Verizon prepares for 3.5 GHz tests in Boston, Phoenix

Boston
Boston is one of the markets where Verizon wants to collect data for propagation modeling. (Pixabay)

As the Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) ecosystem prepares for takeoff, Verizon continues to conduct propagation modeling at 3.5 GHz, this time setting its sights on tests in Boston, Phoenix and other areas in Massachusetts and Arizona.

The operator filed the paperwork for experiments where it plans to use equipment from Berkeley Varitronics to collect continuous wave data at 3650-3700 MHz for a propagation modeling study in suburban, urban and dense urban environments.

Besides Phoenix, Verizon seeks permission to conduct tests at locations in Scottsdale, Tempe and Mesa. In Massachusetts, it’s asking for approval for tests in Cambridge, Brighton and Somerville, as well as Boston.

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Engineers are aiming to start the Arizona tests on March 4, ending May 4, and the Massachusetts tests starting on May 1, ending July 1.

Verizon previously received permission to conduct CBRS tests in Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Charlotte, North Carolina; and in markets like New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Miami.

RELATED: AT&T tees up multiple 3.5 GHz test sites in Ohio, Tennessee

Rival AT&T likewise is awaiting approval for CBRS tests it wants to conduct in parts of Ohio and Tennessee.

They’re far from alone in teeing up more tests ahead of commercial launches later this year using the General Authorized Access (GAA) portion of the band. American Tower, Airwave Developers and others also have submitted plans for further experimentation in the band.

RELATED: Stymied by shutdown, CBRS community aims for full commercial service in Q3

The entire CBRS ecosystem has been involved in tests and trials over the past year or so to ensure the shared spectrum paradigm works as advertised. Expectations had been for initial commercial launches to start by the end of last year, but that was pushed back, with the CBRS Alliance now expecting to see initial commercial deployment (ICD) in the second quarter of 2019, with full commercial service occurring in the third quarter.