CBRS stands for Citizens Broadband Radio Systems. It is actually a “band,” not a technology, that will enable enterprises to deploy private LTE networks in shared spectrum. What does this mean? Instead of being dependent on carriers to provide broadband connectivity for licensed and unlicensed spectrum, property owners can leverage their own private network to guarantee coverage throughout their property.
Private CBRS LTE networks have all the advantages of the commercial carrier networks such as security, mobility, and compatibility with a wide variety of existing handsets. In addition, the residents, tenants, and guests of the enterprise can benefit from vertical-specific applications only available to the users of the private network.
Some interesting use cases for CBRS include hospitals using private cellular networks for asset tracking, venues replacing two-way radio systems onsite with a private two-way network that is LTE quality or better, and providing high-speed mobile services in rural areas that have been hard to reach in the past.
The CBRS band is meant to spur innovation in connectivity and IoT applications because it is more secure and offers better mobility and quality than Wi-Fi. As for technologies that will support CBRS, such as small cells or access points, they will be complimentary with DAS and Wi-Fi. CBRS is not a replacement for these infrastructures, but it can be installed as a standalone system that uses access points to provide coverage and capacity, similar to a Wi-Fi network, or it can use small cells as signal sources to feed a DAS and converge CBRS with the carriers' signals being transmitted by the DAS.
Setting up a private LTE presents many of the same problems as a standard Wi-Fi network. If your building has an irregular configuration or it's subject to a variety of obstructions (e.g., tall shrubs, fortified construction, large surrounding buildings, etc.), it will be more difficult to determine the appropriate placement and installation of equipment.
In addition to possible barriers to installation and operation, there are also regulatory concerns to consider. Private LTE offers unlicensed services to property owners, but CBRS operates under a different set of governances. Because CBRS is still under review by the Federal Communications Commission, providers have to be certain they're operating within the law and relevant guidelines. If the rules change at any time, providers must anticipate and plan ahead for how the changes will affect their networks.
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Venues need more spectrum, now - and CBRS is one answer. Explore early use cases of CBRS networks as well as the long-term possibilities in our report by MSR Research. Content includes applications, deployment guidelines, and SME and early-adopter customer opinions.Download the Report