3 ways CBRS will change how you work with LTE

CBRS (Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service) is set to take the American mobile market by storm. The concept is simple, yet the impact is colossal – CBRS delivers the ability for operators and non-operators alike to deliver LTE over unlicensed spectrum, launching new business opportunities and ways to provide better network performance.

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Ericsson has now received the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification for CBRS – and this is a big deal. The 3.5GHz CBRS band for LTE will be used to improve wireless broadband access and performance in the US. Comprising 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum, the CBRS band has primarily been used by the federal government for radar systems. The band has been approved for shared use with wireless small cells, which includes Ericsson’s indoor and outdoor small cell offerings.

The shared spectrum approach is key to meeting service providers’ network capacity challenges as data demands increase and our American friends are clearly leading the industry on this new model for spectrum allocation. The global need for spectrum to enable industrial connectivity, enterprise requirements and other 5G applications will drive demand for sharing models, and for these important reasons, regulators around the world are watching the work in the US.

If you’d like to learn more about the technical aspects of CBRS, you can check out the CBRS Alliance website or head here and here to read our webpage on the subject. But, if you’re anything like me, the key to familiarizing myself with a new technology is to understand how it will affect my business. So let’s take a look at the 3 top reasons CBRS will be a game changer for you, your subscribers, and your overall network.

1. Cost Efficiency
It always comes down to dollars and cents (or is it sense?). Always start with the bottom line. CBRS offers a cost-efficient alternative to adding/purchasing additional spectrum to increase speeds and bandwidth. We all know that spectrum acquisition is one of the costliest aspects of offering a mobile broadband service and major financial investments like this can impact the overall cost of operating a network.

As we continue to keep pace with consumer demand, finding new and innovative ways to lower the overall cost of your network is critical. Adopting CBRS will enable better use of network resources and creates not only network efficiencies, but also comes without the financial strain of acquiring new licensed spectrum bands.

2. New Business Opportunities
This might be the most exciting point of all! Because CBRS operates in the unlicensed space, the technology enables alternative operators/new industry entrants to deliver LTE services. Cable Operators, enterprises, manufacturers…the list goes on, will now have the opportunity to expand their offerings and deliver LTE networks to their customers, employees, etc. This will create more competition in the marketplace and help expand LTE footprint and coverage.

Enterprises can use the CBRS spectrum for private, secure LTE networks previously dependent on Wi-Fi technology. In-building coverage, custom applications and other use cases can now be offloaded by network owners with significantly better performance and advanced security solutions. Private LTE networks can also leverage the CBRS spectrum for IoT connectivity in an optimized, highly reliable, low latency, on-premise solution.

3. Higher Performance
Network speed is critical and users demand the highest download speeds possible. We see operators globally boasting about the “fastest network in ____” and we believe faster speeds are on the horizon. In our technology trials with Verizon (using a combination of their AWS and 700 MHz spectrum aggregated with 50 MHz of CBRS band 48 spectrum), we produced peak speeds of 790 Mbps – and this is just the beginning. Utilizing CBRS in your network will boost your end user experience, delivering shorter download times and better quality streaming experiences.

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