Ericsson seeks permission to conduct 3.5 GHz experiments in Plano, Texas

Ericsson wants an experimental license to conduct 3.5 GHz tests at its main campus in Plano, Texas. Image: Ericsson

Ericsson is asking the FCC for temporary authority to test 3.5 GHz technology at its campus in Plano, Texas, to analyze, among other things, using 3.5 GHz for autonomous vehicle connectivity.

The application for a 12-month term also stated that engineers would like to analyze a number of test cases, including how seasonal changes affect Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deployment and how vegetation and other environmental conditions affect performance.

The Internet of Things is another part of the mix.

“Deploying both broadband (FWA) and IoT devices for environmental monitoring and agricultural devices (robotics, crop monitoring, water monitoring) will help define limits for rural broadband needs,” the company said in the application.

If granted, the license would be used for Ericsson’s own internal analysis as well as for demonstrations to customers and visitors.

“Improved understanding of capabilities and limitation visually of 3.5 GHz will help ensure solutions are comparative with the selected wireless technology,” the company said.

Ericsson will also conduct comparative studies with existing 5G systems—testing different capabilities against 5G, both at 15 GHz and 28 GHz, for capacity and connectivity.

RELATED: Nokia, Ericsson validate 3.5 GHz CBRS gear with Federated Wireless’ SAS

Ericsson is among a growing list of companies that are working in the 3.5 GHz space, which operates differently in the U.S. compared to other countries. Last year, the FCC set up a unique sharing system that protects incumbent users while freeing up spectrum for other users.

Ericsson last fall joined the CBRS Alliance, which is dedicated to developing, marketing and promoting LTE-based solutions using the 3.5 GHz spectrum in the U.S., also known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band. Ericsson said at the time that it believes the shared spectrum approach in the CBRS band could become an effective way to facilitate the growth of wireless data, including mobile broadband, IoT and fixed applications.

Earlier this year, rival Nokia, Alphabet’s Access and Qualcomm staged a demo at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to show how the CBRS spectrum can be used to host an LTE network and deliver 360-degree 4K video streaming from inside the race cars traveling around the track at over 180 mph.

Progress is being made in other parts of the ecosystem as well. In February, Ericsson and Federated Wireless announced that they successfully tested Ericsson’s Radio System architecture and Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Access System (SAS) together, demonstrating market readiness to support CBRS engagements in the market.

Nokia and Ericsson were among the first batch of successful pretesters to use Alphabet’s Access SAS, ensuring their equipment works with that SAS as well. ZTE, Ruckus Wireless, Juni and Sercomm were also part of that group.