CBRS-Focused Alliances Forge, er, Alliance on Key Tech Issues

The CBRS Alliance and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) have announced a partnership to address technical issues related to the commercial launch of services built around the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).

The orgs said their collaboration will focus on the technical interworking between the CBRS Alliance and ATIS solutions, including the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), Home Network Identity (HNI), Priority Services, and Radio Access Networks. The work will also address legal and regulatory compliance topics.

The two orgs have actually been collaborating for some time. In early November, for example, they jointly hosted a webinar focused on Home Network Identity. 

As part of the liaison agreement, the organizations will partner on HNI initiatives within the 3.5 GHz CBRS band. Traditionally, an HNI identifies a mobile subscriber’s home network and is assignable to mobile network operators with international roaming capabilities. Since the 3550-3700 MHz spectrum is not solely for exclusive use, some users will not directly attain FCC spectrum licenses.

Instead, users acquire base stations certified by the FCC as being compliant with the FCC rules. With such broad and low-cost access to the shared licensed spectrum, ATIS’ IMSI Oversight Council (IOC) derived a strategy for allocating blocks of IMSIs for users within the 3.5 GHz CBRS band. Within the 3.5 GHz band, a shared HNI is used to identify CBRS operations, thus conserving HNI resources, the orgs explained in their announcement.

“The CBRS Alliance values working with ATIS as one of the most respected industry associations in the telecommunications sector,” said Alan Ewing, executive director of the CBRS Alliance, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to tackling technical challenges that may be associated with delivering commercial service in the 3.5 GHz band and to maximizing cooperation between our organizations.”

In 2018, a number of large telecom companies, including Comcast, Charter and Altice, USA, openly discussed plans to build enterprise businesses based on CBRS, a narrow slice of high-band spectrum previously consigned to a few military applications.

The FCC in October finalized rules for Priority Access Licenses to the CBRS band. The FCC’s revised rules mainly covers the licensed portion of the spectrum, delineating county-sized areas and renewable 10-year terms.

Among operators and vendors, however, more interest has been shown toward the unlicensed portion of CBRS.

Over the fall, a number of vendors acquired FCC certification for CBRS products, including Arris, Ericsson, Nokia and Sercomm. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!