The CCA convention will have a real theme around a variety of issues related to 5G
The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) annual convention is just around the corner, and CCA President & CEO Steven Berry told RCR Wireless News what to expect from this year’s programming. Most of the topics covered at CCA are areas members indicated are of interest, and Berry explained that there will be a real focus around issues related to 5G.
“Especially as it relates to policy, technology and business and marketing, as well as 5G prospects in rural America,” he elaborated.
Berry said that while 5G has been part of the wireless discussion for some time, the focus now is that 5G is officially arriving and is starting to be deployment by some of the smaller players. “Now, they’re going to need to know how to monetize and what the integration experience will be like,” he said. “The convention will also touch on the technical issues when changing from 4G to 5G and the economics related to that.”
The convention will also highlight Industrial IoT topics, according to Berry. “Those topics go hand-in-hand with the types of 5G services [that will be available]in that area, and how that can create a new revenue stream for small carriers,” he added.
On the policy side of things, Berry said to expect a number of sessions that delve into mmWave spectrum. “There will be sessions on what you use the mmWave spectrum for, and what will be available at auction, and how to monetize the spectrum,” he said.
“And next June,” he continued, “we will have [3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services or] CBRS, and carriers will need to know what types of devices will be available for that, and how to bid on it. We are also in the middle of a policy debate about how much spectrum makes sense and how we can move more of the mid-band spectrum to wireless use as we replace some of the C-band with broadband and fiber.”
The CCA has been particularly interested in policy related to C-band as it continues to promote its 5G plus plan further. The plan, developed with Charter Communications, is a joint proposal for repurposing a large portion of valuable C-band spectrum for 5G wireless services. The Plan would reallocate at least 370 megahertz of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band spectrum from satellite to terrestrial use and remains the only C-band solution that serves the broader public interest.
The CCA convention takes place Sept 16-18 in Rhode Island, and for the first time, will occur at the same time and place as the American Cable Association (ACA) regional meeting. “We will have some of those CEOs come to our keynote sessions. We’ve never done this before. They will share experiences and information to help lead to innovation,” Berry stated.
He went on to explain that while the CCA is absolutely wireless-centric and the ACA is cable-centric, the two industries have experienced a type of synergy resulting from converged technologies.
When asked how the Sprint/T-Mobile merger has impacted CCA membership, Berry responded that until the FCC and DOJ decides what the market is going to look like, the CCA is taking a neutral position. “Both Sprint and T-Mobile are CCA members, and we have members who have differing positions. Some are for it, some are against and others are without a position.
“We are pleased that not only are they all members, but during the process, we have been able to continue to our advocacy of pro competition. The merger issue is sort of above and beyond the scope of our policy position,” he concluded.
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