CBRS Status Summary

as of 17 July 2019
  • Initial Commercial Deployment
    • Expected to begin in September 2019
  • Full Commercial Service
    • Expected to begin in the November/December 2019 time frame
  • Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC)
    • Sensors have achieved certification by the FCC
    • Awaiting FCC approval of ESC coverage plans
    • Sensor deployments are ongoing

Note: Because the FCC has not yet scheduled the Priority Access License (PAL) auction, all CBRS operations will be in the General Authorized Access (GAA) tier until the PAL auction has been completed. We anticipate that the PAL auction will occur sometime in the first half of 2020.

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 (expected no earlier than 3Q19)
    • 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 (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)
  • 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

    • ICD must last at least 30 days

  • ICD proposals submitted to FCC by SAS Administrators in September 2018
  • ICD is expected to commence no earlier than 3Q19

RADAR Sensing Networks

  • “Environmental Sensing Capability” (ESC) to detect federal RADAR operations will be required before any 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 require certification (expected in 3Q19)

General Authorized Access (GAA) commercial operation

  • Limited GAA operations may be conducted under Initial Commercial Deployments, expected no earlier than 3Q19
  • 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 4Q19)

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 1H20

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