May 29, 2015 — Minneapolis, Minnesota: LocaLoop, a Cloud Based Turnkey 4G business provider targeting rural markets, announced that it is offering to bridge the licensing gap created by a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that suspended new license applications for a popular broadband wireless spectrum in the 3.65-3.70GHz band.
“The FCC release of the new Part 96 rules is clearly a better way to do business for our customers in the long run,” said Carl-Johan Torarp, LocaLoop founder and CEO. “But until the regulations are fully implemented, it has stalled a number of operators who did not have pre-existing licenses in this spectrum as well as manufacturers from moving forward with new deployments.”
“LocaLoop already has the 4G solution so operators can quickly penetrate rural communities and can lease site registrations under LocaLoop’s own nationwide license at a nominal cost per year per site. Our unique position as an incumbent provider of a complete 4G turnkey business platform provides a solution for those customers caught in the licensing gap under the new FCC rules.”
When the Part 96 rules become available, LocaLoop’s synKro™ SaaS cloud platform will tie to one or more leading Spectrum Access System providers and automatically manage our customer’s networks under both the LocaLoop leased license (Part 90) and the new FCC Part 96 licenses when granted. In addition, LocaLoop will provide technical and operational support when applications for Priority Access Licenses (PALs) are open in the new 100 MHz band for the census tract(s) now served under Part 90 as well as for new tower locations.
The recent ruling by the FCC to allow more intensive “spectrum sharing” for wireless broadband among various commercial and government users has stalled a number of operators and manufacturers from moving forward with new deployments.
- Until April 17th, 2015 licenses for users in the 3.65-3.70Ghz band were issued under Part 90, Subpart Z, also called “light licensed.”
- Effective that day, new FCC regulations were issued for “Citizens Broadband Radio Services” (CBRS) in the 3.55-3.70Ghz band under a (new) Part 96.
- Effective April 17, 2015 new licenses applications under Part 90 were no longer accepted.
- The spectrum in the new, expanded, band will be managed by a “Spectrum
Access System” or SAS. To date, no SAS provider has been approved by the FCC.
Impact on incumbent operators with pre-existing Part 90 licenses:
- Users with licenses issued before April 17th, 2015 AND with tower locations registered prior to that date have grandfathered status.
- They can operate networks from those locations with NO changes in equipment as Grandfathered Wireless Protection(GWP) Zones , which will get priority protection from Part 96 users via the SAS.
- New tower sites can be built anywhere under the old Part 90 rules but will not receive GWP Zone status from the SAS.
- They may apply for and deploy anywhere under Part 96 (when available) without impact on their Part 90 grandfathered status including their own GWP Zones.
Impact on potential operators who currently don’t have a Part 90 license:
- They must wait to apply for Part 96 license.
- The FCC has not given a date when it will start to take applications and when grants will be made.
- Due to the complexities of equipment certifications and the approvals required to set up and run an SAS, LocaLoop anticipates it will be at least the 4th quarter of 2015 before Part 96 users will be able to deploy in earnest.
For further information contact:
Carl J. Torarp, Chairman/CEO