the point where they can actually be part of a self-managed, high-capacity, high-throughput calculation system. "It's a massive effort to run the code," with multiple propagation, analysis and visualization models that must be constantly refreshed. "We feel pretty good about the technology maturity" that has gotten to this stage.
Federated Wireless is now ready to continue down the path of certification with the FCC. One of the exciting things about the 3.5 GHz ecosystem is the large number of developers, users, manufacturers and service providers that are interested in applying and testing it. The company is in talks with potential trial partners and is excited about the prospects, he said.
Federated Wireless has been working on developing the ecosystem and standards for the 3.5 GHz band since the FCC came out with its rules for innovative spectrum sharing in the band in April. It's been working with the FCC, other government agencies and the Wireless Innovation Forum (WinnForum). And it shares with the likes of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) an interest in seeing the 3.5 GHz ecosystem develop. Google consistently has supported the use of interconnected SASs to manage coexistence in the 3.55 GHz bands.
Tarazi said the platform is sort of like a giant 3D planning tool. Given the uncertainty of sharing, for a lot of players, it's easier if they have a planning environment where they can run the analytics, find the spectrum they need, see how far the propagation models go and so on. The company is also collaborating with Intel through the Network Builders program, which helps extend the 3.5 GHz ecosystem in terms of chipsets, radios and cloud support.
"This system is built to be self-aware," Tarazi said. The system detects where spectrum is available on the fly, getting data from sensors that are now being tested. Federated Wireless announced in September that it was collaborating with the National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASCTN) on the first pilot test of an Environmental Sensor Capability (ESC) for the company's SAS.
The plan calls for deploying sensors along coasts and in areas of military use; the system is being designed to detect in real time how spectrum is being used. It's also able to get information from commercial users and it includes 3D models of buildings, streets, foliage and other environmental elements for the real-time determining of how spectrum is being used. It's all running on a version of Amazon Cloud that is built for high-security applications.
Federated Wireless started the development in 2013. Based on the FCC's schematics, the spectrum will come in three layers as part of a priority scheme. The highest priority users primarily are the existing military users that use relatively little spectrum but it's very important to protect them. The next layer in line is those who bid at auction for a priority license, and the last group consists of the general access users, where the system will minimize the interference so that it will be higher quality spectrum than a lot of today's crowded Wi-Fi spectrum.
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