Verizon has successfully deployed and tested the 4G LTE technology over the CBRS spectrum as part of the carrier's commercial LTE network. Within the last few months, the carrier has been collaborating with a number of companies, including several telecommunications equipment suppliers, in an effort to more quickly deploy LTE over the CBRS spectrum. The availability of more spectrum will help increase the capacity of Verizon's network, which, in turn, should result in an increase in the peak download speeds experienced by the carrier's subscribers.
The carrier rolled out 4G LTE technology over the CBRS spectrum in the state of Florida, deploying 50MHz of the CBRS spectrum in both outdoor and indoor locations. The company utilized the Radio DOT System from Ericsson for indoor installations, while the Radio 2208 systems were used for outdoor cell sites. On the other hand, Federated Wireless provided its Spectrum Controller system and Qualcomm supplied test smartphones equipped with the Snapdragon 845 chipset and the X20 LTE Modem. The CBRS spectrum is aggregated with both AWS and 700MHz frequencies, and the carrier also utilized technologies like 4×4 multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antennas and 256-QAM data modulation, further increasing the maximum data speeds users can achieve. Carrier aggregation bonds spectrum together, which increases the total bandwidth that is available to consumers. On the other hand, the use of 4×4 MIMO antennas allows base stations to transmit and receive multiple data streams at the same time, while the 256-QAM data modulation allows a cell site to send more data in a single transmission. By utilizing these technologies and adding new spectrum, Verizon was able to achieve a maximum data speed of 790Mbps on its LTE network.
First smartphones that support the CBRS spectrum are expected to become available in late 2018. Moreover, Verizon is expected to deploy LTE over the CBRS spectrum at more locations across the United States in the near future. Other companies that are also interested in deploying the standard include Charter Communications and Comcast, with the two firms already working either with the FCC or with other network equipment providers in conducting LTE network trials over CBRS.