CBRS Band, Cert Program Branded as ‘OnGo’

Cable operators are eyeing the shared band for mobile and wireless services
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Reflecting the mobile aspects of the emerging shared Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS) band, the CBRS Alliance has introduced “OnGo” as the brand for the LTE-based swath of spectrum as well as the product ecosystem’s certification program.

The CBRS Alliance introduced OnGo in concert with the group’s annual member’s meeting in Washington, D.C.

The OnGo brand and cert program will center on a 150 MHz-wide batch of spectrum in the range of 3.55 GHz to 3.7 GHz that has been underutilized. Its use has been limited to the U.S. Navy for flight operations for aircraft carriers along with some satellite uplinks, but a portion of it will also be allocated for licensed (Priority Access Licenses) and unlicensed use (general authorized access). A new class of spectrum allocation servers will ensure that new users in the band don’t interfere with incumbent users.

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Cable operators such as Comcast and Charter Communications eyeing the CBRS/OnGo band for wireless and mobile services as a way to offset some of the costs they incur from MVNO agreements that partly are underpinning their new mobile services.

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Chris Stark, a board member of the CBRS Alliance and exec with Nokia, said the OnGo brand is being launched as the Alliance looks to diversify its membership and reach out to adjacent industries.

Part of the aim, he said, is to use a brand tied to the CBRS opportunity to new verticals in a way that’s a bit less techy while also spelling out other benefits of the emerging spectrum band.

The CBRS Alliance released two specs aimed at product interoperability last month.

The certification program for CBRS-facing products will also use the OnGo brand to identify equipment that passes the test. In addition to interoperability, the specs also align with WInnForum standards and are designed to ensure all products that earn OnGo Certification also receive simultaneous FCC Certification, the group said.

Certification will take place at more than ten authorized test labs around the world in the early going. The CBRS Alliance has not announced certification test pricing or listed out locations of those authorized lab sites.

The CBRS Alliance counts members such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Arris/Ruckus Networks, Google, CableLabs, and Charter Communications.

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