Discover spectrum sharing successes at DSA’s 2021 Global Summit

When it comes to connectivity, the last year has undoubtedly been one of the most significant to date. Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, an Internet connection has served as a lifeline to those working, learning, and living completely or partially in isolation. This year, the DSA’s Global Summit will be shining a light on spectrum sharing successes across the globe, which have helped to bring connectivity to all, and bridge the digital divide.

Similarly to the most recent global summit in November last year, the 2021 summit will be held virtually. On 8-10 June, regulators, policymakers, industry stakeholders, academia and civil organizations from around the world will come together in order to deliberate spectrum sharing methods and models that will empower next-generation technologies.

Spectrum sharing successes

The central topic of this year’s Global Summit will be spectrum sharing successes from the last few months. With many countries, most recently Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica opening up the 6 GHz band for unlicensed access, the World’s eyes are on those governing bodies who are progressing with spectrum sharing regulations. As countries such as Canada, Mexico and Colombia are expected to make regulatory decisions on 6 GHz this year, it is important to highlight the countries that are leading by example.

“Already in 2021, nations like Brazil and Saudi Arabia have made the decision to enable innovation and new use cases by opening up the 6 GHz band. By shining a light on these spectrum sharing success stories, we hope that more governments will recognize the value of effective spectrum sharing, and we will see this momentum continued,” said Martha Suárez, President of the DSA.

On top of this, Europe and the USA are on the verge of major mid-band decisions, enabling more flexible spectrum frameworks for 4G and 5G usages and a wider mobile ecosystem.

Additionally, we have seen great advancements for TVWS, with more commercial deployments in different countries that already have regulations in place and new regulatory decisions in Honduras and Peru. The DSA Global Summit will provide ample opportunities for meaningful discussions surrounding the ongoing successes of spectrum sharing and will be a platform to form long-term collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

An influential line-up

Throughout the three-day virtual event, there will be a number of presentations from influential speakers from across the industry. Representatives such as Mario Maniewicz from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as well as Leonardo Euler from the National Telecommunications Agency in Brazil (ANATEL) will be attending to speak about spectrum sharing. With additional representatives from, OnGo Alliance, New America’s Open Technology Institute, and more, key topics will include the transformation potential and the economic benefit of spectrum sharing frameworks.

“I am thrilled to be able to welcome so many esteemed speakers to the ninth Global Summit,” said Suárez. “We are lucky to be able to come together from around the World, to continue to discuss spectrum sharing at our annual event, even though we can’t be physically together. That is the power of connectivity!”

The DSA Global Summit is a comprehensive, flagship event for discussions around spectrum sharing and worldwide connectivity. By analyzing current use-cases of spectrum sharing, as well as what the future looks like for connectivity worldwide, the DSA aims to promote the opening up of spectrum bands for unlicensed and hybrid access.

“Effective sharing of spectrum is the only way to meet modern connectivity demands and bridge the digital divide. Regulatory bodies should consider the discussions being had at the DSA Global Summit and look to countries who are exhibiting the successes of spectrum sharing, for inspiration,” said Suárez.

For more information, visit the Global Summit section of the website.

Saudi Arabia fosters innovation through spectrum allocation

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) in Saudi Arabia, has made the decision to open up the entire 6 GHz band for unlicensed access. The DSA would like to express its unanimous and enthusiastic support for this decision, which will enable innovation and digital empowerment throughout the Kingdom!

Not only is Saudi Arabia the first country in ITU region 1 to enable license-exempt access to the entire 6 GHz band, but it is the first in the entire EMEA region. Saudi Arabia is leading the way for governing bodies worldwide and setting a powerful precedent for the future of spectrum sharing, globally. The decision to open up the band will support emerging technologies such as Wi-Fi 6E, bolstering the Kingdom in its evolution to a digital society.

A move in the right direction

CITC’s Governor Mohammed Al-Tamimi, said: “CITC is adopting a progressive spectrum policy to meet spectrum demand of this wireless proliferation and enable technologies of the future like 5G, broadband satellite and new generation of Wi-Fi to have fair access to spectrum.”

The DSA believes that this decision shows the CITC is moving in the right direction in its mission to protect consumers, promote investment and safeguard competition to ensure reliable communications services and innovative digital technologies. CITC has a holistic vision that outlines the potential of radio spectrum to transform Saudi Arabia into a digital society by enabling different industries.

The DSA welcomes their vision regarding unlicensed access and light licensing approaches. We agree that this last regime should increasingly make use of databases as these provide more flexibility, deliver greater control of the band and provide important insight into usage.

Spectrum use in Saudi Arabia

During the public consultation, the CITC expressed clear reasoning for their decision to open up the band. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of WLAN use, and substantial Wi-Fi carried traffic was exemplified in the Kingdom, and the emergence of a promising device ecosystem was brought to light.

There is also a substantial amount of licensed TDD mid band spectrum already being made available for IMT and 5G. With the release of the 3800 – 4000 MHz band, a total of 890 MHz will be available in large contiguous channels for exclusive IMT use, which the CITC believes is sufficient to cover the mid-band spectrum needs of IMT for the foreseeable future.

The existing mid-bands for exclusive IMT use have robust ecosystems already as well as superior propagation characteristics. If mobile operators want to access the 6 GHz band, they can do so on a license-exempt basis using NR-U (which 3GPP has defined as band n96).

Looking forwards

Over the next 5 years, the CITC plans to adopt a light licensing regime using a database solution in all or parts of the 4000 – 4200 MHz band, in a manner that does not impact existing or new satellite users. The CITC recognizes the demand for spectrum by verticals and the possibility of sharing the band with satellite subjects for the protection of continued FSS use in this band.

The decision to open up the 6 GHz band for unlicensed access confirms CITC’s long-term vision, laying the groundwork for early adoption of Wi-Fi 7 in the Kingdom. The DSA supports this decision and hopes that other countries will follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, on the path to providing connectivity for all.

The DSA congratulates Brazil

Yesterday, the 25th of February, the board of commissioners of ANATEL has decided to open the complete 5925-7124 MHz band (6 GHz band) for unlicensed access by restricted radiation devices. This decision places Brazil in a leadership position worldwide, as a hub for development of new technologies, enabling innovation, new use cases and considerable benefits for Brazilians and the national economy. DSA celebrates this decision and is convinced that unlicensed access to the 6 GHz band will benefit Brazilian businesses and consumers by providing sufficient Wi-Fi capacity for data intensive video applications, 4G and 5G (data) offloading, and for allowing users to take full advantage of the new applications enabled by the large channel sizes available with the new Wi-Fi-6E generation of equipment.

Image by David Peterson from Pixabay

By 2030, Brazil will see huge economic benefits, through optimising the use of the 6 GHz band. According to the study requested by the DSA, the economic value of enabling unlicensed access to the 5925-7125 MHz band in Brazil will increase to $163.5 billion. Furthermore, Latin American countries in general could also see those benefits, according to the latest studies they could be $150.27 billion in Mexico and $40.42 in Colombia. These last two countries, as well as Honduras, Costa Rica, Canada, Peru and Argentina already had public consultations about the future of the 6 GHz band and regulatory decisions are expected this year.

Regarding the available equipment ecosystem, it is worth mentioning that last year the FCC certified the first Wi-Fi 6E chipset and its first 6 GHz Wi-Fi device. FCC has currently certified multiple Access Points that operate in the 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band. In early January of 2021, the Wi-Fi Alliance began certifying Wi-Fi 6E devices, paving the way for new gadgets that can transmit across the entire 6 GHz band. Currently there are 14 Wi-Fi 6E certified devices and many Wi-Fi 6E products have being announced at this year’s (virtual) Consumer Electronics Show from marks like Linksys, Nighthawk®, Netgear and TP-LINK . On January 14th, Samsung announced a new mobile phone that incorporated a Wi-Fi 6E client. In light of this momentum, the research firm IDC has forecast that more than 316 million Wi-Fi 6E devices will enter the market in 2021 and shipments will rise rapidly over the next three years. Following Brazil’s decision DSA companies and Wi-Fi 6E manufacturers are ready to deliver chipsets and start producing and introducing equipment in the Brazilian market.

By optimising the use of 6 GHz and allowing unlicensed spectrum access, it can be freed for use by other devices without interference, ensuring that incumbent services are protected and given room to thrive and grow within the band. This results in more opportunity for connectivity through unlicensed operations across the 6 GHz band, promotes the development of cutting-edge technology and contributes an estimated global economic impact of around US$4.9 trillion by 2025. According to our economic study, in 2021 Brazil’s number of lines in excess of 150Mbps is 1.05% but it is predicted that by 2030 it will be up to 44%. Colombia and Mexico are following the same prospects, with Colombia at 3.29% and Mexico at 3.35% in 2021, this is set to rise to 25.72% and 25.39% by 2030.

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) highlights the Brazilian decision and calls for more unlicensed spectrum to be dedicated to Wi-Fi networks and wireless devices, in order to use the 6 GHz band to it’s full potential. This will improve the experience for residential and corporate use, but also enable better opportunities for rural and underserved areas to become connected. Spectrum sharing in the 6 GHz band allows for crucial contributions to be made to the development of next generation dynamic spectrum management in the form of network innovation. The DSA strongly encourages the adoption of regulations to support its deployment and is dedicated to driving the movement so that reliable connectivity can be achieved world over.

2021: A year of hope for connectivity

Whilst 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, I have never been more certain of the industry’s commitment to accelerating access to connectivity worldwide. Last year highlighted the critical need for a connection during a crisis. We have relied on it to continue education, work, healthcare as well as entertainment and social activities with friends and families. We have grown to depend on this fundamental connection line and as more technologies, use cases and applications come onto the market the demand is growing exponentially and only innovation and engagement with regulators will make this possible.

Thankfully, a connection has been our own lifeline as I have attended many virtual events with multi-stakeholder organizations and regulatory bodies worldwide. It also enabled the DSA to host its eighth annual Global Summit online which saw a record number of over 500 registrants from government, academic institutions as well as non-profit and profit companies across many regions worldwide; Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Our ability to adapt and our willingness to further dynamic spectrum sharing has contributed to a year of acceleration of spectrum sharing initiatives worldwide.

Some highlights include:

  • This year 4 countries adopted unlicensed access to the 6 GHz band (USA, UK, Republic of Korea and Chile)
  • 40 regulatory responses to many countries worldwide on different spectrum sharing opportunities (UK, US, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Costa Rica, Honduras, Slovenia, and more!)
  • Over 30 virtual events attended where the DSA presented
  • Numerous international multi-stakeholder events attended (Different ITU, CITEL, ATU and CEPT meetings).
  • 3 new studies and whitepapers published on the potential and economic value of 6 GHz
  • 2 webinars hosted by the DSA with our members Loon and Microsoft, about Dynamic Spectrum in Aerospace Networks and the latest advances on TVWS respectively.
  • 1 Global Summit hosted virtually with a record-breaking number of attendees!
  • 9 industry feature articles and 12 DSA blogs published

In 2020, the DSA submitted a record number of regulatory filings worldwide and it will continue to maintain this commitment as we enter a New Year of continued uncertainty together. We have never been more driven towards our mission and it has never been more relevant than now to take action as a collective industry.

The focus for some of 2021 will still be on virtual events from our living rooms, continued engagement and collaboration with multi-stakeholder organizations and regulatory bodies as well as new achievements and successes to celebrate as spectrum sharing progress is made worldwide.

The DSA will continue to promote unlicensed access to the 6 GHz band to meet an unprecedented demand for Wi-Fi. More than half of internet connections start or end with a Wi-Fi connection, according to Cisco, making this an integral demand to address. We are already seeing a great momentum in consultation. In early 2021, the DSA will start submitting comments to consultations about the future of the 6 GHz band. Just in January we have deadlines for comments in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Canada and Jordan!

We will also certainly continue positioning the DSA as the only global organization focused on promoting spectrum sharing innovation to get the most out of our wireless resources. We will advocate for dynamic spectrum access and spectrum sharing opportunities in different frequency bands (UHF, mid-band, 6 GHz, mmWaves), with different technologies and spectrum sharing frameworks (TVWS, CBRS, TSSM, Stratospheric platforms, etc.). The Alliance will also keep promoting a balanced regulatory approach between licensed, unlicensed, and lightly licensed, to enable making unused spectrum available for broadband.

We believe there is every opportunity to continue the momentum that we have witnessed in 2020 and every hope for individuals who could benefit from the possibilities of a connection line.

DSA Global Summit 2020

A record-breaking recap

 

Last month, we hosted our eighth annual DSA Global Summit, which saw a record attendance of over 500 registrants. Being the first virtual Global Summit in history, we were delighted to welcome over 160 representatives from government and academic institutions. Representing various regions worldwide, it was great to come together to drive spectrum sharing forward alongside many non-profit and profit organisations. Thank you to everyone who attended to share their insights and progress the future of dynamic spectrum sharing.

There, we discussed a wide range of spectrum innovations, from TV White Space (TVWS), Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) and Wi-Fi 6 to 3D spectrum management in mmWaves. Especially productive was the focus on unlicensed access to the 6 GHz and the importance of this for the benefit of worldwide economy, society and next-generation Wi-Fi deployment to meet growing capacity demands.

With different regions across the world facing different spectrum sharing challenges and approaching various opportunities, it was great to see so many attendees from all over. Individuals from Europe, Africa, South America and North America joined us virtually to listen to the variety of topics and speakers on the agenda. We were also honoured by having some attendees from Asia and the Middle East which made this year’s Global Summit a truly global event at a time when staying connected is so important for everyone across the world.

The DSA Awards were announced at the event, recognizing the efforts of individuals who are committed to furthering innovation, accelerating digital inclusion and exploring new opportunities for dynamic spectrum access. Congratulations to all our winners!

  • Mercy Wanjau, Ag. Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya (Innovation in Dynamic Spectrum Access Policies)
  • Vladimir Handal, Secretario de Innovacion, Gobierno De El Salvador (Increasing Digital Innovation)
  • Paul Garnett, Founder and CEO, The Vernonburg Group (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Padre Eduardo González Gil, O. P., Vicerrector Académico General; Mrs. Olga Macias Muñoz, Decano de Ingeniería de Telecomunicaciones; Mrs. Lucía Ostos, Directora and Tatiana Zona, researcher; Universidad Santo Tomas (Research on New Opportunities for Dynamic Spectrum Access)

We also released three new studies at the Summit! Firstly, we worked with Telecom Advisory Services LLC to assess the economic value of unlicensed used of the 6 GHz band in Brazil, and then Access Partnership to explore the role of Wi-Fi in Brazil as the key technology in meeting the increase in online activity due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Finally, we and Policy Impact Partners outlined how to achieve the full potential of 6 GHz spectrum in ITU Region 1: Europe, the Middle East and Africa. All of these studies are now available in full on our website.

The three-day Summit was a true success, and we are proud of the platform we have established for collaboration, especially amid a time when an event such as this seemed unlikely. I would like to thank all speakers, moderators and attendees for supporting our Global Summit, as well as France spectrum authorities for their offer to host our event this year. While we regret not being able to hold the in-person conference, we appreciate the support and look forward to making plans for next year! If you missed it, all Global Summit live and pre-recorded sessions are now available on-demand via our YouTube channel.

Dynamic Spectrum in Aerospace Networks

In September, we hosted our second DSA Webinar, this time on Dynamic Spectrum in Aerospace Networks. Sponsored by Loon, we were honoured to welcome their representatives, Jameson Dempsey and Wesley Eddy, to share their expert insight into the importance of spectrum sharing for the success and expansion of their initiative. Missed the webinar? Don’t worry – watch the recording on demand via Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s YouTube channel.

Loon’s mission is to help operators extend the reach of their networks by integrating stratospheric balloons with fundamental cell tower technology, including an access and backhaul antenna, and flying them over the desired region – no matter how remote or rural. Flying 20 km in the air, mesh networks of Loon balloons leverage Machine Learning (ML) technology to ride the wind currents at different layers in the stratosphere, with each balloon staying aloft for approximately 5-6 months. When it is time for the balloons to come down, Loon collaborates with local civil aviation authorities to safely land and recover its equipment. Having flown for over 1 million hours and navigated 40 million km since 2013, this has become a robust system which has been tried, tested and improved over years of active production deployments. Although Loon specializes in advancing Stratospheric Internet Platforms, the technology underlying Loon’s network can support other types of networks, including LEO satellite constellations, terrestrial mesh networks and other advanced networks, to facilitate the extension of traditional internet and telecommunications applications.

When developing its system, Loon had to solve unique engineering challenges not faced by traditional ground-based networks. For example, traditional software-defined networking (SDN), designed for static nodes and devices, presents challenges for larger, highly dynamic aerospace networks with many moving nodes. When applied in the aerospace context, traditional SDN and ad-hoc networking systems can make poor decisions or even fail completely. Moreover, traditional SDN was not designed for radio frequency links and may create interference to incumbent networks.

To address these challenges, Loon has developed Temporospatial Software Defined Networking (Loon SDN), an architecture that leverages and analyses environmental data, radio propagation information, and regulatory requirements to continually predict the location of nodes in aerospace networks. This enables efficient radio resource management, the ability to route through dynamic mesh networks, and interference avoidance with other networks (e.g., satellites, fixed point-to-point links). Loon SDN allows operators to track the arrangement of physical platforms within the network; their orientation, predicted paths and radio configuration details; and how these meet user traffic demands. And Loon SDN is not just for Loon: the company has also partnered with Telesat to adapt Loon SDN for Telesat’s LEO satellite constellation.

As outlined in the Webinar, Loon’s TS-SDN technology can enable emerging connectivity solutions, such as stratospheric Internet platforms and non-geostationary satellite constellations, to coexist with each other and with incumbent networks in spectrum bands where those networks are deployed, such as the E-band and similar millimeter wave bands (Loon SDN is spectrum band and service type agnostic). In doing so, Loon SDN can help regulators address critical issues such as the digital divide by incorporating a variety of new and emerging aerospace connectivity solutions, without risking interference to incumbent systems.

In order to ensure that technologies such as Loon can flourish, it is important for regulators to adopt flexible and transparent licensing frameworks – such as database-supported and self-coordinated light-licensing – that can support the rapid deployment and coexistence of traditional ground-based and emerging aerospace networks. The DSA advocates for the harmonization of spectrum to facilitate Loon’s mission and hopes to see more applications served successfully by dynamic spectrum sharing as we work towards a better-connected future.

DSA Thanks Maniewicz for Presentation

Following our 8th annual Global Summit last week, the DSA would like to thank Mr. Mario Maniewicz, Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for taking the stage and opening the event on Tuesday, November 3rd. Speaking to attendees at his session, he outlined the ITU’s response to the effects faced by the unconnected in a post COVID-19 world, addressing the different technologies and initiatives that are best suited for providing connectivity during these difficult times.

 

In his presentation, he advised spectrum authorities to incorporate the national regulatory framework standards approved by the ITU-R Study Groups and the changes made by WRC-19 into the national table of frequency allocation. Additionally, he encouraged them to contribute to the ongoing studies being conducted by the regional organizations of the ITU-R Study Groups in preparation for WRC-23 in order to build a long-term spectrum planning policy. He advised that the administrations should avoid defining a spectrum management policy short-term, as this may might be affected by the outcomes of the conference.

 

The latter statement could be understood as a message for those that assume that the upper part of the 6 GHz band (6425 – 7125 MHz) can be identified for IMT; there is no certainty surrounding this possibility, due to some services already operating in this band – this will only be decided during WRC-23.

 

Alternatively, his comment could be seen as a message for authorities in ITU Region 1 who are studying the upper part of the 6 GHz band (6425 – 7025 MHz) as an agenda item under consideration in the region, that includes Europe and Africa. While they could wait until WRC-23, regulators in Regions 2 and 3 have decided not to cover this agenda item, meaning that there are no ongoing studies in those regions which would restrict their progress in enabling unlicensed access. In fact, Regulators in Region 1, such as CEPT, are already in the process of opening the lower part of the bandas this portion is not under consideration for WRC-23; the 7025 to 7125 MHz frequency range is the only portion of the band that is under consideration globally, and it is up to regulators to decide if they reserve this 100 MHz segment until the end of WRC-23.

 

ITU-R is open to unlicensed access, enabling billions of people to use Wi-Fi networks and enjoy connectivity at home, at work and in public, and has been recognized by Radio Regulations in article 4.4. As Eric Fournier, Director for Spectrum Planning and International Affairs at ANFR France, said in response to a question following Mr. Maniewicz’s presentation “…what has been done in 6 GHz is fully in line with the Radio Regulations. We have already a mobile allocation in this band, so all administrations have the right to operate in this range…”

 

Mr. Maniewicz’s comment, which is a valid statement cautioning regulators not to make decisions on bands that are under study, was presented in a recent Policy Tracker article as a warning of the difficulties that unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band will harbor. From the DSA’s perspective and after confirmation with Mr. Maniewicz, this is not that case – the ITU Director’s comment is neutral and could be interpreted in a variety of different ways, none of which condemn the use of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed access. If you missed Mario’s session, we invite you to recap his full presentation here.

DSA Global Summit 2020

Explore the New-Found Potential of Spectrum Sharing at the DSA Virtual Global Summit 2020

Next week, we are excited to be hosting our 8th annual DSA Global Summit, from 3-5 November. Having made the decision to move the event online this year, we have adapted our agenda to cater to the ‘new normal’, bringing dynamic innovation, collaboration and debate from global regulators, policy makers, and industry leaders to you at home. Key highlights over the course of the Summit include discussions into regulation formation, challenges and strategy when deploying a range of spectrum sharing frameworks; from CBRS, license-exempt access to the 6 GHz band and TV Whitespace (TVWS), to the new possibilities of 3D spectrum sharing in the mmWaves. In doing so, we hope to inspire and cultivate solutions for both coverage and capacity as technology advances and the demand for connectivity rises. Especially in our current climate, urgent action to offer affordable connectivity to the 4 billion individuals without it is key. By creating a platform for synergy between industry and authority, we can drive a constructive movement for change worldwide.

On our opening day, we will focus on Wi-Fi 6 and the initiative to allow unlicensed applications such as Wi-Fi to utilize the 5925 – 7125 MHz band. Better Wi-Fi improves connectivity in the home, at work (or a combination of the two, as we are all now used to), in public facilities like hospitals or schools and in public spaces, driving productivity, economic growth and societal development. According to CISCO, Wi-Fi continues to carry more traffic than any other wireless system globally; about half of Internet traffic originates or terminates on Wi-Fi. But for Wi-Fi 6 to do its job, more spectrum is required to support wide channels from 80 to 160 MHz. Access to the entire 6 GHz band will be a step towards facilitating just this, making next generation Wi-Fi possible and meeting end-user demands.

We will also focus on rural connectivity and servicing those who remain unconnected or underserved. Short sessions covering The Importance of Connectivity will host a range of expert speakers; Claude Aiken of WISPA, Alessandra Lustrati, Head of Digital Development in the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Richard Thanki, Co-founder and Managing Director of Jangala, Don Means from the Libraries WhiteSpace Project, Heather Lanigan from USTDA and Jane Coffin from ISOC; who will discuss several practical use cases related to connectivity and dynamic spectrum access. Taking turns to present their case for improved spectrum sharing, our speakers will explore rural connectivity and broadband coverage plans in the USA, as well as international efforts for digital inclusion and specific projects to connect migrants, women and anchor institutions.

Among the pre-recorded sessions released on Day 1, our panel session on How to Connect the Unconnected: Enabling Future Proof Technology Solutions for Everyone and Everything, moderated by H. Nwana, the first DSA President, will evaluate the technological opportunity to reach rural users and meet capacity needs in more urban areas. Tune in on-demand to listen to Professor Umar Garba Danbatta of NCC Nigeria, Commissioner Adolfo Cuevas of IFT Mexico, Sidney Roberts, Director of Airband Engineering at Microsoft, Julie Zoller, Head of Regulatory Affairs for Project Kuiper at Amazon and Wesley Eddy of Loon address the issues faced by those without adequate Internet access, and how to overcome this – no matter how concentrated or far-reaching.

The second day of the Virtual Global Summit will see Alexander Kuhn of BNetzA Germany, Charles Cooper, Associate Administrator of the Office of Spectrum Management at NTIA USA, Andy Clegg, Spectrum Engineering Lead at Google, Jennifer McCarthy of Federated Wireless and Guillaume Lebrun of Facebook discuss Worldwide Initiatives to Deliver More Mid-Band Spectrum Through Sharing, with Michael Calabrese as moderator. There, they will discuss the importance of dynamic spectrum access for enabling more intensive and efficient spectrum use while protecting incumbent services. In this open and honest discussion, they will also speak on some challenges they are currently facing, and how they are looking to resolve these. Bringing together such a widespread panel of regulatory professionals to discuss such spectrum sharing innovation is something we hope will enrich the community to benefit the development of new policies.

Later that day, we will also showcase the uniqueness of mmWaves and their importance for connectivity. Speakers Alan Norman of Facebook, Jameson Dempsey of Loon and Mohammed A. Alabdulqader of CITC, Saudi Arabia will give their perspectives about technology trends and the most recent mmWave solutions, while also addressing the limitations and challenges of the band and its regulations in this candid discussion, moderated by Monica Paolini of SenzaFili.

To close our event, we will be contemplating the trending topics in the industry at the moment and how this may impact the future of our connected world, from spectrum policy to corporate social responsibility. Attendees of the DSA Global Summit 2020 will have the opportunity to network with delegates, regulators and authorities alike in an online space from home. With the chance to ask questions and present new perspectives in our open sessions and Q&A segments, we will ensure a collaborative platform from which to establish a unified plan for the future of technology and our industry.

Now, we are proud to invite you to join the global force of industry leaders this year for the opportunity to share your perspectives, ask your questions and gain exclusive industry insight into the development of connectivity. To attend from the comfort of your home, register here for free – we look forward to welcoming you!

CBRS: A Spectrum Sharing Success

In January, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized the commercial deployment of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) – a major milestone for spectrum sharing in the USA. Furthermore, the FCC successfully completed Auction 105 for the CBRS Priority Access Licenses (PAL) in the 3550-3650 MHz band, which saw the largest number of spectrum licenses ever made available in a single FCC auction. In the months since, the CBRS ecosystem has rapidly expanded, with tens of thousands of indoor and outdoor deployments catering to a wide range of use cases. To us, this is proof of the opportunities enabled by spectrum sharing – market growth, increased stakeholder involvement in providing broadband connectivity, new opportunities for innovation, new use cases and an efficient use of the spectrum.

According to the FCC announcement, Auction 105 gross proceeds reached $4.6 billion, with net proceeds totalling $4.5 billion. A total of 228 bidders won 20,625 of 22,631 – or more than 91.1% – of available licenses. However, the opportunities made possible by CBRS commercialization go beyond the economy, facilitating the evolution of the ecosystem as the potential for new use cases expands and large-scale applications are realized.

For example, the American Dream Entertainment and Retail Complex in New Jersey has implemented CBRS to cover the entire 3 million square foot venue, servicing over 40 million annual visitors and more than 450 stores. Beyond the mall itself, CBRS has also been used for traffic and parking management, assessing approximately 33,000 parking spaces. Equipping security cameras, digital signage and other systems for both internal and external mall operations, CBRS has proved essential for supporting and enabling interesting new use cases such as this outside of public use Wi-Fi and cellular networks. It has been concluded that such IT infrastructures are faster and more economic than fixed infrastructures, offering reliable and simple, yet effective means of connectivity.

 

In Dallas, CBRS has transformed airport communication systems, moving airport staff and management connections onto the CBRS spectrum. Such deterministic spectrum access is critical in emergency scenarios to cater to higher power requirements and improve overall spectrum coverage. This network support is critical to airport communications and coexists with a robust Wi-Fi network, which is vital for providing passengers in transit with seamless connectivity when roaming.

 

On the west coast, the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, has adopted CBRS capabilities to support its internal communications within the stadium, lightening the load on the Wi-Fi system, similar to that of Dallas’ airports. Since the full commercial deployment of CBRS, they have also been working as a neutral host provider, offering Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) support in managing signal traffic for customers attending events. By not only supporting internal connectivity for both staff and customers but extending this service for the reinforcement of existing MNOs, CBRS has presented the opportunity to eliminate barriers and limitations, providing full, flexible coverage whenever it is needed – even when roaming.

 

A whole host of private network opportunities, from smart energy to smart city, are beginning to emerge. From business to leisure the development of smart offices, airports and stadiums have been initiated as Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) are able to harness this newly available spectrum. Even WISPs which typically operate in rural areas, who have been using this part of the spectrum for the past 12-15 years, are transitioning spectrum to new CBRS rules and LTE equipment to expand their reach and strengthen their services.

 

As we reflect on the use cases across the USA, it is clear that CBRS has revolutionized the ways in which spectrum is utilized to better connectivity across a diverse number of sectors. Hundreds of WISPs have moved their system from the old regime onto new CBRS systems so far, taking advantage of hybrid networks to offer better service to their users and using the spectrum to upgrade their networks and reach. The commercialization of CBRS has also provided private network deployers with a ‘one stop shop’ for spectrum access, equipment and management services, making the process more efficient than ever.

 

Now, with the PAL auction accomplished, we expect to see the CBRS ecosystem grow exponentially over the coming years to continually support innovation and better connectivity across the US. With all these achievements so early in its deployment and not a single report of harmful incumbent interference, CBRS has truly proved a spectrum sharing success – and we are excited to work with spectrum authorities to continue driving this journey.

TVWS Workshop:

Latest developments of global frameworks and its social impact

To watch the full webinar on demand, visit our YouTube channel.

Following the Summer break, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is excited to continue our efforts in serving the underserved and bettering the lives of millions. Working with authorities and policy makers worldwide to drive the movement towards more accessible, affordable and efficient broadband access, we have already celebrating many major milestones this year – despite unprecedented global events. In preparation for out virtual Global Summit this November, we intend to maintain this momentum throughout these coming months and prepare for the further realization of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing potential as the new year looms.

In July, we were thrilled to host our virtual TVWS Workshop covering the global impact of TV White Space (TVWS) frameworks on society and the wider technological ecosystem – sponsored by Microsoft. Reflecting on the recent regulatory changes and deployments within the TVWS Ecosystem, our two panels of expert shared their valuable insight into the benefits of a diverse and vast ecosystem, the importance of serving the underserved, and the future potential of TVWS.

Opening the webinar, Vickie Robinson, Senior Director of the Airband Initiative at Microsoft USA outlined Microsoft’s mission, pledging its dedication to extending broadband access to the 40 million unconnected people worldwide – three million of whom reside in the United States – by July 2022. Emphasising its global scope, the Airband Initiative has roots which extend far beyond the USA and rely on a public-private effort for diminishing the digital divide, particularly in rural areas. The Airband Initiative works in close partnership with several organizations, including local wireless internet service providers (WISPs) as well as federal, state and local entities focused on closing the rural digital divide.

 

To follow, our regulatory panel saw established policy makers from around the world discuss the developments of TVWS guidelines in their respective nations, and the benefits of TVWS deployment that they have witnessed first-hand. Speakers included Mr.Moisés Queiroz Moreira, Commissioner at ANATEL, Brazil; Mr. Peter Ngige, Assistant Director at the Communications Authority of Kenya; Mr. Austin Nwaulune, Director, Spectrum Administration at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mr. Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner at the FCC, USA. Together, they explored the impact of the current pandemic on TVWS frameworks, with Mr. Ngige describing temporary measures that have been put in place by authorities in Kenya as a solution to the surge in broadband demand with the rise of telework. Elsewhere, such as in Nigeria, the decision to deploy TVWS commercially is under consultation, and is part of an ambitious and recently released plan to increase broadband access in the country. Regardless of region, however, it was made clear that TVWS is a complimentary service, that provides or will provide last mile connectivity. Working hand in hand with other technologies and fixed wireless services, TVWS can be backboned by existing fibre, microwave links and satellites to, in turn, reinforce the network and lay stable foundations for emerging spectrum technologies.

 

Our second panel saw the audience participate in a Q&A segment following an exploration of TVWS network deployments from Sylvia Jaramillo, General Manager at Anditel, Bryan Kariuki, Chief Commercial Officer at Mawingu Networks, Jalel Sager, CEO of New Sun Road and Greg Jarman, Chief Development Officer at Watch Communications. Moderated by Lydia Payne Carroon, Business Operations Manager at Microsoft, concerns about the stability of rural connectivity were raised, with the discussion turning to common roadblocks in the journey to increasing connectivity and the creative solutions required to overcome them. Serving customers across ten countries and reaching nine million people, the Microsoft Airband Initiative has done just this, noticing trends in data which indicate particular demographics falling victim to digital isolation. Such trends prove that increasing Internet access to groups and regions must be done at a demographic level. Otherwise, the risk of imbalance among communities is significantly increased. It is not enough to provide the infrastructure, but intervention must occur to teach, train and encourage all members of the community to make use of it. Ultimately, skewed infrastructural distribution, cost of access and content available on the Internet have proved to be obstacles in the widespread use of spectrum sharing technologies. By eradicating this gap in the market, Internet access can be increased worldwide and the discrepancies observed in the analogue world will be prevented from being replicated in the digital world as we drive people from offline to online, closing the digital divide significantly.