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CBRS spectrum

What is the CBRS spectrum?

CBRS, also known as Citizens Broadband Radio Service is the only frequency spectrum that can be used for private LTE networks in the USA.

Since 2017, the 150MHz wide broadband originally used exclusively by the government, can now be used for commercial use, while still restricting some frequency to avoid interference with the USA Navy radar system.

Which frequencies?

The frequencies covered by CBRS are those that range from 3550 MHz to 3700MHz also known as Band 48.

Identified as possible way to increase coverage while still giving priority to government use (specifically the Navy radar system) in 2010, it was ruled that this frequency could be used for private and government use.

How does it work?

The spectrum is strictly regulated. The access is split into 3 tiers to allow commercial use while still giving priority to federal users.

The tiers are:

  • Incumbents Access – this includes US Navy radar operators that are protected from interference from the two other tiers. 
  • Priority Access – assigned by competitive bidding and they are authorised to use a 10 MHz channel for up to 3 years. 
  • General Authorized Access – this is licensed-by-rule; its regulation aims to allow the widest group of people to use it.

The use of the CBRS band doesn’t require a licence, however, the operators will need to pay an access fee. As a result, network operators will be able to deploy 5G networks faster, by using this shared network frequencies, rather than buying spectrum at auction or through deals.

They only caveat would be to make sure that no interference will be created with others using nearby frequencies.

What is it used for?

There are 3 main uses for this frequency:

  1. Provide additional capacity to carriers 
  2. Fixed Wireless access for backhaul (to act as a bridge and link the core network to the small subnetworks). 
  3. The third and final use is the one as Privately-owned and operated mobile network, mainly used for enterprises and municipalities.

Why are we seeing the shift from Wi-Fi to CBRS? Because the mobile/cellular network is able to cover a wider area and the ability for the network to be segmented and assign different frequencies to different departments.

RugGear and CBRS

Thanks to its powerful processor, able to support the CBRS band, the RG540 is fully equipped for all your mission critical communication needs.

If you’d like to find out more about this and how we can support your communication, get in touch and we’ll be happy to explain how our solutions work.