The Citizens Broadband Radio Service’s (CBRS) 2020 emergence in the U.S. helped enhance the private 5G market throughout a number of industries as private networks became more affordable. Today, CBRS – a three-tiered framework that helps coordinate 150 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band — continues to be a success, and it looks like that trend will continue in the coming years, according to a recent SNS Telecom & IT report.
SNS Telecom & IT estimated that annual investments in LTE and 5G NR-based CBRS RAN (Radio Access Network), mobile core and transport network infrastructure will account for approximately $900 million by the end of 2023. Additionally, with a growing selection of 3GPP band 48/n48-compatible end user devices, the market is expected to increase even more at an estimated CAGR of 20 percent between 2023 and 2026 to surpass $1.5 billion in annual spending by 2026, according to the report.
Private cellular, neutral host and fixed wireless broadband network deployments are expected to drive a majority of this growth, along with 5G buildouts designed to improve cable operators’ MVNO services’ economics.
“LTE-based CBRS network deployments have gained considerable momentum in recent years and encompass hundreds of thousands of cell sites,” the report said. “Operating in both General Authorized Access and Priority Access License spectrum tiers – to support use cases as diverse as mobile network densification, Fixed Wireless Access in rural communities, Mobile Virtual Network Operators offload, neutral host small cells for in-building coverage enhancement, and private cellular networks in support of Industrial IoT, enterprise connectivity, distance learning and smart city initiatives.”
Meanwhile, commercial rollouts of 5G NR network equipment operating in the CBRS band have also started. These deployments are laying the foundation for advanced application scenarios that face higher demand requirements regarding throughput, latency, reliability, availability and connection density, according to SNS Telecom & IT.
Some apps that require this higher performance include Industry 4.0 applications such as connected production machinery, augmented reality (AR)-assisted troubleshooting and automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
Luxury automaker BMW Group has deployed an industrial-grade 5G network for autonomous logistics at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, according to the report. Meanwhile, wireless carrier Verizon plans to activate 5G NR-equipped CBRS small cells to supplement its current 5G service deployment over C-band and mmWave (Millimeter Wave) spectrum.