How to Make a C-Band Radio Antenna from a Banana

Step 1: Take a banana and connect two piezoelectric quartz transducers to each end of the banana.  Step 2: Connect the transducers to a solid-state, high-power RF oscillator.  Step 3: Set the oscillator to 3.7 GHz.  Just kidding!  If only it were this easy to create a wireless network using new mid-band frequencies like C-band or CBRS.  But what if it was that easy to build next generation networks?


$81B in Total Spending on C-Band in the US

US carriers spent more than $81 billion dollars on the latest C-band auctions.  It was the most, by far, of any spending by US carriers on wireless licenses.  Why?  The frequencies are commonly used by carriers in other countries for 5G, making it easier to source wireless devices that use these frequencies.  More importantly, the spectrum fits in the sweet spot of mid-band… higher data speeds than low-band but longer range than high-band.  The breakdown of the top five carriers walking away with licenses are:

  • Verizon – $45.5B
  • AT&T – $23.4B
  • T-Mobile – $9.3B
  • US Cellular – $1.3B
  • Grain Management – $1.3B

Source: Light Reading

It’s a massive amount of spending to obtain the rights for airwaves.  One carrier.  $45B alone.  The overall spending raised concerns from executives in the wireless industry.  Will it lead to lower innovation if that money is reallocated from R&D budgets?  Will it lead to increased prices for consumers if the cost is passed down?  And this is just the cost of the rights to use these frequencies.  Networks need to be built that uses these licenses, which typically runs into the billions of dollars.  But what if carriers used a new model to deploy networks that lowered this cost?


Saving Costs on Network Deployments

Airwaive’s unique model for network deployments automates many of the end-to-end tasks for locating property, installing equipment and managing wireless access points.  Using an owner-operated radio model, carriers deploy networks faster and cheaper by leveraging property owners that operate small cell equipment.  The software platform consists of a set of network APIs and two apps: one for carriers and one for property owners.

Airwaive Platform Features:

  • Automated site acquisition – software automated identification and onboarding of property owners
  • Dynamic cell valuation – cell properties that are adjusted to constantly balance cost and coverage
  • Owner-operator messaging – a messaging platform to communicate routine tasks to owners
  • Incentive-based owner compensation – a payment system that aligns owners with carrier goals
  • Multi-party settlement – a settlement system that supports payments to thousands of owners

While it may cost billions to buy the rights to use wireless frequencies, we don’t believe that it should cost an equivalent amount to build the networks that use these frequencies.  Disruptive business models and software automated tasks will help to reduce network costs for carriers building next generation networks.

And no… we’re not bananas. 



February 25, 2021

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