Amazon applies for new CBRS test license; AWS amps up IIoT work in private LTE
Amazon has applied with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a temporary license to work in the CBRS band in California to test and analyse the performance of new 3.5 GHz (3550 MHz to 3700 MHz) wireless devices. It is its second application, at least.
The application for a Special Temporary Authority (STA), entered with the FCC on August 2, is requested for six months, from August 19 to February 19, 2020. The test license is to cover a five-kilometre radius in Sunnyvale, in California. Amazon proposes working in the 3650-3700 MHz portion of the CBRS band.
The application specifices radio support to test up to 75 prototype (“MO and Temporary FX”) devices. The objective is to obtain “sufficient data to determine whether to continue and expand research into CBRS technologies at other locations.” Tests would be conducted on a secondary, non-interference basis, it states.
Reports claim the Sunnyvale locale is where Amazon’s Lab126 product development subsidiary, instrumental in the design of its Kindle and Fire branded products, is headquartered.
Another application for CBRS test spectrum, filed in November last year, sought indoor coverage for field trials of up to 300 prototype CBRS units. The application was made by a company called Chrome Enterprises, but links to Amazon sites in Cupertino and Tracy, in California, as well as the Lab126 facility in Sunnyvale, according to reports.
It is unclear, as yet, whether Amazon will use its CBRS test spectrum to develop consumer or enterprise devices, or both. But the firm has been looking, already, to utilise CBRS shared spectrum to deliver “high performance, scalable and secure” industrial IoT services.
It has partnered with Athonet, Ruckus Networks, and Federated Wireless – key players in the CBRS market in the US – to deploy LTE networks that are controlled via a cloud platform from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The quartet, including AWS, are planning “a fully cloud-native private mobile network solution for developers, ISV’s, telecom operators, public sector and enterprises for quick deployment of Industrial IoT applications, such as real-time surveillance, smart meters and worker safety monitoring.”
They showcased an AI-enabled video camera at re:Invent, the annual AWS developer event, in December using AWS DeepLens cameras, CBRS gateways from Ruckus, a private LTE network from Athonet, and an LTE/5G spectrum controller from Federated Wireless.
“The DeepLens cameras run machine learning models for object recognition and leverage secure, reliable connectivity that can support large number of devices in an interference-free environment. LTE over CBRS was the perfect choice to connect a large number of cameras in a single room without impacting throughput,” said Federated Wireless.
Financial analysts at New York based Cowan were quoted in February pointing put the particular appeal of CBRS as an indoor coverage resource for cloud companies.
“This by itself is why companies like Amazon and Google are so interested in the CBRS band, as it could ultimately enable them to build out an IoT platform that would feed back into their cloud platforms thus enabling them to create a turnkey IoT solution that completely bypasses the incumbent wireless providers,” said Cowan, as reported.
Amazon has also joined the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance as a charter member, adding its backing to the group which advocates for opportunistic spectrum sharing, including unlicensed access, and supports policies such as the use of television white spaces to bridge the digital divide. It noted development of consumer technologies in a statement.
“Our products and services are smarter, faster and more convenient because we have access to unlicensed wireless spectrum,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy of Amazon, in a statement. “Access to spectrum is essential for the creation and growth of ground breaking, consumer-focused technologies and we look forward to working with the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance to ensure we maintain it.”