The CBRS Conspiracy


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How long has it been since we first talked about the CBRS? Years? There have been countless tests over the past several years by major OEMs. They built equipment and are ready to distribute. End users are eager to work with it. Companies want to try new things by using private LTE. What’s holding everything up? The FCC.

I was looking over an article in FierceWireless about how FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel is frustrated that there is no movement on the CBRS ruling. So am I! At this point, it must be a joke at the FCC. I can hear them saying, “Hey, remember the CBRS, all those poor companies invested money! What a bunch of idiots!”

Get quiet, listen, it’s ringing in the halls of the FCC.

Why is this happening? I think that the carriers along with the WIA and CTIA have lobbied the FCC to put all of it on hold until 5G rolls out. This is just a rumor, but let’s look at all the evidence. Let’s review what we know.

  • The FCC already is proposing rule changes for the CBRS spectrum to go more and more to the carriers. They did this in 2017.
  • T-Mobile protested the CBRS model before they thought they could merge with Sprint. Now they may not be so eager.
  • There have been countless successful tests in the CBRS using LTE by major OEMs over the past 2 years.
  • Ericsson already has FCC approval for their CBRS gear.
  • All the carriers need more spectrum, except Sprint who has plenty and doesn’t seem to care about the CBRS.

I have several questions that should be answered.

  • Why does it take the FCC more than 3 years to release something that has been around for a long time? Isn’t it already being used in a similar manner?
  • Could it be that the FCC is delaying this so the carriers will have more spectrum for themselves?Small Cell Cover 4
  • Could the FCC be delaying to make 5G part of the CBRS solution?
  • Could it be that the FCC can’t complete this project, maybe due to lack of people or maybe they don’t know what to do? Paralysis by analysis?
  • Could it be that the FCC is aligning with big carriers to suppress small business from opening up new business models using CBRS?
  • Could it be that the FCC sees Private LTE as a threat to the carriers? They see small business as competition?
  • Could it be that they feel that Wi-Fi will be threatened by the growth of a lightly licensed model?
  • Why would the FCC put something on hold for so long?
  • Who is behind the delay at the FCC and why?
  • Do lobbyists really control the FCC to the point that CBRS would be suppressed?

I am trying to figure out why this is taking years, not months. I don’t get it. How often do you see the equipment hit the market before the FCC makes a solid ruling? I thought it might be paralysis by analysis, but they didn’t seem to be analyzing anything for the past 6 months or so.

If the carriers see private LTE as a threat, they shouldn’t. It should be an opportunity for a small company to do something creative and exciting. Something that a larger carrier could buy and scale. From what I have seen, carriers find it easier to buy up companies with new models.

Think of all the innovation hat the FCC is holding back! There are plans out there that need to be executed in licensed spectrum. There are companies waiting for this gear to be usable so they can test new ideas. These delays are slowing progress and innovation, thank you FCC!

Ask yourself this;

  • “Why would the FCC sit on this?”
  • “Why would they do nothing?”
  • “What motivation could they have to stifle the economy?”

My advice to the FCC would be, get off your ass and finish this. You know it has to be done. I mean seriously, aren’t you embarrassed that you didn’t finish? The world is looking at this model! Be a leader in more than 5G, be a leader in innovation! We are hoping that the CBRS plays a part in 5G. Make it happen here first!

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