As the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) industry inches closer to actually using the CBRS band, Verizon is asking for the FCC’s permission to conduct CBRS trials at 3.5 GHz spectrum in two Florida locations.
Verizon said it is working with multiple base station and mobile device equipment vendors to conduct product testing of 3.5 GHz in both indoor and outdoor locations in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The application doesn’t list the vendors but says multiple category A and B Citizens Broadband Service Devices (CBSDs) will be tested, as well as gear from multiple mobile manufacturers. The target start date is April 2, with an end date of Sept. 28, 2018.
A year ago, Verizon told FierceWirelessTech that it planned to roll out 3.5 GHz small cells as soon as it was practical to do so; it had already conducted infrastructure testing by last March. But that was before T-Mobile and CTIA petitioned the FCC to take another look at the rules for 3.5 GHz CBRS—primarily the size of the license areas and the length of the license terms, but the FCC is also examining other changes.
At the same time, preparations are being made for the General Authorized Access (GAA) portion of the band, which is expected to be made available before the licensed part, or the Priority Access Licenses (PALs). Operators have expressed interest in both GAA and PALs, but the latter portion will require an auction process.
Either way, Verizon explained in its 3.5 GHz Special Temporary Authority (STA) application filed this week that it is working with partner companies to develop equipment that will use LTE technology in the CBRS spectrum, also known as Band 48 in 3GPP terminology. As part of the technology validation, Verizon plans to conduct a series of field tests with both category A and category B CBSDs at one or more locations.
The purpose of the proposed test is to evaluate the radio propagation characteristics of 3.5 GHz for indoor and outdoor installations, evaluate the end-to-end CBRS architecture, assess the coexistence mechanisms with shared (GAA) spectrum, evaluate TDD-LTE using 3.5 GHz, and look at interband carrier aggregation between 3.5 GHz and licensed bands using 3GPP Band 2 or 3GPP Band 4. The field trial will use up to 10 small cells.
Separately, Federated Wireless, one of the pioneers preparing to supply Spectrum Access System (SAS) and Environmental Sensing Capabilities (ESC), filed an STA application so that it can conduct demos during the CBRS annual meeting in McLean, Virginia, in May. The company wants to use equipment from various manufacturers to show the latest in technology.