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Since its introduction, CBRS has showcased the vast potential of shared spectrum, enabling multiple users to simultaneously access the same frequency bands efficiently. Since its initial commercial deployment in 2020, the market has embraced the value of having widespread access to invaluable spectrum. This is evident in CBRS deployments at airports, factories, municipalities, ISPs, universities, and more. Enter CBRS 2.0, a significant evolution of the original CBRS framework, introducing new features and enhancements designed to optimize spectrum use further and unlock new possibilities.

Working with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Department of Commerce (DOC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Department of Defense (DoD), the OnGo Alliance partnered with these government agencies to collaborate on defining features of the next generation of CBRS, with expanded coverage, reduced interference, and fewer restrictions. CBRS 2.0 represents a testament to the success of shared spectrum and the industry’s commitment to embracing innovative approaches to address the ever-growing demand for wireless resources. Through its novel capabilities, CBRS 2.0 aims to unlock new levels of spectrum efficiency, enabling more users to access the valuable 3.5 GHz Innovation Band more efficiently.

What is CBRS 2.0?

Smaller Protection Zones: Recent advances in interference analysis techniques have revealed that the protection areas around military radar sites, established to prevent harmful interference from CBRS devices, can be significantly reduced in size. This change is particularly true for CBRS devices with antenna heights below 6 meters (approximately 20 feet) and, to a lesser extent, those above the six-meter mark.

The initial protection zones around military radar usage areas were designed conservatively large to ensure that CBRS operations did not interfere with critical military systems. However, the latest interference analysis models have provided a more accurate and granular understanding of the potential interference scenarios.

By leveraging these improved analysis techniques, it has been determined that the protection areas can be substantially reduced in size. This reduction in protection zone sizes translates to more locations becoming available for even more reliable CBRS service deployment, and many CBRS devices that were previously subject to interruptions due to incumbent activity will be assured of never being preempted, resulting in continued connectivity. For indoor deployments below 6m, the population outside protection zones, hence exempt from being preempted, rises from an estimated 49% to 91%, and the exempted area expands from 78% to 97% of the country.  

CBRS 2.0 Protected Areas

Longer Heartbeat: A new rule allows CBRS devices outside of the significantly reduced protection areas to operate for up to 24 hours without the need to reauthorize with the Spectrum Access System (SAS) (although most will set it to six hours). This change represents an improvement in operational continuity for CBRS networks, which previously needed to suspend operations if five minutes went by without hearing from the SAS. This extended operational window mitigates the potential for service disruptions, ensuring even more consistent and reliable connectivity for CBRS users. Industries such as public safety, utilities, and smart cities can benefit from improved operational continuity, allowing for more reliable and uninterrupted communications during critical situations.

GAA Coexistence: A new mechanism that aims to decrease interference between General Authorized Access (GAA) users operating in the same geographic area has been introduced. This system allows for voluntary coordination and agreement on interference restrictions between a SAS and affected CBRS devices, facilitating more efficient spectrum sharing and coexistence.

GAA users are permitted to access and utilize the shared spectrum on a general-authorized basis as long as they comply with the FCC’s rules and requirements. However, in densely populated areas or scenarios where multiple GAA users operate in close proximity, there has been a potential for interference, which could reduce the performance of CBRS networks.

To address this challenge, the CBRS framework has established a voluntary coordination process that enables a SAS to negotiate and agree upon interference restrictions with affected CBRS devices.

This voluntary coordination mechanism promotes more efficient spectrum utilization and coexistence among GAA users, as it allows for dynamic adjustments to operational parameters based on real-time conditions and mutual agreement. It also fosters a collaborative approach to spectrum sharing, where stakeholders can cooperate to ensure reliable and consistent CBRS services within their respective coverage areas.


The introduction of CBRS 2.0 marks an exciting new chapter in the evolution of shared spectrum. While the original CBRS framework laid the foundation for innovative spectrum sharing, CBRS 2.0 takes this concept to new heights, unlocking even greater efficiency, availability, flexibility, and coexistence capabilities.

Looking ahead, the success of CBRS 2.0 is paving the way for similar shared spectrum models in other frequency bands, ushering in a new era of spectrum utilization and enabling a vast array of new applications and services. Regulatory bodies, industry stakeholders, and technology companies will undoubtedly continue to collaborate and iterate on these concepts, driving further innovation and efficiency in the wireless realm.

Are you ready to harness the enhanced potential of CBRS 2.0? Explore how these advancements can be integrated into your solutions to deliver superior performance and meet the growing demands of your clients. Whether it’s enhancing data security, supporting high-bandwidth applications like wireless video streaming, or improving connectivity in remote areas, the potential applications are limitless.

We invite system integrators, service providers, vendors & enterprises to join the OnGo Alliance in leading the transformation in shared spectrum usage. Discover new business opportunities, gain competitive advantages, and be at the forefront of the wireless revolution. For more information on how CBRS 2.0 can benefit your specific operations, connect with our experts and access detailed resources at