Midwest regional operator Midco and Telrad Networks completed initial Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) testing last week with Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Access System (SAS), also known as the Spectrum Controller.
The companies said the tests prove that Midco’s next-gen LTE network can communicate with the SAS for the purpose of dynamic spectrum sharing, and note that the FCC requires SAS systems to manage and assign spectrum on a dynamic, as-needed basis across three tiers of users for the CBRS band to work.
Specifically, Midco tested with the Federated Wireless Spectrum Controller at three sites in rural Minnesota and North Dakota, covering about 1,248 rural residences and businesses.
The test involved Telrad base stations and customer premises equipment (CPE), and showed that they could successfully communicate with the Spectrum Controller to request spectrum and that the SAS could assign that spectrum.
“Midco provides an ideal example of how shared spectrum can cost-effectively deliver secure high-speed mobile services in rural areas that have been hard to reach in the past,” said Iyad Tarazi, president and CEO of Federated Wireless, in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Telrad to support Midco with an end-to-end CBRS solution for delivering the latest wireless technology to their customers.”
Federated has been touting customer wins with the likes of ExteNet Systems, which is partnering with Federated to roll out CBRS service in more than 1,000 sites in the coming months, and Syniverse, which is collaborating with Federated on a private LTE CBRS solution that will first be deployed at its flagship global headquarters.
The FCC first adopted rules in 2015 to allow commercial LTE services in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band when it’s not needed for federal radar operations. Federated Wireless has been busy establishing itself in the SAS administration arena ever since and developing the Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) component required to detect Navy radar along shorelines.
The last leg of the FCC SAS testing and verifications are wrapping up, making way for initial commercial deployments. Midco said it will be ready to immediately deploy high-speed fixed LTE wireless broadband throughout its rural footprint, providing rural customers with speeds of up to 100 Mbps downloads and 20 Mbps uploads without any data caps.
Article updated to reflect the tests were completed last week, not this week as previously stated.