SCF, CBRS Alliance Partner for Adoption of Small Cells in 3.5 GHz CBRS Band

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Small Cell Forum and the CBRS Alliance have announced an agreement to cooperate closely to advance use of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum band.

Under the new agreement, the organizations will work together on a variety of initiatives related to the wide-scale adoption of small cells, network densification, and the development, commercialization and adoption of OnGo™-certified solutions for the 3.5 GHz band.

As part of the agreement, the organizations will partner on the development and joint promotion of resources relating to shared spectrum and OnGo small cells in order to accelerate deployment. Identified areas of collaboration include investigating multi-operator solutions in the 3.5 GHz band, defining indoor solution architectures for densification, and exploring the international opportunity for Spectrum Access System-coordinated shared spectrum.

“As the industry shifts to focus on network densification, we expect that small cells will be a key driver for the adoption of 4G and 5G solutions in the 3.5 GHz band,” said Alan Ewing, Executive Director of the CBRS Alliance. “Together, the CBRS Alliance and Small Cell Forum offer a wealth of expertise that will raise awareness for the opportunities that shared spectrum offers small cell vendors, network operators, and others in the ecosystem.”

According to recent forecasts by the Small Cell Forum, unlicensed and shared spectrum could account for up to 36 percent of small cell deployments by 2022. The CBRS Alliance is working closely with industry and government entities to facilitate the testing and certification of OnGo small cells, referred to in the specifications as Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices (CBSDs).

A number of vendors have already demonstrated prototypes and conducted live trials of these small cells. In conjunction, the Small Cell Forum continues to play a significant role in defining how small cells will behave in shared spectrum. Through this partnership, both organizations will be closely aligned on technical specification requirements and testing results of CBSDs for both indoor and neutral host use cases.

“The combination of small cells and shared spectrum will have a disruptive effect on the mobile market, both in the United States and other regions around the world,” said Richard Kennedy, COO of the Small Cell Forum. “We’re excited to partner with the CBRS Alliance to continue to promote the value and potential of small cells in the 3.5 GHz band.”


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