FCC Approves Key Bridge SAS for Initial Commercial Deployment in CBRS Band
Friday, July 31, 2020 | Comments

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) certified Key Bridge Wireless’ spectrum access system (SAS) and said the company can begin its initial commercial deployment of the system in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band.

The CBRS band has a three-tiered access and authorization framework to accommodate shared federal and non-federal use of the band. The SAS is used to manage access to the spectrum based on users’ tiers.

All prospective SAS operators in the band must complete a two-stage review process before their products receive final certification. In the first stage, an operator must submit a proposal describing how its system will comply with all commission rules governing the operation, construction and approval of SAS and how its system will perform all the core functions of a SAS. The second stage involves testing the SAS in a controlled lab and in a real-world setting.

Key Bridge completed laboratory testing in May and in order to complete the real-world setting testing, asked the FCC to allow a short-term, limited geographic initial commercial deployment. The WTB and OET found that Key Bridge’s initial deployment plan will satisfy the real-world element of the testing plan and will allow the two departments to assess whether the SAS can operate under actual deployment conditions. Key Bridge must adhere to a series of compliance guidelines during the deployment.

The WTB and OET will oversee Key Bridge’s operations during the initial commercial deployment and after reviewing that process will determine and announce if Key Bridge will receive final certification to operate a SAS.

So far, five companies have been approved to operate SAS in the band: Amdocs, CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google and Sony.

The auction for CBRS priority access licenses (PAL) began on July 23. In the CBRS band, incumbents have the highest level of priority, followed by PAL licensees and then general authorized access users.

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