CBRS Use-Cases With focus on Localized Indoor Mobile Access (LIMA), Mobility and Service Continuity (2018)

By Rajat Ghai, Technicolor

Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), is a 150 MHz-wide shared spectrum in 3.55 GHz to 3.7 GHz band. FCC spectrum sharing policy creates an innovative way for a lightly licensed tiered access that creates dynamic sharing of spectrum in real time. As a one of its kind spectrum sharing concept, CBRS aims to combine the best of traditional licensed spectrum (LTE) and unlicensed spectrum (Wi-Fi) by combining the best of both technologies.

Specifically, for MSOs, the CBRS band offers them a path to deploying their own LTE network without making significant investments for licensed spectrum acquisition.

MSOs can thus strategically utilize CBRS for diverse use cases like:

  • Local Indoor LTE mobile access (LIMA) to augment Wi-Fi coverage to control quality of user experience and offload MVNO costs.
  • Leverage the HFC plant and deep fiber nodes to deploy CBRS small cells for outdoor mobile access and as mobile backhaul.
  • CBRS based Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology to provide broadband access in areas that don’t have cable access.
  • Help enterprises or venue owners deploy CBRS based private LTE networks to beef up in building wireless coverage and capacity.
  • Create new business models like Neutral Host Networks and Industrial IOT using this band.

MSOs are positioned very favorably to leverage the economics of FCC’s CBRS initiative to deploy mobile infrastructure very cost effectively for various use-cases listed above.

In this paper, we describe those use cases, with a specific focus on LIMA (Local Indoor Mobile Access), which we have identified as - by a large margin - the largest opportunity for MSOs to capitalize on CBRS based mobile coverage. Indoors is where there are the highest concentrations of subscribers, as well as majority of time spent on mobile devices by users. The paper provides details on how MSOs can innovate with a hybrid indoor Mobile and Wi-Fi service that seamlessly integrates with the macro cellular network as well as extend service continuity to the MVNO network.

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