By Mat Varghese, Senior Product Manager, Google
The ability to connect with people and services—whether that’s sending a message or streaming a video—has become part of our daily lives. Yet, far too often, we encounter situations where the connection is just too slow to use—or we have no connectivity at all.
In the U.S., while mobile Internet access is widely available, download speeds are among the slowest in the developed world. Why? You can think of wireless networks like a highway, and they’re getting congested as demand continues to grow, leading to slowdowns. So if we increase available wireless spectrum, it’s like adding lanes on a highway to carry additional traffic.
Together with a multitude of industries including mobile, cable, IoT and more, we’ve worked closely with the U.S. government to foster policies for a new shared spectrum approach to wireless connectivity. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is a successful example of this approach. CBRS allows a wide array of business models to use shared spectrum—from mobile carriers to rural broadband providers to venue owners—without having to spend significant resources to acquire usage rights. A cloud-based Spectrum Access System (SAS) intelligently manages sharing between new and incumbent users. By sharing underutilized portions of spectrum, CBRS adds capacity, lowers barriers to commercial entry and paves a path to 5G.