ExteNet Systems announced the deployment of a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Part 96-ready LTE network with Cal.net, a wireless internet service provider (WISP) based in Shingle Springs, California.
The FCC is still considering rule changes to the CBRS 3.5 GHz band but vendors continue to report progress on their mission to go commercial. The CBRS band is uniquely going to be shared between incumbent government users, General Authorized Access (GAA) users and Priority Access Licenses (PALs), the latter of which wireless operators are expected to go after. The expectation is that the rules could be finalized early in 2018 and auctions for PALs would occur later in 2018.
ExteNet and Cal.net's CBRS Part 96-ready LTE fixed wireless access (FWA) network will be among the first networks in the 3550-3700 MHz band. ExteNet says CBRS Part 96-ready networks will, in the near term, advance in-building and outdoor broadband wireless deployment in the industry as a multitude of WISPs and other providers will transition from proprietary FWA technology to standards-based LTE fixed wireless service on CBRS.
Cal.net provides broadband internet services to rural communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills ranging from the northeast to the southeast of Sacramento.
"There remains a significant disparity in access to high-speed reliable broadband wireless service outside the big cities and towns today," said Tormod Larsen, chief technology officer of ExteNet Systems, in a press release. "We are extremely pleased to extend our distributed network (DNS) solutions, including Small Cells and virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC), to enable our Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering for Cal.net and lay the foundation for a fixed wireless service for its customers and help bridge the digital divide in its service areas."
"Cal.net has forever been committed to providing our customers across rural California with broadband service," said Ken Garnett, chief technology officer of Cal.net, in the release. "ExteNet's proven track record in deploying, and operating, a packaged Small Cell and Distributed EPC made them the perfect partner for us. We have plans for over 350 sites in staggered deployment phases for this new LTE fixed wireless service over CBRS shared spectrum and we are excited about the enhanced speed, bandwidth and reliability that this network will deliver to thousands of our residential and business customers."
ExteNet in August was granted Special Temporary Authority from the FCC to conduct tests in Lisle, Illinois, for Extenet’s anticipated deployment of both indoor and outdoor CBRS networks when commercial service is authorized by the FCC.