Showing further evidence that the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) space is getting ready for take-off in the U.S., Federated Wireless announced the availability of its Spectrum Controller and the closing of a $42 million Series B round of funding, including strategic investments from Charter Communications, American Tower, Arris International and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
The announcement means that Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Controller is now available for use by customers of all sizes that want to conduct live, integrated field trials and commercial deployments in preparation for FCC certification.
“Spectrum sharing will dramatically reduce the cost of delivering wireless services, with our technology serving as the onramp,” said Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless, in a news release. “The commercial availability of our Spectrum Controller and the investment of the wireless industry in the company will enable us to cement our leadership position and capitalize on the rapid industry shift to shared spectrum set to begin this year.”
The Federated Wireless Spectrum Controller allows a whole host of players to leverage CBRS as needed: mobile operators, cable operators, broadband wireless access providers, managed service providers and various enterprises across industries.
Specifically, the Spectrum Controller is an end-to-end solution for shared spectrum access, management and optimization, with key components including the Spectrum Access System (SAS), a standards-based cloud-service that delivers access to interference-free bandwidth within the CBRS band, as well as the Environmental Sensing Capability Network, a nationwide redundant network of sensors that identify and protect the federal agencies already using the 3.5 GHz band to make sure defense and government communications aren’t impacted by commercial users.
In addition, Federated Wireless’ Open Partner Ecosystem offers a large ecosystem of pre-integrated technology partners enabling integration with existing networks.
“We’re actively pursuing clients” for SAS services, Marshall said in an interview with FierceWireless here on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress Americas trade show. “I think we’ll have some major announcements of contractual arraignments with major players in the ecosystem. We’ve done a large number of demonstrations. I believe we’re probably the furthest along [of all the SAS vendors]. Although I haven’t seen the others, I can probably make some guesses.”
Preston explained that Alphabet/Google, an early proponent of sharing in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band, decided early on to act as an SAS provider in order to ensure competition in the space.
“From the very beginning, we felt it was important to have a competitor. So, we were the first company to announce that we were going to build a SAS. When Federated [Wireless] came along, we joined with them to form the WinnForum [Wireless Innovation Forum], to build the standards to make them interoperable. If this is going to be an effective ecosystem, the people who adopt CBRS have to be comfortable that there is going to be a competitive supply chain, in the SAS just as much as in the hardware. So, we’ve always felt it was important to compete. We’ll perform better if we compete.”
In March, the WinnForum pointed to seven of its member organizations for filing SAS Administrator applications with the FCC, including Google, Federated, Amdocs, Comsearch, CTIA, Keybridge and Sony. Comsearch, CTIA, Federated, Google and Keybridge also filed as candidate Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) Operators.
For its part, Federated Wireless has been vocal about its plans and goals for the SAS space and 3.5 GHz opportunity in general; just this week Federated announced the availability of its Spectrum Controller and the closing of a whopping $42 million Series B round of funding, including strategic investments from Charter Communications, American Tower, Arris International and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
The 3.5 GHz space has received a noteworthy amount of interest in the past few months, including from all the nation’s top wireless carriers and cable operators.