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When Spectrum Runs Out – Think and Act Outside the Box

By Atul Bhatnagar   January 14, 2021

RF spectrum is vital to wireless communications. The increasing demand for connectivity is driving the FCC to take unprecedented action to open new frequency bands and manage this limited resource to get the most use out of available spectrum starting with the CBRS bands. Their leadership in using PAL licenses and SAS providers is developing a means to manage spectrum sharing. When the process is refined, spectrum management agencies in other countries will do well to learn from the FCC’s initiatives.

In the meantime, service providers must navigate PAL licenses, SAS providers, equipment and management systems to ensure that their subscribers receive consistently reliable connectivity.

Cambium Networks makes it easy to get the most out of CBRS. In addition to providing industry leading spectral efficiency in our equipment, our engineers have developed the cnMaestro™ management system to smoothly interoperate with the PMP 450 network elements and to keep up with the new features introduced by the SAS vendors. The latest feature in the CBRS ecosystem is co-existence; this feature introduces parameters that an operator can define to inform the SAS on how the network is deployed, which devices need to operate on the same channel and which devices do not interfere with each other. These parameters give the SAS more information to properly calculate interference and recommend channel usage across all devices. It is the first step toward full coordination of spectrum usage, which will alleviate congestion and allow the sharing of the available spectrum in the most efficient way.

While the FCC standards around calculating interference are common between SAS Administrators, not all of them will implement these new features at the same time or even in the same manner. However, cnMaestro facilitates the data collection for all accounts. If the connected SAS supports co-existence, cnMaestro sends the corresponding parameters; if the SAS does not support co-existence yet, cnMaestro stores the data for a future transfer to the SAS database. To see the details and benefits of the co-existence feature, check out this video and interact with our development team and other network operators in this thread on our community. Thanks to our development team, CBRS networks are gracefully upgraded, and license and SAS management is all done behind the scenes. End customers are satisfied with their affordable and reliable connectivity – and they come back for more. Broadband service providers can keep the networks up and running for work-from-home, education, and connecting people places & things.

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