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Nov 13 2017

How to be a Neutral host using CBRS so everyone can enjoy broadband party

Twitter: @akdayama

Being a good party host begins with the guest invitations – usually sent to friends, family members and colleagues. However, every now and then there are parties where everyone is welcome. I like to call them “Neutral Host parties” – such as parties in college where someone generously invites everyone along for more fun and beverages. These neutral parties, open to all kinds of guests, are the best!

Similarly, large public  venues, and transport hubs like subway stations, airports and railway stations need to be Neutral Hosts for broadband services - allowing subscribers from all service providers to be invited.

Implementation is no easy party trick however. You have limited space, which  means you can’t accommodate everyone’s network. How would you connect to everyone’s network without their equipment? How would you add each new provider to the existing network? Which mobile operator will allow other providers to use their costly spectrum? How can one operator keep its current subscribers happy, while also serving another operators’ subscribers? In other words, it’s no easy feat to be a Neutral Host.

So far, the only way to achieve that was by using costly and inflexible Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) that can “pipe” Macro Base Station RF of different operators to provide coverage. Now there’s an alternative solution - Nokia Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) small cell solution combined with Neutral Host.

Nokia recently demonstrated the CBRS Neutral Host at the CBRS Alliance meeting in San Diego and at #MWC-Americas 2017 in San Francisco.

This demonstration (see the video) featured the use of the solution for a subway, but it can be used for a wide range of applications, including offices, entertainment venues, hotels, hospitals, airports, railway stations, building owners and malls.

Invite new guests remotely

Nokia showed how subscribers from numerous operators could use a single CBRS network. We also demonstrated on the same network, subscribers from the licensed spectrum, using a compact single Flexi Zone Multiband indoor Pico unit. This uses common macro software and the same macro LTE scheduler, providing high capacity of up to 400 users per picocell. This new version includes up to three radios in combinations of both licensed LTE, unlicensed/’lightly licensed’ for aggregation or separate operation.

The Nokia CBRS Neutral Host solution also allows for the next operator to be added onto the Neutral Host network remotely, effectively saving transport costs.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #LTE #CBRS #UBB

About Ashish K. Dayama

As senior marketing manager, Ashish is responsible for Nokia’s global CBRS, MulteFire, TD-LTE and LTE product marketing, strategy, and content development. Prior to joining Nokia, he held several management positions at Motorola and Alcatel-Lucent. He holds an MBA from University of Chicago, MS in Computer Science from WIU and a Bachelor’s in Electrical from Karnataka University.