US CBRS market to be driven by energy, mining and manufacturing

Research predicts growth of over 280% for Citizens Broadband Radio Service from 2023 to 2028, driven by its ability to offer lower-cost 5G services to industries such as energy, mining and manufacturing

A study from telecommunications analyst Juniper Research has found that the number of connections to the US Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) will increase from 17 million in 2023 to 66 million in 2028, with industrial use cases representing the best opportunities for the mobile standard that can support private 5G mobile networks.

CBRS is a spectrum-sharing initiative in the US, with access provided by CBSDs (CBRS devices), which is designed to reduce the cost of connectivity for enterprises. The emergence of CBRS in early 2020 has helped to make new applications possible at an affordable cost, and after years of regulatory, standardisation and technical implementation activities, the three-tiered, hierarchical framework to coordinate shared use of 150MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz CBRS band has finally become a commercial success.

Juniper’s CBRS market: 2024-2028 report predicts growth of over 280% from 2023 to 2028, driven by the technology’s ability to offer 5G services at a reduced cost to industries, such as energy, mining and manufacturing. This reduction in costs will be achieved through the removal of spectrum access fees.

The report notes that while the lack of spectrum cost can impact the quality of network service via CBRS, service vendors will find the most success with industrial use cases. It believes that by 2028, half of CBSDs will be attributable to the industrial sector. It anticipates that these use cases, which are often in remote locations, will benefit from the lack of competition from other CBRS spectrum users.

It also predicts that private networks will be the key use case for CBRS over the next five years. The private 5G market has been booming across industries of all sizes and types since the deployment of 5G standalone (5G SA) networks, enabling enterprise users to tap the capabilities of 5G without accessing public networks from operators.

In mining use cases, deployment of private 5G technology has brought high-capacity and low-latency connectivity for sensors and vehicles supporting operations, including an autonomous fleet of trucks and other equipment.

Other industrial use cases for 5G SA private wireless networks have focused on increasing wireless applications and exploring the potential of 5G for reliable connectivity, massive transfers of operational data, and greater layout flexibility on the shop floor. 

Commenting on the study, research author Alex Webb remarked: “The most immediate priority for CBRS vendors must be industrial sectors, such as energy, mining and manufacturing, which will provide the most immediate return on investment.”

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