Why Qualcomm and Ericsson Demonstrating the First 5G New Radio Call on CBRS Spectrum is a Big Deal
by Ron Westfall and Shelly Kramer | September 22, 2021

For this vignette of a recent episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, part of the 5G Factor series, analysts Ron Westfall and Shelly Kramer examine the implications of the collaboration between Ericsson and Qualcomm in completing what they tout as the first over-the-air 5G New Radio call on CBRS (Citizen Broadband Radio Service) spectrum in a recent trial.

Their conversation covered:

  • Why the 5G NR call on CBRS can help drive Industry 4.0 and 5G private network use cases.
  • The suitability and relevance of CBRS shared spectrum for private networks.
  • Where 5G private networks can deliver improvements over LTE private networks and boost ecosystem adoption of private networks.

Ron and Shelly see the Ericsson and Qualcomm collaboration as boosting the adoption of 5G private networks, especially as 5G networks transition to standalone (SA) implementations that enable operators to take full advantage of 5G NR on CBRS capabilities.

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Shelly Kramer: Moving on, let’s talk a little bit about why Qualcomm and Ericsson demonstrating the first 5G new radio call on CBRS spectrum is a big deal, especially as we look at industry 4.0 use cases and 5G private networks. I know this one is kind of, again, claiming the first successful move here in this space, but talk a little bit if you would about what’s going on with Ericsson and Qualcomm as it relates to this.

Ron Westfall: Sure. I think this is the first successful over-the-air demo of this particular combination and CBRS is going to be very important, also known as Citizens Broadband Radio Service, and that it’s an increasingly popular choice in terms of enabling private networking. It’s a shared spectrum technology and resides it in the 3.55 to 3.7 gigahertz range. In combination with personal access licenses, it’s really demonstrated that at least when it comes to LTE private networks, it’s a valid business case. It’s already being proven out and what is going to be, I think, the next important state is the 5G capabilities being injected into these private network environments. The foundation is there and this particular demonstration is going to enable 5G to take private networking to the next level, to really bust through in terms of ultra low latency capabilities in terms of quality of service enhancements, increased agility and so forth. And so, that is right. This is a difference maker, it’s because it’s really advancing 5G capabilities into these private networking environments.

Shelly Kramer: And private networking is really hot right now, right?

Ron Westfall: Yeah. We talked about it on our last show and it’s, I think, indicative that it’s just I think a use case that will gain more traction because security first.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Ron Westfall: We can keep saying that every each episode we do, but it simply matters. It’s like when you’re talking about a manufacturing facility or a warehouse or any place where information and data is very sensitive, you don’t want that hanging out on a public Wi-Fi network, et cetera. I mean, there’s just a host of reasons why private networking is going to accelerate and we anticipate that we’ll be talking more about it throughout the course of this year, let alone into the foreseeable future.

Shelly Kramer: We will indeed. Earlier in this conversation, we touched on Ericsson and Nokia and Huawei and we’re going to talk about that a little bit more.

About the Authors

Ron is an experienced research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets. He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including software and services, infrastructure, 5G/IoT, AI/analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues. Read Full Bio.

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”