FCC Moving Quickly on CBRS
On September 5, the FCC released the draft Public Notice (PN) proposing application and bidding procedures for the auction of the seven 10 MHz unpaired Priority Access Licenses (PAL) in the 3550-3700 MHz band. This spectrum is expected to be used for the development of 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) operations, and other advanced spectrum-based services. One issue that is likely to generate comment is the proposal to allow what is effectively combinatorial bidding in major markets, an option generally opposed by industrial and other smaller entities. Chairman Pai has indicated his intention that this auction begin in June 2020.
Ten days after the release of the draft PN, the WTB and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) jointly certified that the Spectrum Access Systems (SASs) operated by the currently approved SAS Administrators Amdocs, Inc., CommScope, Federated Wireless, Inc. Google, and Sony, Inc. have satisfied laboratory test requirements and are approved to begin initial commercial deployments (ICD). During the ICD period, the WTB and OET will oversee the operations of the SAS Administrators to ensure that they complete this period successfully and in accordance with FCC rules. Those Administrators that complete the ICD period will receive final certification and be allowed to make their SASs available for commercial use (for the five-year period specified in FCC rules). The SAS Administrators manage device access to the band to promote spectral efficiency and reduce incidences of interference.