Samsung Electronics has been selected as a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and Compact Core provider for Avista Edge, Inc., a last mile, fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G technology provider that helps public electric utilities and internet service providers (ISPs) deliver high-speed internet services to customers in rural communities.
With a focus on delivering fast, reliable internet service to those that need it most, Avista Edge, a non-regulated subsidiary of Avista Corp., brings enhanced connectivity to people in underserved communities through partnerships with U.S. electric utilities and local ISPs.
As efforts to reduce the digital divide continue across the U.S., Samsung and Avista Edge aim to help bridge the gap by offering reliable high-speed internet connectivity through electric utilities and ISPs. Nearly 30 percent of Americans in rural areas are living without a broadband internet connection at home, according to Pew Research Center, with rural households reporting consistently lower broadband adoption than suburbanites.
How it Works
Samsung’s 5G-ready CBRS and Compact Core solutions will be combined with Avista Edge’s Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). Using Avista Edge’s network powered by Samsung, electric utilities will have access to an electric meter collar that contains all of the 5G FWA networking components that enable last-mile high-speed internet service.
The Avista Edge CPE is quick and easy to install. It only takes a few minutes for electric utility partners to attach the Avista Edge device between the electric meter and the socket. The FCC- and UL-approved Avista Edge CPE can be installed without any construction, wires or modems, and avoids the high cost and delays frequently found with fiber-to-the-home initiatives.
“CBRS expansion is critical to meet the rapidly increasing connectivity demands across the country,” said Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis. “Samsung’s solutions leveraged by Avista Edge are a strong example of how private companies and electric utilities can join together to create new business models and successfully address the gap in rural broadband access for broader populations.”
Samsung’s CBRS 64T64R Massive MIMO radio is used in the Avista Edge collaboration
5G Opportunity Using CBRS
After conducting successful trials this year, including a pilot that launched in Cheney, Wash., in early 2022, Avista Edge looks to offer commercial 5G fixed wireless technology to electric utilities and ISPs in the future. With this service, rural communities will have access to 5G connectivity, enabling them to use applications essential for how we live and work, including telemedicine and online education.
“Given Samsung’s leadership in 5G network innovations, we are pleased to collaborate at this significant moment in our company’s history, as we aim to expand into last mile broadband technology using 5G, and bring high-speed internet connectivity to rural communities,” said Mark Gustafson, President and CEO of Avista Edge. “As we build upon Avista’s rich history of innovation, Avista Edge believes broadband internet is the new electricity that powers our lives and economy—and unlocks new possibilities in this connected world in which we live.”
Samsung’s CBRS and private network solutions provided to Avista Edge include a Massive MIMO Radio (Link) and Compact Core (Link), along with deployment and management services. Samsung’s Massive MIMO, recently certified by OnGo Alliance (Link), offers three-dimensional beamforming technology supporting 4G and 5G operations. Its Compact Core enables swift deployment and efficient operation of private networks for enterprises.
“Samsung is pleased to work with technology companies like Avista Edge to implement next-generation broadband connectivity in rural communities,” said Imran Akbar, Vice President and Head of New Business Team, Networks Business, Samsung Electronics America. “The Avista Edge meter collar is an innovative CPE design that leverages existing utility meters, and when combined with Samsung’s CBRS network, provides retail customers with a new choice in rural broadband.”
Added Akbar: “This pilot with Avista Edge also begins to bring our 5G-ready technologies and turnkey services to rural communities.
For deployment and management services, Samsung plans to include TeleWorld Solutions (TWS), a Samsung subsidiary.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.