FCC Moves to Overhaul CBRS Spectrum Auction Rules
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Citizens Broadband Radio System (CBRS) for spectrum sharing makes available 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz (3550 to 3700 MHz) band. Commercial users of this spectrum must share it with the incumbent U.S. Department of Defense/naval radar, wireless internet service providers (WISPs), and satellite earth stations. CBRS operates a three-tier priority access model defining Incumbent users, Priority Access License (PAL) users, and General Authorized Access (GAA) users and access to the spectrum is coordinated by a cloud-based Spectrum Access System (SAS)/Environmental Sensing System (ESC) that distinguishes between Incumbent, PAL, and GAA users and used for detecting transmissions in the band. The PAL competitive auction rules, license duration, and geographical area have come under pressure thanks to lobbying from industry associations and the major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the United States.
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