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Samsung wins support from Verizon, Ericsson for combination CBRS/C-band radio


Verizon is throwing its support behind Samsung’s petition for a waiver from FCC rules so that it can produce a radio that works in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band and the 3.7 GHz C-band.


The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology issued a public notice earlier this month asking for comment on the waiver request. Comments were due March 27, with reply comments due on April 4.


As a C-band spectrum holder and the largest holder of CBRS Priority Access Licenses (PALs) spectrum, Verizon said it supports Samsung’s multiband device because it will afford 5G network operators access to a base station that is smaller and has more functionality than two separate CBRS and 3.7 GHz band radios. Verizon already is one of Samsung's biggest customers in the U.S.


Of course, the smaller size of the multiband device makes it easier to pass through the regulatory siting process, thereby leading to faster deployments, which is kind of what Verizon needs as it races to catch up to T-Mobile in midband spectrum deployments for 5G.

Citing Samsung’s petition for waiver, Verizon also noted that the multiband device is more energy efficient than separate radios – specifically, the multiband devices will increase energy efficiency by about 30% to 45% compared with two standalone units.


In addition, Verizon reiterated Samsung’s argument that the CBRS out-of-band emission (OOBE) limits at issue in this waiver request were intended to ensure interference protection for fixed satellite services above the CBRS band. With the development of 3.7 GHz service and the clearing of satellite operations to 4.0 GHz, a combined 3.7 GHz/CBRS radio, operating in compliance with the 3.7 GHz service emission rules, will not cause interference to fixed satellite services operating above the CBRS band, Verizon said.

Ericsson on board too

Samsung is also getting a vote of support from rival Ericsson, which recently obtained its own waiver to make a 3.7/3.45 GHz combination radio. Ericsson also has a pending waiver request to make a 3.7/3.5 GHz CBRS radio.


“Both the Samsung petition and Ericsson petition demonstrate that the waiver of the CBRS OOBE limits at issue will not negatively affect operations in the 3.7 GHz Service or CBRS or in adjacent or nearby bands,” Ericsson told the commission. “Since these multiband radios would not increase the risk of harmful interference, waiver of Section 96.41(e)(2) would not undermine the underlying purpose of the rule.”


Ericsson said it agrees with Samsung that the public interest will be served by the deployment of radios that are more environmentally friendly, cost effective and energy efficient and urged the agency to promptly approve both Samsung’s and its own petition for a similar radio.

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