The wireless spectrum sharing mover and shaker you might not know

When the CBRS Alliance introduced itself early last year as an outfit bent on promoting LTE services across shared spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, five out of the six founding members’ names — Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus — were familiar to those in general network technology circles. But the other member, Federated Wireless, might have drawn some blank stares from those not in the thick of the emerging Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) market.

Interestingly enough, though, it was Federated that drew up the charter for this alliance of companies promoting CBRS in light of new FCC rules opening up 150 MHz of spectrum for new commercial use. What’s more, Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi, previously a VP with Sprint and Nextel, had also co-chaired the Wireless Innovation Forum, which the FCC is working with to establish standards for the CBRS band to ensure that devices used in the newly opened 3.5 GHz shared spectrum play nicely together. 

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Tarazi now sees the early work in this field paying off, such as the FCC doling out licenses to conduct technology trials in the 3.5 GHz band as well as the Commission giving conditional approval to Federated’s Spectrum Controller, a cloud-based service that will enable service providers and enterprises to safely exploit the new shared spectrum. A slew of CBRS demos at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (“Our tech ended up being in at least 8 booths of various partners!” Tarazi says), plus a bevy of alliances among software, hardware and service vendors, all point to momentum behind CBRS as well.

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