In-building mobile gets industry boost


Federated Wireless, Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless commit to develop and promote solutions using 3.5 GHz CBRS

Mobile World Congress: Six wireless industry leaders have announced their shared commitment to develop, market and promote solutions utilising the US 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). The six companies – Federated Wireless, Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless – believe that CBRS will be critical to drive innovation, support new business models and spur economic growth.

Last April, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for CBRS, which opens 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use. Because spectrum access is actively coordinated based on priority and granular location, it becomes possible for regulators to make previously allocated spectrum available to new entrants and services, while providing necessary protections for incumbent users of the band.

Commented Chris Stark, head of North America business development for Nokia: “Over 75% of today’s global mobile data traffic is generated indoors, and the majority of customer complaints come from those indoor users. Our industry needs to address this by expanding the capacity of new coverage technologies so that we eliminate potential indoor bottlenecks as the capacity of macro networks continues to grow. Nokia is proud to join other industry leaders in bringing the next generation of coverage and capacity technology to the world.”

The six companies aim to build a robust ecosystem of industry participants and make CBRS solutions as widely available as possible. For example, private enterprises, venues and fixed operators could autonomously deploy high quality in-building LTE networks into which all mobile network subscribers can roam. Operators could benefit from a significantly expanded footprint and capacity on new spectrum, while subscribers could enjoy a consistent wireless broadband experience, particularly in challenging places such as indoor locations, venues and corporate campuses.

The companies will continue to work with the industry to develop CBRS solutions and further build out the 3.5 GHz ecosystem. For instance, the companies are participating in the Wireless Innovation Forum’s efforts to develop and drive the adoption of standards around the unique aspects of operation in the CBRS band, which include providing an interface to the central spectrum coordination systems, actively protecting Federal operations, and managing the coexistence among those sharing the band. The companies are working towards LTE-based field trials in the second half of this year, and several are showcasing CBRS-ready technologies at Mobile World Congress.

“Google is very pleased to be one of the companies driving this technology,” said Milo Medin, vice president, access, Google. “CBRS will benefit all participants in the wireless ecosystem, but most particularly, the users of mobile devices.”

Asha Keddy, vice president, next generation and standards group, Intel Corporation, added: “In-building cellular coverage and capacity is an increasingly important component of both enterprise and residential consumers. Intel is committed to work with wireless networking organisations to address spectrum management challenges, come up with solutions which cater to commercially viable coverage and capacity requirements for both carriers and consumers, and ultimately service the data demands that will be critical for 5G and beyond.”


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