Sierra Wireless’ AirPrime EM7565 LTE-Advanced Pro Embedded Module has been granted FCC approval, according to the company, as the first embedded module available for Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) networks in the United States. This enables organizations to operate their own LTE networks in areas such as college and corporate campuses, arenas, airports, ports and warehouses.
The Sierra Wireless module is approved to operate in the CBRS radio band, a 3.5GHz band traditionally used by U.S. Navy radar systems but now available for private LTE (and other technology) networks or for cellular carriers to augment their existing services. The 3GPP has defined Band 48 for CBRS so that LTE products can use the new CBRS band in addition to the U.S. cellular carrier bands. Outside of the U.S. and not considered CBRS, the 3GPP has defined other bands that also run on 3.5 GHz that are expected to quickly enable 5G services in regions where these bands are available, including Europe, Japan and Brazil.
“Sierra Wireless’ module receiving the first End User Device Authorization from the FCC is the latest in a series of significant milestones for the CBRS/OnGo ecosystem,” said Alan Ewing, Executive Director, CBRS Alliance. “The industry expected that CBRS/OnGo devices would be available in 2018, and this achievement from Sierra means that this expectation has been met. Sierra Wireless’ module represents the first of many device authorizations we’ll see during the remainder of 2018 and throughout 2019, yet another indication of the rapidly maturing state of the market.”
As the CBRS ecosystem of infrastructure, carriers, and modules roll out, it becomes much easier for organizations to operate their own LTE networks with more device and service options for users. For example, a college campus could deploy a CBRS network to provide unlimited data to users while on campus, or an oil and gas company could provide LTE coverage to connect tablets, rugged handhelds, routers and other equipment in a remote oil field. Seen as a more secure alternative to Wi-Fi, CBRS networks can support both low and high-bandwidth applications, do not require spectrum licenses and are expected to reduce the cost of data transmission.
“Sierra Wireless has been enabling IoT device makers for more than 25 years, bringing the latest cellular technologies to networking, mobile computing, public safety, healthcare and security equipment and service providers,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, OEM Solutions, Sierra Wireless. “Enabling innovative new applications for private LTE networks and future 5G networks is an important initiative for Sierra Wireless.”
Part of the AirPrime EM75 Series, the EM7565 embedded module now supports emerging CBRS networks with the EM7511 expected to complete FCC approval shortly. In addition to providing 4G LTE Advanced Pro Cat-12 coverage, including FirstNet LTE Band 14, the EM75 Series has 3G fallback, integrated GNSS and support for secure, authenticated firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) updates and offered in the PCI Express M.2 form factor.