CBRS Status Summary

as of 6 March, 2019

Gating Criteria for Commercial CBRS Operations

  • Completion of CBRS baseline  industry standards (completed 1Q18)
  • Availability of FCC-certified CBRS devices (have been certified beginning in 3Q18)
  • Certification of one or more Spectrum Access Systems (expected no earlier than 2Q19)
    • There are six conditionally-approved SAS Administrators awaiting certification; four additional applications were filed after the first SAS Administrator application deadline.
  • Certified Professional Installer (CPI)
    • CPI is required for Category B and non-geolocating Category A
    • Accreditation of CPI training programs (expected early 1Q19)
    • Certification of Professional Installers (expected in 2Q19)
  • Accreditation of PKI Root of Trust Certificate Authorities (complete)
    • Three companies have been accredited: 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

    • Operations will generally be limited to areas away from the coasts and certain inland areas where government incumbents operate

    • ICD must last at least 30 days

  • ICD proposals submitted by SAS Administrators September 2018
  • ICD is expected to commence no earlier than 2Q19

RADAR Sensing Networks

  • “Environmental Sensing Capability” (ESC) to detect Navy RADAR operations will be required before any CBRS operation within 3550-3650 MHz near the coasts. 
  • Expect certification of ESC systems on same timescale as SAS (i.e., no earlier than 2Q19)
    • There are four conditionally approved ESC Operators awaiting certification; one additional application was filed after the first ESC Operator application deadline
    • Three ESC Operators have passed lab tests at the U.S. Government’s Institute for Telecommunications Sciences and the lab reports are currently being reviewed by the FCC and DoD for a final certification decision.
  • Full deployment of ESC systems will take time
    • An ESC network deployment requires (very roughly) 100-200 sensor nodes
    • In the meantime, CBRS operation is allowed in protected areas under partial ESC deployments
  • Deployment timescale will be dictated by wireless siting issues, hardware installation, etc.

General Authorized Access (GAA) commercial operation

  • Limited GAA operations may be conducted under Initial Commercial Deployments as early as 2Q19
  • 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 3Q19)

Priority Access License (PAL) commercial operation

  • Requires completion of the PAL auction (and availability of a certified SAS)
  • No current schedule for PAL auction

    • Requires FCC Public Notice process, auction design, and completion of auction process
    • No timeline, but expected no earlier than 2nd half of 2019

Regulatory Updates

  • FCC issued an Order in 4Q18 modifying PAL license areas and terms, and out-of-band emission limits for End User Devices. One petition for reconsideration was filed, but resolution of the petition is not expected to impact CBRS deployment. 

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