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What is CBRS good for?

This a really interesting discussion, well worth reading.

"Two‑thirds of CBRS Alliance members are people who never played in cellular before or have not owned and operated cellular networks. We’ve got a big laboratory here. With CBRS, we anticipated many 5G ideas. " - Preston Marshall, Google.

I know I’m enjoying exploring the varying use cases in JR’s Lab. With my background being in events and entertainment I’m really excited to see what we can do by adding CBRS to the wireless ‘stack’. Will we see school districts selling ‘slices’ of their network capacity to the local TV station for mobile camera connectivity? Every thought experiment uncovers new possibilities.

‘Neutral host’ will encompass many more services than the voice and data roaming for MNO. Why can’t we have ‘neutral host’ access for delivery drones, student connectivity, enterprise wan extension. Think of it in the same way utilities and cities are offering dark fiber leases on their infrastructure to drive faster ROI and reduce costs.

Are you considering the options for becoming a ‘neutral host’ provider using CBRS? What services could you offer? How will you reach clients?

Google’s announcement of the Orion platform this week has got me thinking!

I’m interested in CBRS technology, and wanted to sort of make a separate topic to ask about neutral host but I don’t see any way to make a new post on this forum.

Unfortunately for the moment I struggle to find the real use case in private LTE, when another network technology is already deployed. The two could be complimentary, except, they work on different end devices classes.

That being said, I’ve seen a few different approaches to in-building DAS and repeater infrastructure, and could see this being a real use case for CBRS. In my head, it seems like an entity can build a neutral host network for sites they want to provide their customers excellent coverage, within band 48 anyway, and have the ability to bring their own devices on-board. I picture this a franchise type retailer, a municipality, etc. I would hope given the legwork to put the network up, a MNO might be allured into using it, in exchange for some reciprocal use of their own network.

Given the relative youth of some of this technology, where is this use case today? Cellular carriers are itching to make gains on 5G-capable deployments, but, does Celona or other enterprise-attainable technology have a framework for this yet?

Welcome to the Frequency community @pawlowa14.

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You raise some fascinating questions about where CBRS fits with neutral host and DAS. Our CTO @Mehmet_Celona covers some aspects of this in episode 8 of his Office Hours series, and I’m sure he’ll have some specific feedback on your questions.

I can talk to a use case scenario where DAS is already in place, like a stadium. In this scenario, the DAS primarily exists to provide a better connectivity experience for guests regardless of their carrier. Wi-Fi has also been added to augment that capacity, while also supporting operational connectivity for staff devices, point of sale, scanning portals, etc.

What value could CBRS deliver in that wireless ‘stack’?

The priority would be to move in house operational applications to CBRS delivering;

  • Dedicated, clean spectrum,
  • Predictable performance on a per-application basis using MicroSlicing™,
  • Improved coverage with minimal additional assets, outdoor sectors can cover millions of square feet,
  • Sensitive Data remains on net.

Can the CBRS network also be used for Neutral Host, as a next-gen DAS without the usual complexity?

Short answer. Yes, we’re working on it.

Longer answer. Yes, this is technically possible today, but we cannot say when a neutral host solution using CBRS will be available, as we rely on co-operation from the MNOs. We will share any progress made as we are able.

Mehmet can talk in more detail about our general approach to neutral host and where we think the market is headed.

Thanks again for the questions!


Is there a thought about bringing some sort of voice service interface to your product in the future?

I’ll admit bull ignorance on LTE and voice. In thinking about use cases, we have a number of devices which run on legacy copper voice (which are not mandated by code or ordinance to do so) but where ourselves or the customer may be interested in a resilient design that could be afforded by CBRS/LTE, over something like a VoIP terminal adapter. There are other technologies for this which exist, but, it seemed like something which could be useful.

In this case I am referring to courtesy call boxes, alarm panels, environmental monitoring devices, etc where typically the manufacturer offers a cellular module or option, but which does not use data. I’m sure there are some enterprise customers who may be interested in having native voice on mobile handsets, instead of using an over the top application, or a different solution like the MotoTRBO one.

I understand that it seems like it may add too much complexity to the product, but I’m curious on your thoughts.

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Good question! Our Director of Product Management, @Puneet_Celona is the best person to answer, but I’ll share my experiences so far.

We are a data platform primarily, and voice is definitely an important component for many clients, but most needs are addressed with OTT apps (as you mentioned).

For example, we have been field-testing the Motorola Wave PTT platform/handsets and the results so far have been excellent.

The ‘Wi-Fi Calling’ service offered by many carriers also works on the Celona platform. With dual-sim phone and no cell coverage wi-fi calling enabled phones will use the available data connection whether wi-fi or CBRS.

It’s definitely a very interesting area, it may be that neutral host is the best path to reach the goal of native voice, but that is obviously dependent on the carriers.

Thanks for all the great questions and engagement. I think JR has addressed this well.

We have heard this request in other customer conversation as well. We are currently not looking to add support for voice natively on Celona’s Private Cellular Network. We believe that this use-case is well served with OTT applications in the Enterprise Campus Network.
In the Neutral Host context we will be able to leverage the MNO’s network to serve voice natively.

Hope this helps!

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