Nokia partners with Key Bridge Wireless to expand CBRS deployments

The partnership is aimed at CSPs, multiple-system operators, and enterprises that want to deploy private wireless networks.

Hundreds of companies recently won bids for a slice of spectrum in the CBRS band. Now, Nokia is partnering with spectrum administrator Key Bridge Wireless to help those companies take advantage of their investment in the mid-band spectrum. 

The new partnership is targeting cable service providers (CSPs), multi-service operators (MSOs) and enterprises. The CBRS band is a relatively new networking option for commercial entities -- and it's well-suited for enterprises that want to build private 4G/5G networks in collaboration with service providers. 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) greenlit the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) for commercial deployments in the fall of 2019. Traditionally, the FCC auctions off exclusive licenses for spectrum, while wi-fi services sit on unlicensed spectrum. The CBRS, meanwhile, is shared spectrum that includes some licensed users (Priority Access License, or PAL) as well as general access users (General Authorized Access, or GAA). 

Shared spectrum allows you to create new networks at very, very low cost. It effectively offers the flexibility and room for innovation of wi-fi with the security and quality of service you'd find with licensed spectrum. However, since the spectrum is shared, it must be managed by a Spectrum Access System (SAS). 

The Nokia and Key Bridge Wireless partnership provides the SAS service required for GAA and PAL users. The FCC certified Key Bridge Wireless as an SAS administrator just a few weeks ago. 

Nokia, meanwhile, has a portfolio of FCC-certified CBRS radio and devices it's offering in partnership with Key Bridge. It's also offering new Domain Proxy capabilities, which aggregate multiple radio links to simplify SAS connectivity in large deployments. 

"Together with Key Bridge, this new offering gives PAL and GAA users a new standard in ease of use. Its unparalleled robustness will extend and accelerate their CBRS plans, and maximize the value of their investment," Stephan Litjens, VP of Enterprise Solutions for Nokia Cloud & Network Services, said in a statement. "CBRS presents a huge opportunity for CSPs, MSOs and enterprises for deployment of private wireless networks and to build the platform for new use cases that drive Industry 4.0 implementation."