Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is a 150 MHz wide broadcast band of the 3.5 GHz band (3550 MHz to 3700 MHz) in the United States. Some of this spectrum will continue to be used by the United States government for radar systems, but will be available for others where not needed by the Navy.

In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) completed a process begun in 2012 to establish rules for commercial use of this band. 

Wireless carriers using Citizens Broadband Radio Service might be able to deploy 5G mobile networks without having to acquire spectrum licenses.

See Internet of Things (IoT)

cell network


How Does CBRS Work?

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service is governed by a three-tiered spectrum authorization framework to accommodate a variety of commercial uses on a shared basis with incumbent federal and non-federal users of the band. 

Access and operations will be managed by a dynamic spectrum access system, conceptually similar to the databases used to manage Television White Spaces devices. 

The three-tiered spectrum authorization framework

Advantages of CBRS

Citizens Broadband Radio Service has various advantages. It’s flexibility, stations have lower power and more appropriately be used indoors. Its limited propagation characteristics of the 3.5GHz spectrum plays nicely for indoor, floor-by-floor deployment options that rival current WIFI networks.
CBRS gives good signal propagation. The spectrum access management system improves efficiency of spectrum use by enabling many devices to operate simultaneously without interference.
Additionally, with the CBRS Alliance outlining cost saving potential, allowing lower installation costs, license-free operation for GAA users. By lowering operating expenses, the users have control over the location of the network. Private operators have access to 150 MHz of spectrum on every floor. This has tremendous applications in enterprise, industrial IoT, and densely populated venues.