Home5GNokia bundles spectrum access and radio sensing into CBRS offer in the US

Nokia bundles spectrum access and radio sensing into CBRS offer in the US

Nokia has integrated a spectrum access and radio sensing mechanisms into its private LTE and 5G offer for priority and general access users in the CBRS band in the US. The Finnish firm has partnered with Virginia-based Key Bridge Wireless on the solution, which is bundling the spectrum access system (SAS) and environmental sensing capability (ESC) into the bargain, alongside radios, user devices, and ‘domain proxy’ from Nokia.

Key Bridge suppliers spectrum administration and sharing systems and services. The FCC certified the firm as an SAS administrator in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in March. The pair said the integrated CBRS solution will help communications service providers (CSPs), multiple-system operators (MSOs) and enterprises to deploy networks and realise investments in CBRS spectrum more “quickly and easily”.

They called it “the most comprehensive solution… to deploy reliable CBRS networks quickly and easily”, using both ‘general authorized’ (GAA) and priority access (PAL) spectrum licenses. 

It is targeted at both large and small Industry 4.0 installations, and works with both products in Nokia’s private wireless portfolio: its as-a-service Netflix-style Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) solution, a cut-down out-of-the-box solution for easy local deployments; and its full-fat Modular Private Wireless (MPW) solution, for larger-scale campus-wide private cellular.

The key functionality is the FCC-certified Wave 1 SAS/ESC from Key Bridge Wireless. The ESC can be selectively densified in areas with high-value industrial sites to enable ultra-reliable CBRS spectrum availability information, said Nokia in a statement. “Combined with distributed, geo-redundant SAS and Domain Proxy, this enables enterprises to operate ultra-reliable radio access networks in CBRS spectrum, especially high-value PAL spectrum.”

Nokia’s new ‘domain proxy’ capabilities, implemented as microservices on edge compute infrastructure, aggregate multiple radio links to simplify SAS connectivity in large deployments, and provide an extra level of CBRS reliability, policy control, and security in challenging environments, it said. The solution also includes shared spectrum innovations from Nokia Bell Labs.

Stephan Litjens, vice president for enterprise solutions in Nokia’s cloud and network services unit, said: “This new offering gives PAL and GAA users a new standard in ease of use. Its unparalleled robustness will extend and accelerate their CBRS plans, and maximize the value of their investment. CBRS presents a huge opportunity for CSPs, MSOs and enterprises for deployment of private wireless networks and to build the platform for new use cases that drive Industry 4.0 implementation.”

Jesse Caulfield, chief executive at Key Bridge Wireless, said: “Our partnership with Nokia has produced an integrated CBRS solution unlike any other. Our SAS/ESC infrastructure is designed, deployed and operated to ensure carrier-grade reliability at tremendous scale. Through extensive testing, field trials and now active commercial deployments we provide a robust and easy to use service for CBRS network operators.”

A press statement quoted a market forecast by Dell’Oro Group that cumulative RAN investments in LTE and 5G in the CBRS market will top $2 billion by 2025. Nokia claims its private LTE and 5G radio equipment has been used by 260 customers to date. Late last year, the firm announced new deals with AT&T and Verizon in the US. The AT&T arrangement is geared towards enterprise deployments of private LTE in CBRS spectrum; the Verizon setup, with the company’s business unit, is for enterprises taking private 5G in Europe and Asia Pacific.

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