FCC Takes Actions to Enable CBRS Deployments in U.S. Territories
Friday, May 07, 2021 | Comments

The FCC announced efforts to make mid-band spectrum in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band available for 5G and other advanced wireless services to a diverse array of operators, including actions that will enable commercial deployments in the 3.55 – 3.65 MHz band segment in Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa for the first time.

“No matter who you are or where you live, you need access to modern communications to have a fair shot at 21st century success,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “This is true, of course, for those living in Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa, too. These actions continue our efforts to bring 5G to everyone, everywhere in the country, and not create communities of 5G haves and have-nots. I want to thank our partners at NTIA and the Department of Defense for working closely with our great FCC team to make this progress possible.”

After close coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) took three actions related to 3.5 GHz environmental sensing capability (ESC) and spectrum access systems (SAS) approvals. First, the WTB and OET approved new and updated ESC sensor deployment and coverage plans of four ESC operators: CommScope, Google, Federated Wireless and Key Bridge Wireless. This clears the way for commercial access to the 3.55 – 3.65 MHz portion of the CBRS band in Puerto Rico and Guam for the first time.

Second, the WTB and OET approved Federated Wireless to expand its SAS operations to cover the 3.55 – 3.65 MHz portion of the 3.5 GHz band in American Samoa consistent with protection criteria described by NTIA in a letter filed with the commission on April 26, which will enable the first CBRS deployments in that portion of the band in American Samoa.

Finally, the two bureaus also conditionally approved three entities that applied during the second wave SAS application window: Fairspectrum, Nokia, and RED Technologies. This complets the first phase of the two-stage SAS application review process established by the commission.

In addition to these actions, last week, the WTB granted an additional 13 applications for priority access licenses in the 3.5 GHz band, representing 125 licenses.

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