Cambium Networks is pleased to announce the commencement of the CBRS SAS Services, providing service in in the CBRS (Citizens Band Radio Service) spectrum (3.55 to 3.7 GHz). Support is offered on the PMP 450 series platforms utilizing the cnMaestro management system. This is an exciting development in the release of additional spectrum to help meet the increasing need for bandwidth. Spectrum in this band is dynamically shared in a tiered structure that requires a real-time interface to a Spectrum Access System (SAS). Cambium Networks equipment helps the end user manage the relationship with the SAS by facilitating the communication path from the radios via cnMaestro and the Domain Proxy.
There are several SAS System Administrators that are in operation today. Cambium Networks will work with three of them; Federated Wireless, Google and CommScope*. The operator will select one at the time of sign up via cnMaestro. The pricing to use these SAS Services is the same regardless of the provider. Pricing will be $3 per Subscriber Module per month. (There is no charge for the Access Point). When signing up with cnMaestro, either credit card information or ACH (Automated Clearing House) information will be required, there will be an automated invoice charged for the prior 1 month period (i.e. payment for the SAS Service is monthly in arrears).
Cambium Networks is targeting an Open Beta release of PMP 450 System Software Release 16.2 on January 6, 2020. In addition, a version of cnMaestro (both Cloud and On-Premises versions) supporting CBRS Operation will also be available at this time. Both components are required to operate in the CBRS service (in addition to other requirements of usage of CBRS such as Certified Professional Installation (CPI) certification**, etc.). During the month of January, Cambium Networks will not charge for devices that are registered with the SAS, but fully expects to begin accruing charges on February 1st, 2020, with the first invoices being delivered and payment collected in early March, 2020.
Any device that is registered with a SAS for 24 hours or more during a billing month will be charged $3. The full Terms and Conditions will be made available HERE (link to be inserted shortly).
I have also received some questions around "licenses" for using CBRS.
Unlike Part 90 (the old 3.65 GHz band), there is no license required to operate under CBRS. There is no requirement to interact directly with the FCC in any way. If the operator is using CBRS-certified equipment (and recall that ALL of the PMP 450 radio equipment is now certified for Part 96 (CBRS) operation), then anyone can deploy a network using CBRS.
If the topic of "licenses" is more around the PAL (Priority Access Licenses) auction that is expected to occur in June, 2020, then you can certainly read a whole lot more about this at the FCC Auction 105 website. The Fact Sheet is a great summary of what these licenses can do for you, and may give an indication of what they might cost (at least a starting point).
Please let us all know what happens if we have a pre-existing SAS operator relatiohship w/an existing SAS operator that is--NOT part of your choosen 3 (..or one of your 1st two + the SAS operator you are planning to bring on soon)
Asking this question another way.. What is the value-add we''d see from Cambium's $3 per sub pricing--vs other lower cost publicly announced SAS operator "per sub" pricing?
If you're already using another SAS for other equipment, that's no issue at all. However, when using Cambium equipment, the services related to the SAS will be charged through Cambium. You can still make an independent choice for the SAS when bringing Cambium equipment onboard.
Cambium networks provides the Domain Proxy module, which handles the communication path between the SAS and the equipment. Further, there are device certificates that are required. (If an operator is required to obtain device certificates on their own, there are significant costs in doing this.) Most equipment vendors (whether LTE or not) operate using the same model.
With other products, this cost may be embedded in other services, but with Cambium, there really are no other services that are regularly charged for (such as annual software maintenance, EPC services costs, or other license fees typically associated with other equipment). This is the first time that Cambium Networks is entering into a direct commercial relationship with end customers.
When using Cambium equipment for CBRS, this is the architectural model. The cost for this service is independent of which SAS is chosen.
We expect to release R16.2 Beta for the 450 platform as well as the cloud cnMaestro beta version (that will get a lot of folks started down this road) late tomorrow, pending verification early in the day.
The NOC or on-premises version of cnMaestro will be a few weeks further out, likely mid-February. I will continue to update this thread as we learn more and zero in on dates.
If you're using on-premises, but want to get started and familiar with the onboarding process and CBRS operation, I would recommend giving the cloud version a try with a limited set of equipment. Then, when the on-premises version is released, you can migrate those devices, and continue to add them into CBRS.
We are as excited as all of you to get this ball rolling...
I read the release materials on the Beta software and CBRS in the cnMaestro cloud version. I didn't see any caveats or mention of the Part 96 band being now open for deployment of commercial services. So, if we choose, we can now put AP and SM into the new band via our SAS by using Beta software at this point?
For some reason, maybe I was mistaken, but I was anticipating some type of official statement or press release from the FCC that CBRS was now approved for GAA use under Part 96 rules and that Part 90 Subpart Z was officially defunct.