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Sharing is caring: 3.5GHz US CBRS

With the holidays upon us here in the United States the spirit of sharing is in the air. By delightful coincidence, the Wireless Innovation Forum has announced the release of essential specifications to unlock the 3.5GHz US Citizens Radio Broadband Service (CBRS) Band – a shared spectrum band.


The 3.5GHz US CBRS shared spectrum promises efficient use of spectrum, helping a wide variety of users, such as mobile and cable operators, neutral hosts, private enterprises, venues and many others deliver greater economies of scale in the use of LTE by utilizing shared spectrum. This enables both in-building and outdoor coverage, as well as capacity expansion on a massive scale, and in the future, this spectrum could also be used for 5G.

Access to CBRS band is managed by Spectrum Access System (SAS) and the devices operating in the CBRS band are called Citizens Radio Broadband Service Devices (CBSDs).

These highly anticipated specifications define the protocols for data and communications across the important SAS-CBSD and SAS-SAS interfaces so that wireless networks and devices can connect to a SAS and for different SASs to exchange critical information. They are the first of their kind addressing new FCC Part 96 rules for CBRS, and their publication represents a major milestone for enabling commercialization of the band in the United States.

“This achievement by the Wireless Innovation Forum’s Spectrum Sharing Committee is the result of an extensive collaboration among diverse stakeholders working diligently for the past two years,” said Prakash Moorut, who leads Nokia’s North America Spectrum efforts and is also the co-chair of the Forum’s Protocols Specifications Working Group. “We’re pleased to release standards and solutions that will enable the rapid development of a robust CBRS ecosystem, protect incumbent operations, and benefit all potential stakeholders in the band. These documents will also lay the foundation for all deployments in the CBRS band and possibly other shared bands in the future.”

Nokia has been leading the regulatory and standardization efforts to enable 3.5 GHz in the United States. It is not only engaged with US regulatory bodies and the Wireless Innovation Forum’s technical team, but is also one of the founding members of CBRS Alliance, which is dedicated to delivering LTE-based solutions for the US CBRS band.

The newly approved specifications as well as all foundational documents are available here 

Chris Stark

About Chris Stark

Chris Stark, head of strategy and business development is a distinguished telecoms executive, having previously held President and CEO positions at Turin Networks, Luminous Networks and Alcatel, as well as working as a management consultant to start-up telecommunications companies, advising on business strategy, marketing, growth strategies, pricing and competitive analysis. He serves as chair for the CBRS Alliance and is based in Dallas, Texas.

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