A live demonstration of a private LTE network over CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) using shared spectrum was set up by Nokia, Alphabet's Access Group and Qualcomm Technologies at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the USA recently.
The companies built a virtual reality zone inside stock car race cars operating at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, with 360° video streaming to provide an ‘in car’ experience in real time.
The demonstration, which achieved speeds in excess of 180 mph, showed not only how the combination of a new CBRS band and new technologies can offer new audience experiences, but also how shared spectrum can be used by venues and enterprises to deploy their own private LTE network to offer new services.
Deployment of a private LTE network is becoming a reality due to the availability of the CBRS spectrum (without the auction costs) and advances in network technology which are providing the performance benefits of LTE with an easy deployment model.
The live demonstration highlighted some of the key performance benefits of using LTE, including consistent high data rates to stream 360° video for immersive experiences, superior mobility at extreme race car speeds, exceptional outdoor coverage, and capacity that can be customised to meet the needs of the particular service.
In this case, the service included 360° video streaming from within the high-speed vehicles. The demonstrations also showcased that, thanks to the availability of CBRS shared spectrum, an enterprise, campus, venue or other group can deploy their own private LTE network.
The shared spectrum used in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway demo is the new CBRS spectrum released in the US by the Federal Communications Commission. This spectrum allows for broad innovation in wireless business models.
Powered by its TD-LTE radio and experience of LTE networks for high density venues and high speed race events, the Nokia CBRS private LTE high performance network used CBRS base stations to cover the complete track and spectator area.
CBRS spectrum for the base stations was provisioned by the Access SAS (Spectrum Access System), and the 360° virtual reality video was streamed in real time using YouTube Live Events. This was the first SAS demonstration in support of a live event.
The network was customized to provide: high uplink data rate on the race track and high downlink data rate in the spectator area; very low latency between car and network; and seamless mobility.
Such a set up allows the continuous streaming of real time 4K 360° virtual reality video between the spectators and the cars - in this demonstration driving in excess of 180 mph. The in-car connectivity for the trial was enabled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) LTE modem.
Chris Stark, head of strategy and business development for North America, Nokia, said: “We want this trial to act as a catalyst for carriers and enterprises to start thinking about leveraging this band for new applications. Beyond the high speeds and amazing views this demo provides, the real opportunity is in the life-changing applications that will benefit from the 3.5GHz U.S. CBRS spectrum and transform users' experience."
Preston Marshall, director, Alphabet's Access Group, said: "Co-operation between the US government and industry has made it possible to create a whole new class of wireless systems, fusing the flexibility and accessibility of licensed spectrum with the high performance and effectiveness of carrier grade technologies.
“The FCC has moved rapidly to establish the CBRS band; the DoD has collaborated with industry to assure non-interference to critical Navy radars, and over 60 companies have jointly developed the standards to implement this protection.
“Private networks are but one example. We see great potential for private and public shared networks which is why we have committed great effort to developing our Spectrum Access System."