Federated wireless intros spectrum controller raises 42b

September 21, 2017

Spectrum Access System admin says spectrum controller is an industry first

Federated Wireless, one of the Spectrum Access System administrators for the 3.5 GHz ecosystem, says it is bringing spectrum sharing closer to reality with the commercial availability of its cloud-based spectrum controller to enable spectrum sharing.

Federated also closed on a new investment funding round of $42 million, with backers including Charter Communications, American Tower, ARRIS and Singapore’s investment fund GIC.

Bringing the spectrum controller to market is the culmination of five years of development, according to Federated, and marks a step closer to reality for the larger CBRS spectrum sharing ecosystem. The spectrum controller utilizes the SAS cloud service for access to bandwidth in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service band, which also includes information from a nationwide network of sensors put in place to help protect federal incumbent users of the spectrum.

“Shared spectrum isn’t just a promising approach of the future – Federated Wireless’ spectrum controller is now available for use by customers of all sizes conducting live, integrated field trials and commercial deployments in readiness for FCC certification,” said Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated, in a statement. “Spectrum sharing will dramatically reduce the cost of delivering wireless services, with our technology serving as the on-ramp. 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 framework for CBRS spectrum sharing has generated a significant amount of interest, although device support is expected to be a hurdle for the ecosystem. Spectrum sharing at 3.5 GHz involves three tiers of access: unlicensed access, priority access for holders of short-term licenses who get protection from unlicensed users but must cede bandwidth to incumbent users; and the incumbent users which include naval radar systems.

Federated has been enabling dozens of CBRS tests and trials, including a demonstration last last month of LTE Advanced carrier aggregation using CBRS spectrum that was conducted with Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies; Nokia will also be making use of Federated’s spectrum controller in CBRS-enabled small cells.

For more on 3.5 GHz and spectrum sharing in the CBRS band, check out RCR Wireless News’ recent special report on the topic, as well as our recent webinar on spectrum monitoring and sharing, with Iyad Tarazi.