Samsung likes its chances for CBRS/C-band radio approval

Samsung is feeling good about the chances the FCC will approve its new radio that’s designed to operate at both C-band 3.7 GHz and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) at 3.5 GHz.

“Samsung is confident that our new C-Band/CBRS wideband radio will meet all FCC rules when operated in the field,” the company told Fierce in a statement Friday.

Samsung asked the FCC for a waiver of the agency’s out-of-band-emissions (OOBE) so that it can sell a 3.7 GHz 5G base station that also supports CBRS for customers who are deploying both C-band and CBRS spectrum.

Verizon is one of those operators deploying both and told the FCC how it supports Samsung’s product. Comments on Samsung's request were due March 27, with reply comments due April 4. 

But Charter Communications, a cable company that also owns CBRS spectrum, told the agency on Tuesday that it has some concerns about potential interference in the CBRS band.

Charter is asking the FCC to defer acting on Samsung’s petition until it has the chance to review more information, such as emission measurements.

In comments filed with the commission, Charter said Samsung asserts that its base station “will not increase the likelihood of interference" and that "there would be no more interference caused from deploying a separate CBRS radio than from a combined 3.7 GHz/CBRS radio." Samsung submitted confidential information to support its stance.

Charter wants the chance to review that information. Of particular interest to CBRS operators are the results of Samsung’s testing regarding the emissions created when the base station is operating in dual-band (CBRS and C-band) mode and whether emissions into the CBRS band in that mode meet the FCC’s CBRS emission limits.

If the FCC decides to grant Samsung’s petition without giving stakeholders access to this kind of information, Charter said the commission’s order should then condition any waiver on a requirement that Samsung immediately cease operating its base station in the event it causes harmful interference to CBRS operations.

Ericsson supports Samsung waiver request

Charter's comments were the only ones submitted to the FCC that raised concerns about Samsung's request. Only two other entities provided comments, and that includes support from Verizon and Ericsson. 

Ericsson also has a pending waiver request to make and market a 3.7/3.5 GHz CBRS radio and recently obtained FCC approval for a 3.7/3.45 GHz combination radio.

Ericsson said there are many public interest benefits associated with the deployment of these multi-band radios, including reduced energy consumption. They also result in smaller cell site footprints, thereby facilitating faster zoning review and easier siting.

In its approval for Ericsson's 3.7/3.45 GHz radio, the FCC noted that together, the 3.45 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz bands offer wireless operators 530 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for next-gen services like 5G. 

To ensure co-existence between the bands, the agency adopted base station OOBE limits for each of the three wireless services. The OOBE limits are designed to reflect the unique operational environment in and adjacent to each of the three bands.