Federated Wireless ups its CBRS game with PEGS launch

  • Federated Wireless serves more than 600 customers in the CBRS space

  • It’s now offering what it calls Premium Enterprise Grade Spectrum, or PEGS

  • PEGS is separate from Federated Wireless’ private wireless business, but enterprises that are doing private wireless may be interested in it

Federated Wireless, one of the pioneers in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) space, is touting its Premium Enterprise Grade Spectrum (PEGS) solutions.

Aptly named, PEGS targets enterprises that require more than a run-of-the-mill solution.

One of the features of PEGS is a guaranteed fast response to trouble tickets. Federated Wireless promises to respond within 15 minutes – and that includes a response from the top brass as well.

“They can page anyone in the company, including me,” Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi told Fierce. For the record, we asked: Really? Even the CEO? “If the problem is big enough, yes,” he replied.

OK! Other PEGS features sound slightly less time sensitive, such as providing access to professional insight on CBRS management and greater control through an on-premises Spectrum Access System (SAS) interface option.

Federated Wireless made a name for itself as a SAS administrator for CBRS, and its business has expanded from there. Last month, the company announced FCC certification for its Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) system in the 6 GHz band. It’s already working with Cisco, HPE Aruba Networking, MediaTek and Airspan/Mimosa to make it available to customers.


The launch of PEGS is designed to encourage the continued adoption of CBRS and to deliver the kind of support that big enterprise customers require. In the past, people complained about the lack of devices and applications in the CBRS ecosystem. But that has changed as the technology matured.

Federated Wireless serves more than 600 enterprise customers and says the CBRS ecosystem now boasts over 402,000 CBRS-enabled devices. Federated Wireless itself currently manages 45% of total enabled devices.

Over the last year, requests started rolling in for the PEGS level of service. Federated Wireless is using the same high availability platform that it built for big telecom operators and applying it to large enterprise customers, according to Tarazi.  

One customer that recently signed up for PEGS has 160 nodes in a factory equipped with robotics. Another customer is automating a maritime port, with over 200 nodes on CBRS.

“We’re beginning to see big deployments that really impact the bottom line,” he said. “We want to make sure the welcome mat is out there.” 

What’s up with private wireless?

PEGS looks like a great way of increasing Federated Wireless’ private wireless business, but Tarazi said this is not quite that. It’s a pure spectrum enablement offering and independent of its private wireless business.

That said, it’s an enterprise offering for spectrum customers that are mostly adopting private wireless but could have other mission-critical applications.

Of course, private wireless isn’t living up to the high expectations that some – including wireless operators – had hoped for. However, Tarazi said he was not one of those people who were banking on it becoming an overnight success.

“I’ve always thought that this is a business that’s going to be won vertical by vertical. We focus on verticals,” like higher education or government contracts. “The market is still early and we’re in early adoption mode.”

The good news is a lot of problems have been solved. The devices, end points and chipsets are no longer an issue, and Apple’s support in its latest iOS is a win for private 5G. The complexity now lies in the requirements for a high-end team to get the network together, test, support and manage it, he said.

“There really is no easy button in private wireless,” he concluded. Everything is custom built and every deployment requires a complicated sales process with complex support.  

Niche or mass market?

“The question is when will we get easier, simpler deployments,” as well as easier and simpler sales processes. “I still think it’s a year or two before we get any scale in this business. It’s an early adopter business.”

Some folks have exited the private wireless market entirely, and there likely will be more consolidation. Federated Wireless itself was among those that scaled back last year. Whether private wireless remains a niche market or expands to a mass market remains an open question.

“We’re comfortable with it either way,” he said. “Right now we’re operating it as a niche market. We’re focused on fewer areas where we can add value to very specific deployments… If it stays limited, it’s still a very, very big market for people like us. For other people, they need it to be much, much bigger.”