Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)

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The Bobber 500 is not rated for outdoor use and the small cell should be used in accordance to how it is rated (e.g., outdoor or indoor). Since the Bobber 500 is powered by FreedomFi software, they can utilize indoor or outdoor small cells insofar as they are certified by FreedomFi to be plug and play with their gateway and are compatible with our Bobber 500. 

Signal Strength 

Coverage for Small Cells is a much shorter range than LoRa. Roughly speaking, a Small Cell will have ~3x the coverage of an enterprise Wi-Fi access point. Outdoor radios with sector antennas will go ~5-7 miles in line-of-sight conditions. In no-light-of-sight (NLOS) conditions, coverage will be reduced dramatically because CBRS frequency band is 3.5-3.7Ghz and therefore does not have the ability to go through walls or trees very well.

Optimal Location

The best locations to deploy a Bobber 500 are indoor public venues such as shopping malls, hotels, stadiums, hospitals, airports, or university campuses. Not many users will be able to connect to the small cell unless you position it in a location that oversees a public space. We expect to see certified outdoor small cells soon that will be plug and play with the Bobber 500.

Keep in mind that for the Indoor Small Cell to start radiating the signal it will need to get a GPS lock. There are several free phone apps you can download to check GPS reception at a particular location, which is something we recommend you do ahead of time. Your Indoor Small Cell will have a built-in GPS receiver and will also come with an additional external GPS extension cord that is ~6ft long and can be stretched towards the window or mounted outdoors. 

If you plan to install at a location with no GPS signal, activating your antenna will require remote CPI certification, which carries an additional fee of $100.

Third Party CBRS Radios

Since the Bobber 500 is powered by the FreedomFi software, any indoor or outdoor small cell can be integrated insofar as they are certified by FreedomFi to be plug and play with their Helium 5G-compatible gateway. 

WiFi Radios 

While the first release of Bobber 500 will only provide the capability for mobile data offload using Small Cell, we expect to add the capability for offloading data using Wi-Fi access points in the future. 

Operation Fees 

12 months following the activation of your Indoor Small Cell you will have to pay a recurring fee of $5/month for as long as you keep your Indoor Small Cell active. Per mandate from the FCC, operators of CBRS cellular devices are required to pay a recurring fee to spectrum access server operators. The cost of the first year is on us. 

This recurring expense is identical to what you would pay if you purchased a FreedomFi Gateway.

Additional Resources

Geek out on CBRS here. Read about building your own cellular network here or watch this YouTube video

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