Telrad, Federated Wireless strike multiyear CBRS deal

A cloud-based SAS will be used to deliver spectrum while protecting federal incumbent users. (Monica Alleven/Fierce Wireless)

The rules for Citizen’s Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) may be in limbo, but that’s not stopping Telrad Networks and Federated Wireless from moving forward with a long-term partnership agreement to deliver LTE fixed wireless services using the emerging CBRS 3.5 GHz band.

The two companies said they’ve already conducted several customer trials over the past few months and they’re ready to commercially scale the solution to Telrad customers across the U.S.

The trials, one of which was conducted with Telrad customer Clarity Connect, a large ISP in New York state, used experimental CBRS licenses granted by the FCC to test the Spectrum Access System (SAS) function of assigning and managing spectrum. Telrad received access to an admin portal as a vendor administrator, enabling it to monitor the system.

The Telrad and Federated Wireless solution enables the process of requesting, receiving and using allocated 3.5 GHz spectrum.

“Telrad has provided us with a comprehensive, end-to-end, LTE solution,” Chuck Bartosch, CEO of Clarity Connect, said in a press release. “We are extremely happy with the performance of the system and look forward to significant improvements in the capacity and service based on the ability to use the additional spectrum in the CBRS band.”

Clarity Connect expects it will be able to access more rural residents and businesses, offering them higher broadband speeds than they have ever seen in the area, he added.

The solution is based on the Telrad flagship BreezeCompact base station that supports the 3.4-3.7 GHz frequency band. Telrad also supplies fixed end user devices, such as its CPE9000, which are useful in the CBRS environment, where channel allocation may not be contiguous. The CPE9000 is capable of aggregating two non-contiguous channels.

Federated Wireless debuted its Spectrum Controller last September, enabling customers of all sizes to conduct live, integrated field trials and commercial deployments in preparation for FCC certification.

Specifically, the Telrad solution incorporates the Federated Wireless Spectrum Controller to deliver software-defined spectrum through a cloud-based SAS while protecting federal incumbents with a redundant network of Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) sensors. The solution includes a set of spectrum lifecycle management tools with real-time visibility for optimizing and monetizing CBRS services. The joint solution will comply with and receive FCC certification once made available to vendors.

“We are proud to complete this agreement with a strong partner like Federated Wireless,” said Chris Daniels, president of the Telrad Broadband Wireless Division, in the release. “We are looking forward to helping our customers increase the capacity of their networks and keep up with escalating end-user demand. This is a game-changer for many small and medium-size broadband providers, who will now be able to access additional revenues with increased capacity and expanded service area footprints.”

RELATED: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile score big win with FCC's proposed CBRS rules

The FCC is considering changes to the CBRS rules that were initially approved in 2015, a move that has been the subject of much debate.

In a recent meeting (PDF) with FCC officials, Federated Wireless urged expedited approval of SAS administrators and ESC operators and to resolve CBRS rulemaking in a manner that does not delay SAS and ESC approvals.