On Thursday, NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) released final test reports to commercial entities that participated in spectrum sharing testing on a model that would allow commercial and military use in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band. The completed tests will drive progress toward initial commercial deployments in the band, prized for its excellent mix of capacity and coverage capabilities. With 4G LTE technology for the band available today, industry has already begun to develop specifications to support 5G deployments.
NTIA’s ITS oversaw rigorous testing, which included using a wide variety of scenarios and situations to test a Spectrum Access System’s (SAS) ability to manage CBRS devices while protecting incumbent federal and commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz band. The Federal Communications Commission anticipates relying on the test reports to certify that a SAS is complying with its rules.
Last year, ITS conducted the certification testing on Environmental Sensing Capability sensors for the CBRS band. The ESC sensors are intended to work with the SASs to enable dynamic sharing and were certified by the FCC in late April 2019. The completion of both the SAS and the ESC testing continues a 100-year tradition of ITS performing independent research and engineering in telecommunications to advance efficient spectrum use.
If the SAS-ESC combination proves successful, it could unlock a new toolset for dynamic sharing to support NTIA’s efforts to advance the nation’s 21st century spectrum imperatives while protecting vital federal missions.