Comcast is seeking to test fixed wireless and mobile service in its native Philadelphia starting next month, according to a recent filing with federal regulators.
The cable operator asked the Federal Communications Commission for a one-year experimental license to conduct pre-commercial outdoor field trials in the 3.65 GHz to 3.7 GHz bands — part of a section of spectrum band known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.
“The field test will evaluate coverage, throughput, and mobility of equipment and facilities operating in the CBRS band to obtain data and advance Comcast’s understanding of the full potential of the technology and equipment utilized in these experimental operations,” the company wrote in the filing.
The trials would also evaluate prototype equipment in the CBRS band, including rooftop-mounted transmitters at current or former cell sites, and the filing noted that outdoor and indoor fixed and mobile testing would take place within a roughly four-mile radius of the city’s downtown.
Comcast introduced its mobile service last year under an agreement to use Verizon’s network, but the company could be interested in the use of shared spectrum in the CBRS band to bolster its service. Nokia last year filed an application with the FCC to demonstrate its small cell solutions in the band to Comcast, and the agency itself is crafting new CBRS licensing rules.
The Comcast application was first reported by FierceWireless.