If you’re following the wireless market and have been waiting for an update on CBRS, you aren’t alone. Over the last year, the rules around PAL licenses have been intensely debated, leading some to believe that it is the critical milestone. Because of that, those folks have missed other important milestones that were being hit all along the way. I have always asked the question, “why wait?,” believing the benefits of shared spectrum are so immense that delaying its commercialization would only stifle innovation and put the squeeze on businesses looking to deliver wireless services.
If you are in the “waiting” camp, then you might have missed the FCC’s Public Notice on Friday, which means you also likely didn’t see that the FCC is done waiting as well! No, the FCC didn’t solve the PAL license issue quite yet, but that doesn’t matter. They didn’t need to in order to hit the final milestone and bring shared spectrum to the masses later this year.
Friday’s public notice by the FCC outlines the procedures and deadlines for commercial deployment. With the notice, the timeline and path to commercialization is now crystal clear. We have a deadline to submit our proposal for all the sites our customers are ready to deploy by September 10, 2018. The FCC has committed to a timely review and approval of all submitted proposals. What this means is that we can begin launching commercial services in the vast majority of the 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum in Q4 2018!
Having been conditionally approved as a SAS administrator by the FCC early on, we are already a step ahead. Our Spectrum Controller has been tested thoroughly by a demanding set of customers during more than 50 technology trials and field deployments and four years of R&D. We have helped develop and complete the CBRS standards and worked with partners throughout the wireless ecosystem to flesh out the use cases. We are ready to go.
Anyone still taking the wait-and-see approach is about to miss the boat and fall further behind. There is no going back. There is no need to wait. The time is now. We look forward to supporting this new innovative industry approach to spectrum and are ready to start commercial launch in this initial phase. We are confident that our Spectrum Controller is hardened and will scale to meet commercial requirements. Most importantly, our customers will be able to begin running commercial services this year, opening the floodgates to the pent-up demand in the CBRS ecosystem. We encourage anyone who feels they are behind to contact us at http://dev-federated-wireless.pantheon.io/contact-us/ to discuss the positive impact commercial deployment could have on your organization.
So, I’m asking you now, why wait? The rest of us are moving forward.