Federated Wireless submits report card to hasten final approval for CBRS

Federated Wireless isn’t sitting idle while it waits for the Institute for Telecommunications Sciences (ITS) to submit a final report on its Spectrum Access System (SAS) tests. Rather, Federated Wireless on Monday filed summary results of laboratory certification testing conducted on its Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) SAS with the FCC.

It’s all part of a long process that has involved more than 1,000 tests performed by ITS to ensure Federated Wireless’ SAS works as intended. The SAS is a crucial piece in making a new sharing paradigm work in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in the U.S. Federated, Google and CommScope are among those aiming to provide SAS services.

According to Federated Wireless CTO Kurt Schaubach, the company underwent tests that showed its SAS is performing as it should, and the ITS shared the results with the company. But Federated Wireless learned last week that a final report from ITS to government agencies was further delayed, so it decided to go ahead and file results so that the government would have something to review.

Certainly, the government’s final review will be contingent on the ITS report, but “we were very pleased with the results that we received” as part of the test report card and “thought it would be timely for us to submit that” so the FCC and Department of Defense could conduct their review process, said Schaubach.

The test report card correlates to a test plan developed by the WInnForum, so it would be easy for engineers to get the full context.

The ITS, a division of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), provided the following statement to FierceWirelessTech: “Final reports on the Spectrum Assess System laboratory tests are delayed due to additional work needed to produce and include the comprehensive analysis accompanying the test results in the reports, as requested by the SAS Administrators. We expect to meet the June 21 target.”

In its filing with the FCC (PDF), Federated requested confidential treatment for information in the report card that it submitted, explaining that it is highly sensitive and proprietary. Some portions of the information also implicate operational security concerns for the U.S. Navy, whose radar the system is designed to protect.

RELATED: Federated Wireless completes ESC network for CBRS

Now it looks as though it might be mid- to late July or early August when the initial commercial deployment actually occurs using the General Authorized Access (GAA) portion of the band. The licensed portion, known as PALs, won’t get deployed until spectrum is auctioned and allocated.

Federated Wireless told FierceWireless last month that based on public statements made by others in the CBRS ecosystem, it believes it is in the lead, describing its environmental sensing capability (ESC) network a world first in terms of production-ready systems.

Article updated with comment from NTIA.