CBRS Status Summary

as of 18 November 2019
  • Initial Commercial Deployment
    • Began September 16th, 2019
  • Full Commercial Service
    • Expected to begin no earlier than November/December 2019
  • Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC)
    • Sensors have achieved certification by the FCC, and ESC coverage plans have been approved.
    • Sensor deployments are ongoing

Note: The FCC has proposed the Priority Access License (PAL) auction to begin on June 25th, 2020. All CBRS operations will be in the General Authorized Access (GAA) tier until the PAL auction has been completed and licenses issued by the FCC.

Historical Activities Leading to CBRS Deployment

Gating Criteria for Commercial CBRS Operations

  • Completion of CBRS baseline industry standards (completed 1Q18)
  • Availability of FCC-certified CBRS devices (ongoing; first devices were certified beginning in 3Q18; more are in the pipeline)
  • Certification of one or more Spectrum Access Systems
    • There are six conditionally-approved SAS Administrators awaiting certification; four additional applications were filed after the first SAS Administrator application deadline.
    • The FCC has approved five of the six conditionally-approved SAS Administrators to being Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD) as of September 16th, 2019. Four of the five have conducted ICD.
  • Certified Professional Installer (CPI)
    • CPI is required for Category B and non-geolocating Category A
    • Accreditation of CPI training programs:first training programs have been accredited starting in 1Q19
    • Certification of Professional Installers: first training program went live on May 1 2019 and first CPI certified that day; rapid expansion of the number of CPIs ongoing. Over 600 are certified at present.
  • Accreditation of PKI Root of Trust Certificate Authorities (complete)
    • Four companies have been accredited: CommScope, Digicert, Insta Defsec, and Kyrio
  • Completion of Initial Commercial Deployment field tests (see next section)

Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD)

  • FCC requires Initial Commercial Deployments of CBSDs under control of Spectrum Access Systems that have successfully passed laboratory testing, prior to full commercial operation
    • The purpose of ICD is to prove the ability of Spectrum Access Systems and CBSDs to perform properly in the field
    • ICD must last at least 30 days, after which a report must be submitted to the FCC, and reviewed by the FCC and DoD.
  • ICD began September 16th, 2019. Four SAS Administrators have competed their 30-day minimum ICD period. Three of them have submitted reports to the FCC

RADAR Sensing Networks

  • “Environmental Sensing Capability” (ESC) to detect federal RADAR operations will be required before full CBRS operation within 3550-3650 MHz near the coasts. 
  • Three companies achieved certification of their ESC sensors in 2Q19
  • Deployment timescale will be dictated by wireless siting issues, hardware installation, etc.
  • ESC siting/deployment plans were certified in 3Q19.

General Authorized Access (GAA) commercial operation

  • Limited GAA operations are being conducted under Initial Commercial Deployments
  • Full commercial GAA operation may begin as soon as at least one SAS is certified and Initial Commercial Deployment is completed (expected no earlier than November 2019)

Priority Access License (PAL) commercial operation

  • Requires completion of the PAL auction (and availability of a certified SAS)
  • PAL auction proposed to begin June 25th, 2020 (see below)

Regulatory Updates

Relevant Market Study here: "CBRS White Paper: CBRS: New Shared Spectrum Enables Flexible Indoor and Outdoor Mobile Solutions and New Business Models" March 2017

Other market studies available here: https://www.cbrs.wirelessinnovation.org/market-studies