Ericsson announced it has received FCC certification for its Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) portfolio, the latest in a series of moves showing the CBRS ecosystem is poised to open for commercial business.
Ericsson’s indoor and outdoor small cell offerings in the Ericsson Radio System include the Radio 2208 for outdoor deployments and the Radio Dot System, an indoor solution that supports up to 600 Mbps as well as multi-operator deployments.
“This certification marks a significant milestone in our CBRS journey,” said Paul Challoner, vice president of Network Product Solutions at Ericsson North America, in a press release. “To meet the needs of mobile subscribers today and into the future, new spectrum offerings like CBRS will be needed to deliver the required coverage and capacity.”
The CBRS band in the U.S. is comprised of 150 MHz of shared spectrum, which is expected to be enough to meet early pent-up demand. Educational institutions, transportation hubs, healthcare facilities, stadiums, convention centers and retailers are some of the verticals showing interest in the band to facilitate their own private LTE networks.
Of course, wireless operators want to use the band to augment service to their customers. The band offers a combination of good propagation characteristics and a large amount of spectrum, and the 3.5 GHz band is seen as a key midband in 5G.
Earlier this month, AT&T announced Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia would supply its 5G network equipment. Separately, AT&T announced it will be using equipment from Samsung for its initial 3.5 GHz CBRS fixed wireless deployment, with Spectrum Access System (SAS) capabilities form CommScope. The plan is to use LTE in CBRS spectrum and migrate to 5G.
As for the timetable, AT&T said it plans to test CBRS equipment in its labs early next year with a commercial rollout in U.S. cities starting in late 2019. The company did not say how many cities or identify which ones, but it’s anticipating using CBRS to expand its fixed wireless access network.
The many stakeholders in CBRS have been busy proving the equipment works and that it is interoperable. Back in April, CommScope and Ericsson said they had successfully completed CBRS interoperability testing. The interoperability test confirmed CommScope’s SAS and Ericsson’s radio infrastructure will work together as part of a CBRS network.