What is the Citizens Broadband Radio Service?

What is CBRS?

Citizens Broadband Radio Services or CBRS refers to a shared wireless spectrum in the 3.5 to 3.7 GHz band range that the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated for incumbent users, priority access license users, and general authorized access users.

This wireless spectrum provides very much-required mid-band spectrum for various users, including wireless carriers, cable operators and organizations. CBRS is gradually becoming the new standard for many wireless carriers due to its many benefits. It can help enhance their networks with its mid-band spectrum, especially in dense urban areas. Cable operators and mobile virtual network operators can utilize CBRS to offload some traffic from wholesale wireless providers, saving wholesale costs. Additionally, both wireless carriers and cable companies can use CBRS to deliver fixed wireless access services.

All in all, CBRS is expected to potentially outperform Wifi for in-building use, and we predict many ISPs and operators will hop on the CBRS trend and invest in this wireless spectrum in the near future.

C-band or CBRS?

The primary differentiating factor between the C-band (currently used for satellite communications) and CBRS is the utilization and application of the spectrum. Whereas C-band is used for telecommunications, CBRS is designed with the intent to be used for communications applications such as wireless internet access and cellular communication. It will provide a new spectrum designation for businesses and organizations that need to communicate quickly and reliably with partners and customers in the 21st century.

This distinction allows for much greater flexibility and applicability of the spectrum compared to traditional satellite communication systems, which are designed to operate only within a specific geographic area. This greater applicability will greatly improve the current wireless connectivity, which is currently limited to certain areas and will enable businesses, organizations, and citizens to better connect with one another and their services.

Who’s going to use CBRS?

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) will act as a new radio spectrum designation for businesses and organizations that need to communicate quickly and reliably with partners and customers. Initially, the CBRS will be available to small and medium-sized businesses and organizations, including public safety agencies and critical infrastructure providers, to help them better connect with their customers and respond to emergencies. Over time, the CBRS will be made available to larger organizations and businesses, including large chains and chains with multiple locations. Overall, it acts as a dynamic, reliable, and secure platform for communicating, sharing information, and collaborating with partners and customers.

How will CBRS benefit applications?

Enterprises and managed service providers will be able to utilize CBRS for IoT connectivity, Wifi and fiber access replacement and enhance LTE services.

Enhanced 4G LTE

The CBRS will enhance 4G LTE services by providing reliable connectivity, in the same way, that Wi-Fi, fiber, and other wired technologies can be used to enhance cellular services. The CBRS is designed to be flexible, so that service providers can use it to enhance their existing cellular services or use it to offer new services to their customers. For example, a cellular service provider may use the CBRS to provide their customers with high-speed internet access in areas where fiber or wired internet isn’t available. As a result, the CBRS will provide service providers with opportunities to improve their customers’ experiences.

CBRS can add capacity within the 4G network and bridge any Wifi shortcomings. Wifi technology is prone to insufficient coverage, network congestion and interference. By enhancing 4G LTE services through CBRS, these problems are solved as enterprises and services providers can now support up to twice the Wifi capacity. Overall, this increases app performance and allows for more efficient workflows.

Other than this, CBRS can also provide enterprises with a much higher level of security since it ensures sensitive business data remains within the corporate network through measures such as access restrictions, login requirements and SIM cards.

Specialized IoT applications

CBRS-based private networks improve in-building connectivity, especially in residential and public spaces. This will enable users to access the internet and other services without needing to install additional equipment and will enable service providers to provide better service to their customers, enhancing both employee and customer experience. CBRS also comes in handy as it provides connectivity in less-dense, remote areas for telecommuting, e-learning or virtual classes.