Federated Wireless, Learning Alliance to train 2,000 CBRS network installers
Federated Wireless is working with Learning Alliance Corporation, offering vocational training with businesses and colleges, to issue more than 2,000 certificates to newly qualified private-network installation engineers working with LTE in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in the US.
They said the move is in response to “workforce demand for CBRS” and “career opportunities in telecoms”. The programme, geared to accelerate rollout of mobile broadband services in rural and underserved communities, will “greatly expand” the number of CBRS technicians in the US, they said.
The initiative, targeting 2,000 graduate technicians over a period of two years, will see qualified telecoms engineers gain official Certified Professional Installer (CPI) certificates. Federated Wireless and Learning Alliance Corporation said they will build a “hands-on simulation of a CBRS installation”.
The simulation will cover the “spectrum access system (SAS) to [the] radio”, they said, and make use of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) solutions based on CBRS frameworks. Training and certification will be available to private individuals, as well as via mobile operators and sundry service providers in the CBRS market.
Steele Bennett, senior director of sales operations at Federated Wireless, said: “AR/VR provides an opportunity for students to experience real-life deployment scenarios before they enter the field. Increased availability of technicians… will ensure more communities are able to reap the benefits of shared spectrum services more quickly.”
Federated Wireless offers a spectrum access system (SAS) and an environmental sensing capability (ESC). It claims over 200 customers with about 65,000 connected devices in the US; customers include “tier-one” mobile operators, cable operators, and tower companies.
It also has 100-odd regional and rural broadband providers, plus a number of public sector and federal entities on its books. It has just completed a successful demonstration of a 5G private network in shared spectrum for the US Department of Defense, ahead of a smart warehouse deployment at Marine Corps Base Albany 5G testbed.
Learning Alliance Corporation provides training to US military veterans as part of its primary service. Its new collaboration on CBRS-based LTE networks will also seek to bring greater diversity to the telco workforce in the US; more than 40 percent of its existing students are from ethnic monitorities, it said, and will be engaged to participate.
Fred Arnold, director of operations at Learning Alliance, said: “CBRS presents a unique way to expand LTE capability to many areas of the US, including rural broadband. Through this partnership, we hope to provide our students access to jobs that are CBRS/DAS focused.”
Cesar Ruiz, president and chief executive at Learning Alliance, said: “Not only will our students become CPI certified through online and in-person lectures, they will also connect the dots through a hands-on CBRS approach. We don’t just want them to be certified, we want them to know the equipment, the SAS, the IRUs, the baseband, and the requirements for troubleshooting this entire system.”