Verizon announced that it has successfully tested LTE over Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) on a live commercial network in Florida, in partnership with Ericsson, Federated Wireless and Qualcomm Technologies.
The telco filed its application with the FCC to conduct CBRS trials in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in April and was granted authorization, but the application didn't specify which vendors it was using. The authorization is good until Oct. 31.
Verizon this week identified Ericsson as the provider of the Ericsson Radio DOT system for indoor and Radio 2208 for outdoor. Qualcomm Technologies provided the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile test device with X20 LTE for access to CBRS on mobile devices, and Federated Wireless provided the prioritization through its Spectrum Controller, a Spectrum Access System (SAS) that dynamically allocates channels within the FCC’s spectrum sharing framework. Ericsson also provided the domain proxy to enable the radios to communicate with the Federated Wireless Spectrum Controller.
Verizon said it’s been doing ongoing work in its lab in Texas, but the deployment in Florida marks the beginning of public access to the 150 MHz bandwidth of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum that until now has been used by the federal government for radar systems. The FCC is still finalizing rules for CBRS, but the unlicensed portion of the band is expected to kick off this year. Verizon has said it expects devices that access the CBRS spectrum will be available in 2018.
The deployment in Florida used a combination of Verizon licensed AWS and 700 MHz spectrum aggregated with 50 MHz of CBRS band 48 spectrum. The combination of multiple antennas, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation across shared and licensed spectrum produced peak speeds of 790 Mbps. The Florida deployments involved outdoor and in-building systems.
Verizon reports that it has now fully deployed carrier aggregation in its licensed spectrum across its network in more than 2,000 markets, and it has 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM deployed in over 810 markets nationwide. Combining those features with the shared spectrum at 3.5 GHz will provide more capacity, higher peak speeds and faster throughput.
“As more people use more wireless devices to do more things in more places, building a network to stay ahead of customer demand is crucial,” said Mike Haberman, VP Network Engineering for Verizon, in a press release. “This shared spectrum resource is a critical component of our strategy to add capacity to our network.”
Despite the time it’s taking to review the rules, things are starting to get real for CBRS. Last week, six conditionally-approved SAS administrators met with regulators for a preliminary discussion about SAS field testing. Google, Federated Wireless, Sony, Key Bridge, CommScope and Amdocs each sent representatives to meet with the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Defense to discuss methods by which field trials might be conducted.