UPS Receives Experimental License to Test 900 MHz, CBRS Broadband Services
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | Comments

United Parcel Service (UPS) received a two-year special temporary authority (STA) experimental license for the Billings, Montana area, to test 900 MHz and 3.5 GHz broadband services.

UPS plans to deploy a single 1.4-megahertz Long Term Evolution (LTE) eNodeB base station operating in frequency division duplex (FDD) mode in the 900 MHz band (LTE band 8) on spectrum licensed to Anterix, formerly pdvWireless. The base station will be used initially to provide internet connectivity to various client devices — smartphones, tablets, push-to-talk (PTT) devices and edge routers supporting wired connectivity to computers and other network devices — within a 10-kilometer radius of the site.

The company then intends to leverage the Anterix spectrum to migrate the user data plane to UPS' internal data network so testing can continue with production UPS applications. The subject eNodeB will then be deployed in a common network with a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) LTE infrastructure. The intent is to compare performance across the Anterix and CBRS RF networks and ultimately demonstrate the ability for client devices to roam between them, as well as commercial LTE networks.

“To the best of our knowledge, no similar dual-band LTE implementation using the 39-megahertz offset version of band 8 and CBRS has yet been tested, and we believe this architecture has significant promise,” said the UPS application.

The objectives of the program are to test the functionality of various client devices with respect to the 39-megahertz transmit/receive offset variant of the band 8 deployment and to document the relative coverage and performance differences between this band 8 deployment on the Anterix spectrum and the CBRS overlay operating in band 48. UPS also wants to confirm the ability to operate a co-site band 8/band 48 (CBRS) using common LTE core infrastructure and allowing client roaming between the two RF networks, the FCC application said.

The company plans to use equipment from numerous companies, including Air-Lynx, Ericsson, Nokia, Sierra Wireless, Encore Networks, Multitech, GE, Laird, Sonim Technologies, Bittium, Cat, Cradlepoint, Council Rock, Apple, Samsung and Motorola Solutions, for the tests.

“We are certainly optimistic that private LTE and 5G networks might bring significant benefits to our operations, and we are actively exploring all our options in this space,” said Tim Totten, UPS wireless architect.

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