FCC Authorizes Historic OnGo™ Deployments in 3.5 GHz CBRS Band, Opens Billions in Economic Opportunity for U.S.

Ground-breaking Shared Spectrum Approach Enables High-quality, Secure and Cost-effective Mobile Connectivity

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The CBRS Alliance, an industry organization focused on driving the development, commercialization, and adoption of OnGo™ shared spectrum solutions, marks a historic milestone with the start of Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD) in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), has approved the start of commercial service by Spectrum Access System (SAS) administrators Amdocs, CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google, and Sony, marking the beginning of a new era in the wireless industry.

Known as “The Innovation Band”, the 3.5 GHz CBRS band is valued at $15.6 billion and opens the door to a huge market opportunity for operators, enterprises, industrial players, and the broader U.S. economy. Leading organizations including AT&T, Charter Communications and Verizon have already developed solutions and services to support the use of OnGo. Today’s public notice from the FCC begins ICD, the final step in the development of the OnGo ecosystem and launch of commercial services in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band across thousands of sites across the U.S. ICD realizes the vision for the innovative shared spectrum model, introducing new commercial services while protecting existing federal users. The success of this model is being closely monitored by regulatory and industry players across the globe, as it promises the availability of valuable wireless spectrum that is often underutilized.

As adoption of wireless technology has increased by consumers and businesses alike, it’s become clear that data demand is limitless, but spectrum is not. The current amount of available spectrum cannot meet the growing demand of consumers, businesses and connected machines, nor can it support the increasing number of data-hungry applications such as video, AR/VR and Industrial IoT. It can take decades for new spectrum to become available for commercial use using traditional methods, but the 150 MHz that make up the CBRS band has become commercially available in only six years, due in part to the close public-private partnership between industry players and government agencies.

“Bringing OnGo to market required close industry and government collaboration. There’s been an unprecedented amount of coordination and joint development to implement the FCC’s framework, prepare the industry for imminent deployments and certify components and devices,” said Dave Wright, President of the CBRS Alliance. “On behalf of the entire CBRS Alliance, I would like to thank all of the organizations that have been involved in this effort, including the FCC, the NTIA, the DoD, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, the Wireless Innovation Forum, and our more than 140 members that have contributed their time, energy and innovation to making commercial OnGo services a reality.”

The CBRS Alliance was created to do drive technology developments and establish an effective product certification program for LTE equipment in the 3.5 CBRS GHz band. The OnGo Certification Program was launched with support from CBRS Alliance member companies, CTIA, and global test labs to ensure seamless integration and deployment of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices (CBSDs) and ensure that OnGo service and devices deliver a consistent experience. Earlier this year, Google, LG, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, and Samsung launched the first commercial handsets authorized to operate in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band, and on September 10, the new Apple iPhone 11 was revealed to also be CBRS-ready. A full list of OnGo-certified CBSDs and FCC-authorized Citizen Broadband Radio Service End User Devices (CBEs) can be found here.

“AT&T is proud to be part of the tremendous effort that has gone into making the commercial deployment of this spectrum a reality,” said Hank Hultquist, Vice President of Federal Regulatory, AT&T. “CBRS spectrum is a critical piece to our rollout of next-generation fixed wireless, and we’re excited to bring this service to consumers across the country. We applaud the efforts of the FCC, the NTIA and the Defense Department for working with the CBRS Alliance and its industry partners to enable the adoption of so many creative, shared spectrum solutions. This is a game-changer.”

“Charter Communications is excited to be part of this historic event,” said Craig Cowden, Senior Vice President of Wireless Technology for Charter Communications. “We welcome today’s launch of Initial Commercial Deployment for OnGo services which represents the culmination of years of development in bringing efficiencies to use of the nation’s available wireless spectrum, leveraging the advantages of both unlicensed and licensed spectrum characteristics into an optimized and innovative shared spectrum regime. This opens the door for companies like Charter to deploy next generation wireless technologies, including 5G, Rural Broadband and service to the Internet of Things.”

“Motorola Solutions commends the FCC for working closely with the CBRS Alliance and other stakeholders to fulfill the promise of better and faster enterprise communications,” said John Zidar, Corporate Vice President, North America Commercial, Channel & Carrier, Motorola Solutions. “We are proud to have worked alongside industry partners to establish standards for use of the 3.5 GHz CBRS band and look forward to bringing CBRS-based private broadband solutions to our commercial customers. OnGo services will give businesses more capacity and coverage for their voice, data and video communications and will help to drive innovation across U.S. enterprises.”   

“Today's mobile enterprise and home-based users are driving tremendous demand on the wireless network. CBRS, through the OnGo solution, is a great way to add capacity to the wireless network and meet today's and tomorrow's user needs,” said Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Network Planning at Verizon. “In the hands of operators, CBRS spectrum provides a tremendous opportunity in a very creative way to share spectrum with existing users within the U.S. We're extremely excited to be bringing a large amount of spectrum into the hands of our customers so that they can do more and more things on their wireless devices.”

“We can’t create new spectrum, but we can invent new ways to use it more efficiently. Of course, that reflects the history of the wireless industry, of continually innovating to get more out of finite radio spectrum so more can use it,” said Claude Aiken, president and CEO of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA). “Today, after years of hard work and development, initial commercial deployment (ICD) of CBRS shared spectrum is a reality. We want to thank all those individuals for their magnificent efforts to make that happen. And the FCC, too, for seeing the promise within this underutilized CBRS band, and then nurturing the process to completion. With CBRS, new networks and, perhaps more importantly, a new manner of using spectrum, has been born. From this, the equipment makers, services and Internet providers will spring into action, helping more Americans – including those in unserved and underserved areas – obtain high-speed services through robust dynamic sharing of the 3.5 GHz band. Congratulations to all! WISPA is proud to be a small part of this tremendous, groundbreaking success. We are excited for the future this will bring and trust the CBRS sharing model can be employed elsewhere in the radio spectrum, freeing it up for more efficient use by hungry wireless consumers.”  

In addition, OnGo is poised to set the stage for opening a large swath of mid-band spectrum for 5G services, another pioneering move that will keep the U.S. at the forefront of the global race to 5G. Completion of Release 3 of the key networking and coexistence specifications for operations in the 3.5 GHz band by the CBRS Alliance is expected to conclude in Q4 2019. As noted by FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, this will set the stage for the first mid-band 5G deployments in the country, enabling OnGo 5G service availability in early 2020.

The ICD phase is scheduled to proceed over a 30-day period, with SAS administrators providing results to the government for final review. These early commercial deployments will continue and expand beyond the ICD phase, leading to certification and full commercial service in the fourth quarter of 2019.

OnGo Commercial Service Launch: Share. Connect. Innovate.
On September 18, 2019, The CBRS Alliance will host an exclusive, invite-only event celebrating the launch of commercial services in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band. Attendees will be among the first to hear some of the most compelling use cases of OnGo, including network densification, IoT, neutral host networks, private LTE networks, and 5G. Speakers will include:

  • Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, FCC
  • Frederick D. Moorefield, Jr., Dept. of Defense Deputy CIO for Command, Control, Communications and Computers and Information Infrastructure Capabilities
  • Diane Rinaldo, Assistant Secretary, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce (Acting)
  • Hank Hultquist, VP, Federal Regulatory, AT&T
  • Craig Cowden, SVP, Wireless Technology, Charter Communications
  • Jerry Gard, Director of Engineering, Motorola Solutions
  • Adam Koeppe, SVP, Network Planning, Verizon
  • Claude Aiken, President & CEO, WISPA

More information about the launch event is available here.

For more information on the CBRS Alliance, and a full list of member companies, please visit www.cbrsalliance.org.

About OnGo™
OnGo™ is uncompromised connectivity. An innovative approach to maximizing mobile broadband, OnGo is a technology that puts the power of wireless networks into the hands of those that rely on them to empower and expand business opportunities. OnGo presents nearly limitless options for enhanced customizability and allows users to tailor networks to a specific set of needs, such as Private LTE, neutral host and Industrial IoT applications, while providing investment protection as the first mid-band solution for 5G. OnGo Certified is a recognized seal of approval that indicates a product’s ability to meet a high set of quality, interoperability and security standards when tested by an independent, OnGo-Authorized test laboratory. Both the OnGo brand and the OnGo Certification Program are managed and maintained by the CBRS Alliance.

About the CBRS Alliance
The CBRS Alliance believes that LTE-based solutions in the CBRS band, utilizing shared spectrum, can enable both in-building and outdoor coverage and capacity expansion at massive scale. In order to maximize CBRS’ full potential, the CBRS Alliance aims to enable a robust ecosystem towards making LTE-based CBRS solutions available. The mission of the CBRS Alliance is to evangelize LTE-based CBRS technology, use cases and business opportunities while simultaneously driving technology developments necessary to fulfill the mission, including multi-operator LTE capabilities. The Alliance will also establish an effective product certification program for LTE equipment in the US 3.5 GHz band ensuring multi-vendor interoperability. For more information, please visit www.cbrsalliance.org and follow the CBRS Alliance on LinkedIn and Twitter.


CBRS Alliance
Caitlin Haskins, 10Fold Communications
Email: OnGo@10fold.com
Phone: 925-271-8219