After CommScope’s recent
announcement with Google about ESC testing, I received a lot of
questions regarding next steps in the process to get to commercial deployment
for CBRS services.
Soon to arrive will be Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD)…
after SAS testing is done.
CLICK TO TWEET: Mark Gibson explains how the CBRS world is quickly moving towards ICD.
The FCC issued a Public Notice
last July which described the purpose of the ICD phase:
“[The FCC] will assess and test each
conditionally approved SAS prior to final certification. This is intended to
ensure that, through robust, rapid testing in a variety of real-world
scenarios, the SAS is operating in compliance with Commission rules. ICD will
complement the testing done in a controlled laboratory setting by providing a
real-world environment to assess certain aspects of compliance with the
Commission’s rules that cannot be effectively verified under laboratory testing…”
So, the two main purposes of ICD are 1) confirm the SAS complies
with FCC rules using real-world scenarios, and 2) test real-world scenarios
that might not have been tested in the lab.
SAS administrators filed ICD plans with the FCC in September 2018,
describing their respective approaches to a set of requirements. While most of
the ICD filings were redacted, we expect ICDs will cover a broad set of CBRS
use cases to demonstrate that SASs are both compliant with the FCC rules, and
CBRS enables new opportunities such as private networks and IoT applications.
SASs have been in lab testing for a few months and should be wrapped
up in several weeks. Once SASs have completed testing, they’ll receive reports
from the test lab, which will immediately be sent to the FCC and DoD for
review. After they’ve reviewed the test reports, the FCC will issue another
Public Notice that opens the ICD window. If all goes as planned, ICD should
start in late Q2 or early Q3.
The CBRS world is quickly moving towards ICD, then on to full
commercial operation. The future is looking bright.