October 8, 2020

A Closer Look at Spectrum Allocation for CBRS: Moving Forward

A Closer Look at CBRS Spectrum,  Part 2: Moving Forward

There has been a lot in the news recently about CBRS – Citizens Broadband Radio Service.  Last week we discussed the recent PAL auction and the SAS Spectrum, click here to read.

CBRS Spectrum Auction winners must now evaluate the best methods to move forward. While the new CBRS rules may seem daunting at first, they are just like any new project.  Initially, identify your existing network.  Then ask yourself these questions to get started:

  • What frequencies are currently being used?
  • Am I bringing new frequencies to my network?
  • What is my geography area?
  • Am I expanding my geographic area?
  • What are my transmit power levels?
  • Do I anticipate changing my transmit power levels?
  • For my installed radio equipment on the poles. Is it software upgradeable to more spectrum?
    • If yes, how will I do this?
    • If no, will I upgrade your radio equipment?

Are they any new competitors in my geography using CBRS frequencies?

Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so that I know if my system is working as expected.

During your transition period, you will need to ask yourself questions like this:

  • Transition process
    • How do I use the SAS? Do I need some help here?
    • How, where and when is it to best use my PAL license?
    • How, where and when do I use the GAA spectrum?
  • Performance check
    • Is my spectrum being used as expected?
    • What are the upload and download speeds that are being achieved?
    • Am I meeting my KPIs?
    • Can I identify a problem before my customers call me?

If you are pretty sure that your systems are working correctly, then it is time to ask the business and market questions.

  • What is my CBRS usage plan?
    • Am I focused on residential fixed wireless access in rural areas?
    • Do I want to focus on Government connectivity support?
    • Should I use this as an opportunity to move into the Smart Cities space? (You can start with something as simple as smart billboards, for example.)
    • Should I jump into the Internet of Things (IOT) space?
    • Does my community need better telehealth connectivity?
    • Should I use this as an opportunity to do some 5G spectrum augmentation?
    • Do I want to focus on underserved or unserved areas or both?
    • Should I use this as an opportunity to improve my quality of service?
    • Do I want to do many of the above?

ETI Software can assist in many of these areas.  The ETI Beamfly device management solution can provide you with a great visual tool to see:

  • Where your towers are deployed
  • Where your customers are with respect to your deployed towers and spectrum
  • The up and downloads speeds that your customers are experiencing

If you need to upgrade some of your radio equipment with new software to take full advantage of the CBRS spectrum, our TR-069 ACS driven system can help. CBRS Migration and monitoring is one of many examples where remote device management be a time and cost saver for WISPs.