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CBRS begins: inducing new models of network ownership

In September, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the first commercial deployments of the Citizens Radio Broadband Service (CBRS). CBRS, which introduces a flexible model for spectrum sharing in the 3.5 GHz band, reduces entry barriers and drives new models of network ownership, bringing opportunities for operators. However, the shared nature of CBRS means it is as much a culture shift as it is a technical advance, and the mobile industry will need to work closely with adjacent sectors to avoid disintermediation in the network value chain. While CBRS is a US arrangement, that other spectrum sharing models have been proposed in parts of Europe underscores a broader paradigm shift towards exploring new ways of operating and financing networks in the 5G era.

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