In a previous blog post, we talked about CBRS for the Wireless LAN Engineer. It covered some of the technical aspects as well as similarities and differences between CBRS and 802.11.
Vendor Neutral Training & Certification
There are tons of courses for learning 802.11 – the entire CWNP track from CWS/CWT to CWNA, then on to the professional level CWAP, CWDP and CWSP courses leading to the CWNE. Those are for vendor neutral studies.
You can follow up with CWNP here: https://www.cwnp.com/
CBRS Installation Training and Certification
Even though CBRS is just nascent, there are already some training programs in place and an installer certification.
Since CBRS uses 3.5GHz frequencies already assigned to incumbent players, part of the certification of the CBRS system was to include a ‘Certified Professional Installer’ program to ensure those turning up radios in these frequencies are knowledgeable and skilled at deploying CBRS as to remove as much as possible the chances of interference targeted at Incumbent Users or Priority Access Users.
You may already be designing and/or installing Wireless LAN equipment, and want to expand your skillset into the 3.5GHz realm. In order to do so, you will need the CPI designation.
There are a handful of sources available today that will help educate and evaluate your skills in this arena.
First up is CommScope – a well-known entity in this space. They focus on a practical approach in their training, with simple explanations of key concepts, and samples of their actual user interfaces in teaching how to use and access the CBRS-required Spectrum Access System or SAS. CBRS Professional Training for CPI – $595
They believe in a ‘learn at your own pace’ self-study approach and use an online web-based course, including lots of online web links to external needed resource documents.
This course takes less than a day of your time… actually less than half a day of your time. Within half a day you can acquire the practical knowledge and skills needed to become a CBRS ‘Certified Professional Installer’ and be legally qualified to work on CBRS equipment.
This group also offers online training and preparation for the Certified Professional Installer status. But they break the coursework into two distinct groups.
The first is for those new to CBRS technologies, and is called Mastering CBRS – a comprehensive review of the technology, design, optimization, and monitoring of CBRS systems and is designed to last no more than 4-hours. $299.00
The second session is specifically for the installation portion – the part that requires a CPI to work on CBRS networks. Certified Professional Installer Certification – $599.00 This session is more focused on system integrators and installers to help you prepare for FCC requirements. It too takes less than a day of your time.
Google is also offering a course in this space called CBRS Certified Professional Installer. Through a mix of video lectures, step-by-step explanations, and quizzes, this online course introduces you to CBRS terminology, concepts, role of a CPI, as well as what CPI’s are responsible for in the design and installation of CBRS networks. This course is scheduled to take approximately 6 hours of your time. $599.00.
They also offer a non-CPI version for those who just want to understand CBRS better, but don’t want the CPI certification. This subset is only 5 hours and doesn’t include the CPI exam. $399.00.
Both of these are offered through coursera.org.
It will fall on Wireless LAN designers and installers to work with the new CBRS hardware – It looks much closer to Wi-Fi Access Points and Controllers than Cellular Base Stations.
CBRS devices will be connected via PoE, Cat6 Cables, and Gig Ethernet Switches. This is OUR domain. So prepare yourself for the next wave of Private LTE with one of these training and certification offerings!