CBRS: How to Choose an SAS Service
Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) makes sharing of the otherwise restricted 150MHz tract of radio spectrum at 3.5GHz possible for many more US-based users. With the new shared spectrum promising coverage and capacity at a much lower cost, new innovative services are being greatly anticipated by service provides and others in the industry.
But operators cannot simply start using the spectrum. Gaining access to this resource needs to be tightly controlled. To manage access and protect incumbents, the FCC has mandated access rules that require all users to use a spectrum access system (SAS) administrator service.
In the previous blog in this series, we explained how an SAS works and how it protects incumbents from radio interference from lower-priority users. Each SAS is supplied and operated by an authorized SAS administrator, who is responsible for ensuring this protection and that new users are authorized and safe to transmit.
Choosing a SAS service administrator
You’re probably wondering how to choose a SAS administrator and what truly matters. To begin with, as long as they are FCC-certified, you can be confident they have the functional capability to fulfil the role. However, it’s the operational capability of your chosen provider that needs to be careful vetted.
Here is a simple CBRS SAS administrator checklist to consider:
- Telecommunication experience: Does the SAS provider have a deep understanding of telecommunication operations?
- Spectrum expertise: Does the SAS provider possess a breadth of experience with radio spectrum?
- End-to-end integrated solutions: Does the SAS provider complement their SAS service with an E2E solution integrated at scale, into your business?
- Operations experience: Does your SAS provider have experience managing largescale operations systems?
- Size of organization: When was the organization established? Does it have a proven track record? Can it scale to meet your needs?
- Wave certification status: Are they an FCC conditionally approved wave one SAS administrator? You need to be ready to go to market as soon as possible!
Ensuring that your SAS administrator has relevant experience in telecommunications operations systems is essential. And not only will a good SAS provider have experience in operations systems management, but they will also have a deep understanding of the spectrum, radio propagation and interference. The ideal SAS provider should complement their SAS service with the capability to deliver a complete end-to end-solution that is seamlessly integrated at scale into your existing business and operations systems. The SAS provider should ensure the successful operation of CBRS-based networks through registration and authentication, interference estimation, spectrum assignment and operational control for effective monitoring and management.
If the provider has a long and proven track record of delivering and managing highly complex operations systems at scale, they’re more likely to have the experience to overcome unforeseen challenges that may arise with largescale deployments.
For more information about CBRS, please see Amdocs SpectrumONE for CBRS.