French pilot Licensed Shared Access using 2.3GHz spectrum

French Government launches "most technically extensive pilot worldwide" of LSA.

The French government is overseeing a pilot of Licensed Shared Access, aggregating spectrum allocated to its Ministry of Defence at 2.3-2.4GHz with licensed commercial cellular spectrum.

LSA works by allowing owners of spectrum – such as Governments, TV companies or similar – to sublet any of that spectrum that is unused on a time or location basis to mobile operators. That requires a spectrum management database and controller to allocate “free” spectrum for use by mobile users. In this pilot that function is being provided by Red Technologies. Ericsson is providing the cellular network equipment, including its Radio Dot System in-building nodes, and Qualcomm the end devices. A joint press release from these three companies did not mention the presence of a host operator.

LSA technology has been demo’d and trialled over the past 3 years, with a demo at the 2013 MWC, trials in the USA and Finland among others. The Core+ trial project, which finished its work last year, brought a bunch of companies together to look at sharing TDD 2300MHz spectrum. This slide below shows the set-up used as part of that trial.

LSA Core+ trial

This latest pilot is being overseen by regulator ARCEP, and if successful may lead to the release of licensed spectrum for sharing purposes. The release mentions this as “applicable to 5G” as 5G will involve the aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum as part of its access. However, LSA is not a “5G” technology as such.

The release says the pilot is the “most extensive” yet, but provides few details. TMN has asked for more details as to the scope and range of the pilot.