CBRS: Your ticket for building a private enterprise LTE wireless network


If you can get past that unappealing acronym, you just might find that CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) is worth paying attention to as a serious wireless network alternative for enterprises in the not-too-distant future.

It’s been hard to ignore the so-called CBRS “innovation band” of late, as everyone from Google to the big carriers to GE has been touting the potential benefits of indoor and outdoor LTE services within shared 3.5 GHz spectrum opened up by the FCC for commercial use. We’re talking carrier-based cellular service extensions, cable companies looking to get into wireless as well as private LTE networks within enterprises, sports stadiums and conference centers. Such services promise to complement — and in some cases replace — Wi-Fi, as well as pave the way for 5G wireless services. (See also: “FAQ: What in the wireless world is CBRS?”)

“3.5 has pretty good potential to disrupt the enterprise market,” says consultant Chetan Sharma, fresh off surveying the scene at the big Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. “It has much better performance [than the alternatives].”

Adds Iyad Tarazi, CEO of CBRS player Federated Wireless: “A lot of the hurdles to creating a private LTE system are going away.”

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