Boingo Wireless is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to conduct an in-building Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) demo in Los Angeles next month.
The dates of the proposed operation coincide with Mobile World Congress Americas 2019, taking place October 22-24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The requested period of operation for the demo is October 18-25.
The purpose is explained in the application: “To demo shared spectrum in the 3.55 – 3.70 GHz of the end to end operation of small cell technology in this band. Additionally to evaluate the SAS spectrum allocation algorithm from Federated Wireless.”
The demo will use equipment from JMA Wireless. In August, JMA announced its CUSP unit, a new division dedicated to supporting services that sit at the edge, and its leaders at the time were eager to jump into the CBRS space, as well as 5G.
Boingo is asking that a lot of information related to its application be treated as confidential, so there aren’t a lot of details beyond that. The demo is to show small cell indoor coverage and performance and the impact on an end user when a Citizens Broadband Services Device (CBSD) has switched its frequency. The CBSD power will be limited to +25dBm (EIRP) to ensure that “very insignificant signal radiates outside the building and hardly any detectable signal can reach one block away from the demo site.”
Boingo already has acquired experience deploying CBRS, including a trial at Dallas Love Field Airport where administrative staff started using the network last year. Boingo also participated in the CBRS Alliance’s celebration in Washington, D.C., last week feting the initial commercial deployment (ICD) phase.
Boingo CEO Mike Finley told FierceWireless that CBRS will be part of Boingo’s overall connectivity solution, whether it’s stand-alone unlicensed or in combination with licensed spectrum and/or shared. Boingo is a big believer in convergence, so it’s no surprise that it considers CBRS part of that toolbox.
Large public venues—the kind where Boingo provides services—were identified early as prime candidates for CBRS deployments because they’re often dense, high-trafficked areas. Wireless operators, neutral host providers like Boingo or venues themselves can use unlicensed CBRS to enhance coverage.