Testing is ongoing in the United Kingdom and Federated is speaking with regulators in about 20 countries, CEO says
ORLANDO–Federated Wireless, a driving force behind the pending commercialization of shared access to 150 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service band, earlier this month made its Environmental Sensing Capability network available nationwide. This is a key milestone in making general authorized access to 3.5 GHz a reality and sets the stage for an auction of priority access licenses likely next year.
The Department of Defense is an incumbent user of the valuable spectrum and Federated has worked with government officials for more than six years on developing the ESC, which detects the presence of incumbent transmissions, and the spectrum access system that’s necessary to manage shared access of the band following a three-tiered structure–incumbent use, priority use and general access.
The high-level premise here is that traditional mobile network operators can augment their spectrum holdings in the mid-band while new entrants like cable companies can continue down the wireless path and the enterprise and industrial set can stand up private networks. But the value of spectrum sharing, and the technology behind it, certainly isn’t limited to the U.S. and CBRS.
Speaking with RCR Wireless News during the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s Connect X event in Orlando, Florida, Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi described the company not as a carrier, not as a vendor, not as a managed service provider, but as an ecosystem enabler–and that ecosystem extends around the world.
“We’re doing testing in the U.K. right now in collaboration with their equivalent of the Pentagon at 2.3 GHz,” Tarazi said. “We’re doing education in about 20 countries to regulators. Our intention is to start the global discussion after the full commercialization in the U.S. Our line of argument is not a spectrum one but more of a public policy and consumer-friendly one.” He said there are broad opportunities that spectrum sharing can drive “and what underpins all of it is our spectrum sharing technology. We want the U.S. system to continue to develop because ultimately the rest of the world looks to the U.S.”
Given the potential user base, variety of applications and deployment configurations, Tarazi highlighted the key role ecosystem development and stakeholder engagement has played in bringing CBRS to life.
He said the more traditional approach around spectrum utilization is “build it and they will come,” but, in this case, “It has taken us three years to get here doing market development. You start with business development, you start with ecosystem development. This is sort of a very agile and intricate process where everything you learn in market development you feed into the regulatory process. That’s why at the end of it you’re able to create a very large ecosystem.”
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