Federated Wireless hopes spectrum leasing catches on
Federated Wireless on Wednesday announced the availability of its new Spectrum Exchange, a product the company hopes might create a standardized approach to spectrum license leasing.
Importantly, Frontier Communications has agreed to use the new exchange to potentially purchase 3.5GHz CBRS spectrum leases. The company was not among the dozens of entities that purchased CBRS spectrum licenses during the FCC’s auction last year, and may use Federated’s new exchange to rectify that situation.
But more broadly, Federated is hoping its new exchange opens the door to a more flexible and automated approach to spectrum ownership, including short- and long-term leases, across multiple spectrum bands.
Such a model could ultimately give rise to a wireless industry that shifts spectrum ownership to different network operators as usage and demand ebbs and flows. That would represent a dramatic shift from the current ownership model that centers on exclusive, use-it-or-lose-it spectrum license ownership.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while,” explained Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless. Federated is one of several companies that provide the Spectrum Access System (SAS) services necessary for sharing in the CBRS band. “We’ve been testing it and doing demos.”
But today marks the first day of the Spectrum Exchange’s commercial availability. It will initially allow CBRS spectrum license owners to offer up their unused licenses in a retail marketplace to other companies that want to use those licenses. Customers could range from wireless network operators looking for additional long-term network capacity to venue owners looking to briefly bulk up their internal communications network during a busy weekend.
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