Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) market leader Federated Wireless today announced it has extended its Spectrum Controller platform to enable spectrum sharing in the 6 GHz band, allowing operators and enterprises to accelerate delivery of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G services. Named an automated frequency controller (AFC) by the FCC, the new Spectrum Controller functionality is currently deployed in trials, marking another industry first for Federated Wireless, and is expected to be available for commercial use by the end of 2020. This is a significant leap forward for the wireless industry and for U.S. operators and enterprises that will soon be able to take advantage of unlicensed use of 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band.
The 6 GHz band currently is set aside for licensed users, including carriers and MVNOs, who have deployed thousands of point-to-point microwave links to backhaul network traffic. The Wi-Fi industry is particularly interested in accessing mid-band spectrum as interference in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands continues to increase. Lightweight management of spectrum usage in the band through the Spectrum Controller will allow unlicensed and licensed users to co-exist, maximizing spectral efficiency. Easy access to spectrum will also increase the opportunity for private 4G/5G networks as the private wireless market increases.
“Development of an AFC to enable unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band has been something of a moving target for the wireless industry, with some saying it is technically too difficult to develop and deliver at scale, and others seeing it as necessary to protect incumbent users,” said Monica Paolini, principal, Senza Fili. “The Federated Wireless Spectrum Controller shows how an AFC can make spectrum sharing more efficient and foster adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G in the 6 GHz band.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band in December 2018. The proposed rules defined the AFC that will allow shared use of the band, opening 1.2 GHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band to new uses, enabling data transfers of up to 10 Gbps and supporting high-density device environments including public venues and Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs). The FCC is expected to finalize the rules for 6 GHz unlicensed operation this year, with a number of countries in the European Union and in Asia expected to follow suit by 2022.
“6 GHz is the next frontier for shared spectrum services and equitable access to it, enabled and ensured by our Spectrum Controller, promises to greatly advance the deployment of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G in the U.S.,” said Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi. “This new technology builds on our long-standing leadership in managing shared spectrum in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band and on the extensive partner ecosystem we have developed to deliver shared spectrum services.”
Federated Wireless is working closely with its partners in development and deployment of the AFC and associated technologies to enable Wi-Fi 6 and 5G deployment in 6 GHz. These include carriers, MVNOs, Wi-Fi vendors and systems integrators who are collaborating to enhance wireless connectivity for businesses and consumers across the U.S.
About Federated Wireless
Founded in 2012, Federated Wireless has long led the industry in development of shared spectrum CBRS capabilities, taking a lead role in the formation of the CBRS Alliance, being the first to complete a wide range of trials with its Spectrum Controller, and deploying the industry’s first nationwide ESC network. The company’s partner ecosystem includes more than 40 device manufacturers and edge partners, all of which are dedicated to collaboration to advance development and proliferation of CBRS services. Federated Wireless’ customer base includes companies spanning the telecommunications, energy, hospitality, education, retail, office space, municipal and residential verticals, with use cases ranging from network densification and mobile offload to Private LTE and Industrial IoT. For more information, visit: www.federatedwireless.com.