With the Priority Access License Auction concluded, the Citizens Broadband Radio Service continues to expand its ecosystem related to the secondary PALs market and network planning tools.
Select Spectrum, a secondary spectrum broker, said this week (pdf) that it plans to launch on web-based platform, CBRS Direct, in January to facilitate leasing and sub-leasing of PALs on both a full-county basis and for smaller geographic areas. The company noted that while the Federal Communications Commission ultimately settled on PALs that were county-sized, there was significant interest in even smaller, census-tract sizes for licenses. Select Spectrum said that its new platform “will provide these users with access to spectrum on a sub-county basis, and PAL rights holders the ability to gain a return on portions of their license areas that may be underutilized.”
Andreas Bitzarakis, director of broadband at Select Spectrum, said in a statement that the CBRS Direct system would include support for partitioning licenses into smaller geographic areas as well as for disaggregation of the spectrum, or the ability to segment the licenses by frequency and use less than the full bandwidth available.
“These features of CBRS Direct will provide potential users with a high degree of flexibility,” said Zachary Thompson, who is manager of sales and aalytics at Select Spectrum. “Partitioning, for example, will allow for small scale transactions, perhaps down to the census tract level or lower, conforming to the desired coverage area of an operator or user.”
The system will interface directly with at least one of the authorized CBRS Spectrum Access Systems but operate independently of any specific SAS operator, the company said.
Federated Wireless, one of the SAS operators, has already spoken of similar plans to enable an online spectrum marketplace.
Meanwhile, Infovista is touting its network planning and test-tool support for CBRS. It says its Infovista Planet radio frequency planning and optimization software is ready to support the use of CBRS for designing and deploying 4G or 5G CBRS networks in buildings and surrounding outdoor areas, and that its TEMS network testing offering is pre-certified and tested across the entire CBRS band and “able to to use all major new devices” to provide quality of subscriber experience and quality of network service information to drive network investment and design choices. (Infovista also noted that both TEMs and Planet also support C-Band spectrum, the other major midband spectrum slice which is expected to become available over the next few years after an FCC auction later this year.)
“The success of the CBRS auction highlights the importance and potential value of the 3.5 Ghz spectrum as a way of balancing the reach of 4G with the performance of 5G technologies,” said Andy Asava, executive VP of global networks for Infovista. “We had already built support for CBRS into TEMS and Planet. The recent auction unlocks a range of new customers that we are keen to engage with and help deliver value from their respective investments.”
Infovista said that it expects CBRS to “likely be used in private and geographically restricted LTE deployments offering many performance and range benefits over traditional Wi-Fi technologies.”
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