Wave Wireless seeks STA for CBRS trial at 2 indoor D.C. locations

Wireless Everywhere, doing business as Wave Wireless, is asking the FCC for an experimental Special Temporary Authorization (STA) so that it can conduct tests in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) band for six months.

The company wants to conduct tests/trials in two distinct indoor environments: technology office space and a hotel in Washington, D.C.

Formerly known as DAS Worldwide, Wave Wireless is a nationwide wireless infrastructure company that designs, builds and manages indoor wireless networks for large-scale commercial properties, government agencies and entertainment venues. The company says it delivers carrier-grade Wi-Fi solutions and state-of-the-art LTE networks, as well as public safety systems.

Wave proposes to work with industry partners, including a Spectrum Access System (SAS) and multiple unnamed CBRS device manufacturers, to conduct trials and demonstrate the benefits of indoor CBRS deployments. Given the unique spectrum sharing structure of the CBRS band, enterprises like hotels will be able to deploy their own LTE systems to improve coverage and capacity for their guests, but handset manufacturers also need to incorporate the band into their devices.

Wave Wireless’ application for CBRS tests isn’t unusual, but a previous application was rejected by the FCC due to NTIA’s objection to using the 3550-3650 MHz band in an exclusion zone without an operational Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC), according to Wave’s current application (PDF). Based on consultation with FCC staff, Wave Wireless filed a new request for a shorter trial period to operate in the 3650-3700 MHz band to mitigate interference concerns cited by the NTIA.

Wave Wireless wants to test up to 100 Category A CBRS devices as well as mobile terminals and other end user devices at two indoor locations in Washington, D.C., with up to 50 CBRS devices per location. It also said it plans to deploy uncertified equipment from multiple manufacturers so that it can compare costs, ease of deployment, propagation and performance in a “real world” environment.

Acknowledging that there is currently no certified SAS or ESC—that type of work is still ongoing at the FCC—Wave Wireless said it will comply with the power levels in the commission’s rules for 3650-3700 MHz operations, and it doesn’t expect any harmful interference to existing incumbent users during its experiments. If its trial is successful and the equipment gets certified, the company expects to use a combination of Priority Access Licenses (PAL) and General Authorized Access (GAA) spectrum across the entire 150 megahertz from 3550-3700 MHz.

The FCC is considering changes to the CBRS rules that were initially approved in 2015, a move that has been the subject of debate. Still, stakeholders in the emerging ecosystem continue to make headway. 

Federated Wireless and Telrad recently announced a long-term partnership that will have the two delivering LTE fixed wireless services using the CBRS band. One of their trials was with Clarity Connect, a large ISP in New York state that expects to use CBRS to offer higher broadband speeds to rural residents and businesses.