Midco CBRS plans came a step closer to fulfillment today with the news that the broadband and video provider has completed a successful trial of a spectrum access system (SAS) operating in the CBRS spectrum band between 3550 and 3700 MHz.

As Midco noted in a press release, the FCC is wrapping up SAS testing and verifications in preparation for initial commercial deployments. When that is completed, Midco “will be ready to immediately deploy high-speed fixed LTE wireless broadband throughout its rural footprint.” The company expects to provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream without data caps using the CBRS band.

Midco, a regional cable MSO, offers broadband and video using traditional cable hybrid fiber coax/ DOCSIS infrastructure but has also been aggressive on the fixed wireless front since purchasing wireless internet service provider InvisiMax last year.

Midco CBRS Plans
As Midco’s CEO Jon Pederson told Telecompetitor several weeks ago, the company already uses the 3.65 GHz portion of the CBRS band, which has been available for unlicensed use for some years. The remainder of the band is in use by the U.S. military in limited geographic areas and the FCC is getting set to open up that band for use by fixed and mobile wireless providers on a shared basis with the incumbent users.

A portion of the CBRS band will be auctioned and another portion will be available for unlicensed useIn addition, the licensed spectrum will be available for unlicensed use where it is not in use by the licensee. The SAS is critical to enabling both types of spectrum sharing.

In its trial, Midco used a SAS from Federated Wireless with customer premises equipment and base stations from Telrad. The trial involved three sites covering approximately 1,348 rural residences and businesses in rural Minnesota and North Dakota.

midco fixed wireless
Midco Fixed Wireless Footprint (Source: Midco website)

The trial “ensured that the Telrad equipment . . . could successfully communicate with the spectrum controller to request spectrum and that the SAS could successfully assign that spectrum,” said today’s press release

Several companies applied to be SAS providers but Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi told Telecompetitor several weeks ago that Federated was “far in the lead” in terms of preparedness for a commercial CBRS launch. 

Midco has big plans for fixed wireless broadband moving forward, having won $38.9 million in the CAF Phase II Connect America Fund auction to make the service available to more than 100,000 homes. According to today’s release, Midco’s fixed wireless plans also extend beyond the CAF-funded areas. 

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t Miss Any of Our Content

What’s happening with broadband and why is it important? Find out by subscribing to Telecompetitor’s newsletter today.

You have Successfully Subscribed!