News

Licensed Spectrum Survey for DAS and Small Cell Implementation November 05, 2018 07:00

Two questions for all of the wireless network installers and drive testers:

1)  Where can you get the spectrum assignments for all of the mobile carrier bands with in a county?

2)  How can you determine if the licensed spectrum assignment will change in the near future?

Allnet Insights' Web Spectrum Viewer now includes a Wireless Survey which details the wireless carrier that currently controls each block of Mobile Carrier spectrum (600MHz-2.5GHz) for a selected US county.  In addition, the Wireless Survey indicates whether there are any filed transaction that will move that spectrum to another wireless carrier, as indicated in the Future column.

The output table details the spectrum assignments,licensees, and bandwidth for each block and is sorted from lowest frequency to highest frequency.  This output table can be exported as a .csv file.  


Weekly FCC Spectrum Transactions October 22, 2018 06:30

Since blog postings of our Weekly Spectrum Transaction Summary emails are behind a subscription wall, I am posting last week's summary to show the detailed information that will arrive at your inbox every Friday, covering both the Mobile Carrier (600MHz-2.5GHz) and Millimeter Wave (12.2GHz-47GHz) transactions filed the previous week.
FCC Transactions - October 17, 2018
In this week's FCC transactions we see 4 transaction themes.  First, we see Cimaron Telephone / Cross Cable leasing an AWS3 license from Cross Telephone (a parent company).  Second, we see GE MDS leasing 4 - 700MHz Guard band licenses across the South and Southwest.  Third, we see a large filing from SpeedConnect providing them access to a varying number of channels on 35 call signs across the midwest, primarily in rural or low population areas.  The owned BRS channels are involved in most of these transactions which is surprising because it is Sprint's premium spectrum holding in all of these markets.  Most of these channels cover entire BTA market areas with contiguous spectrum.  Fourth, we see T-Mobile leasing RigNet's 700MHz C band license covering the entire Gulf of Mexico.  This will enable T-Mobile to build their LTE network for the oil platforms in the gulf.
Purpose Assignee Assignor CallSign Map RadioService Market ChannelBlock
New Lease Cimaron Telephone Cross Telephone Company WRBQ838 AWS3 CMA598 - Oklahoma 3 - Grant G
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRR314 700MHz GB MEA025 - Nashville A
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRV427 700MHz GB MEA008 - Atlanta A
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRV430 700MHz GB MEA024 - Birmingham A
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRV439 700MHz GB MEA038 - San Antonio A
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT H1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT H2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT H3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B144 Map BRS BTA144 - Flagstaff, AZ BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B144 Map BRS BTA144 - Flagstaff, AZ E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B144 Map BRS BTA144 - Flagstaff, AZ F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B167 Map BRS BTA167 - Grand Island-Kearney, NE BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT F1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B300 Map BRS BTA300 - Missoula, MT BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B451 Map BRS BTA451 - Twin Falls, ID BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B451 Map BRS BTA451 - Twin Falls, ID E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B451 Map BRS BTA451 - Twin Falls, ID F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WFY431 Map BRS P00089 - P35 GSA,40-43-38 N,99-7-41.3 W BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WFY595 Map BRS P03002 - P35 GSA,41-32-48.1 N,90-27-56.5 W BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WGW275 Map BRS P03471 - P35 GSA,43-28-24.1 N,83-50-39.9 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WHI959 Map BRS P00168 - P35 GSA,43-59-30.9 N,96-46-11.2 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WHT588 Map BRS P03685 - P35 GSA,41-31-58.1 N,90-34-40.5 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLK328 Map BRS P01359 - P35 GSA,43-14-38 N,97-22-39.2 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLK384 Map BRS P01362 - P35 GSA,43-14-38 N,97-22-39.2 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLW827 Map BRS P01384 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W F1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLW894 Map BRS P01898 - P35 GSA,41-31-58.1 N,90-34-40.5 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMH800 Map BRS P02690 - P35 GSA,34-13-58.1 N,112-22-15.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI345 Map BRS P01925 - P35 GSA,41-54-33 N,91-39-17.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI827 Map BRS P02939 - P35 GSA,34-42-17.1 N,112-6-57.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI864 Map BRS P02941 - P35 GSA,34-42-17.1 N,112-6-57.6 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WML478 Map BRS P03544 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX344 Map BRS P03719 - P35 GSA,43-30-10.9 N,96-34-39.2 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX358 Map BRS P01947 - P35 GSA,43-30-10.9 N,96-34-39.2 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX656 Map EBS P00155 - P35 GSA,42-43-54 N,114-25-7 W D1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX678 Map EBS P00017 - P35 GSA,42-43-54 N,114-25-7 W C1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX908 Map BRS P03551 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W E1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WNTC543 Map BRS P01566 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W H1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WNTC543 Map BRS P01566 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W H2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW472 Map BRS BTA070 - Cedar Rapids, IA BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW472 Map BRS BTA070 - Cedar Rapids, IA E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW472 Map BRS BTA070 - Cedar Rapids, IA F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW474 Map BRS BTA105 - Davenport, IA-Moline, IL BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLW970 Map BRS P02673 - P35 GSA,35-14-2 N,111-36-27.6 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI320 Map BRS P02694 - P35 GSA,35-14-29 N,111-36-37.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI H1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI H2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI H3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B307 Map BRS BTA307 - Mt. Pleasant, MI E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B307 Map BRS BTA307 - Mt. Pleasant, MI F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B390 Map BRS BTA390 - Saginaw-Bay City, MI E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B390 Map BRS BTA390 - Saginaw-Bay City, MI F4
New Lease T-Mobile RigNet WPWV330 700MHz CMA306 - Gulf of Mexico C

Upper Microwave - New Channels and New Call Signs (39GHz) September 04, 2018 00:00

In our September 2018 Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have incorporated the FCC's re-licensing of the 39GHz into the new Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service.  In making this change the FCC issued new call signs and leases for all of the 50 x 50 MHz channels.  The call signs have been reissued on a Partial Economic Area (PEA) market frame work.  Previously these licenses were issued on a Economic Area (EA) basis. The original channels were lettered A through N.  Now they are numbered 1-14 with the A designation for the uplink channel and the B designation for the downlink channel.

The FCC reissued this spectrum with a different call sign and channel number for each of the original channel blocks.  Issuing a separate call signs will make it easier to combine the 2-50MHz blocks into 1 -100MHz block as indicated in the Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking below.

See Reducing Encumbrances in the 39 GHz Band

For example from the chart below, the 1-A and 1-B channel for Butts County, GA.

Old Records:

Market:  BEA040 - Atlanta, GA-AL-NC

Call Sign:  WPQV559

Channel A

New Records:

Market:  PEA011 - Atlanta, GA

Channel: 1-A

Call Sign: WRBI208

Channel: 1-B

Call Sign: WRBI209

The mapping of original call sign / channel to the new call sign / channel is available in our Web Spectrum Viewer, Transactions Menu.


Millimeter Wave - Upper Microwave Flexible Use (Auction Channels) August 30, 2018 13:31

In our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have incorporated the FCC's re-licensing of the LMDS A band (27.500-28.350GHz) into the new Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service.  In making this change the FCC issued new call signs and leases for all of the previous LMDS A band BTA area licenses with L1 and L2 band Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service channels.  In the new framework (and our database) a new call sign was release for each channel (L1, L2) by county.  The remaining A band licenses remained LMDS licenses.
Spectrum Grid:
County Analysis:
As you can see in the image below, we still provide the county-level spectrum depth by frequency band for the entire LMDS band (purple).
But we also break out the L1, L2, A, and B channel's spectrum depth separately.  This is a useful view to determine if the L1/L2 channels will be available from the FCC in the November auction.

Mobile Carrier Spectrum Screen - T-Mobile and Sprint August 28, 2018 13:20

With our September 2018 release of the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have added a FCC Spectrum Screen analysis to the County Analysis Module and the CMA Market Analysis Module.  With respect to the T-Mobile and Sprint merger announcement, the Spectrum Screen analysis will provide you with a composite look at the T-Mobile/Sprint spectrum assets across the Mobile Carrier frequency bands (600MHz-2.5GHz).

Following the FCC Spectrum Screen Definitions our Spectrum Screen analysis does not include the WCS guard band or the BRS1 channel which are included in our 'normal' spectrum depth totals.  In addition, the Spectrum Screen only includes 70% of the EBS spectrum holdings.

County Analysis Module:
In the County Analysis Module we include the breakouts for the EBS and BRS spectrum bands, along with (in the dark pink columns) the modifications to these values for the FCC Spectrum Screen.  You can compare 7 other carrier's spectrum holdings with the joint T-Mobile/Sprint spectrum.  Please contact us if you need any assistance setting up the data in your Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to model the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.
CMA Market Analysis:
Spectrum Screen Analysis has been extended to the CMA Market Analysis module.  The Spectrum Screen values are population weighted averages of the county-level detail.  In this view, you can use the Auto Filter to select the FCC Spectrum Screen threshold, highlighting the markets over or under the threshold.  In addition, you can select any of our 1900 wireless carriers to determine their spectrum holdings in the identified CMA markets.

Millimeter Wave spectrum under FCC control, by band? May 08, 2018 16:38

To determine how much Millimeter Wave spectrum is controlled by the FCC, we utilize the National & State Market Analysis module from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  The values below are calculated as population weighted averages of the FCC's controlled spectrum at the county-level.  On average, the FCC has nearly 3500 MHz of spectrum available. Most of that spectrum (2700 MHz) is coming from the newly identified spectrum bands (37GHz and 47GHz) along with the reconfigured and expanded 24GHz.


Transforming the 2.5 GHz Band April 24, 2018 13:57

On April 19th, the FCC opened a docket to collect comments related to "Transforming the 2.5 GHz Band".  As background, the US 2.5GHz spectrum band encompasses 33 channels.  20 channels (A, B, C, D, and G groups) are designated for Educational Broadcast Service (EBS) and 13 (BRS1/2, E, F, and H) are designated for Broadband Radio Service (BRS).  

License Area:

Sprint owns a vast majority of the BRS licenses and leases a vast majority of the EBS licenses.  The licensing limitations for this spectrum are drawn from its origins providing broadcast video services.  The original licenses were formed as 35 mile radius circles centered on the video transmitting site.  When two licenses overlapped, a football shaped area would be formed.  A line would be drawn through the end points of the "football" splitting the overlapping license area between the two licensees.  BRS licenses include both 35 mile radius licenses, geographic area licenses (entire BTA) and Entire BTA license with cutouts for existing 35 mile radius licenses.

In 2009, a Broadband Radio Service auction (Auction 86) included the remaining unlicensed areas within each BTA for the BRS channels, but the unlicensed area in each BTA for the EBS channels was not auctioned.

Channel Plan Transition:

Prior to this point, Clearwire was launching pre-WiMax networks on the EBS/BRS pre-transition band plan which was designed around video operation.  As you can see in the Pre-Transition chart below, the A channels (A1, A2, A3, and A4) are separated by the B channels (B1, B2, B3, and B4).  This allowed all of the A channels to be broadcast at a video site without interference.  Clearwire would need to control both sets of the "interleaved" channels to have enough contiguous spectrum to launch their RAN network in a market.

To facilitate data network deployments and to protect the remaining video operations the FCC provided a way to transistion licenses to the Post-Transition band plan on a BTA market basis.  If there was a significant commercial video operation in a market, that BTA market was able waived from transition and it stayed with the Pre-Transition band plan.  The Post-Transition band plan put the remaining video operators into the mid-band segment (A4, B4, C4, D4, G4, F4, and E4) and provides contiguous spectrum (16.5MHz) for the rest of the channel group (e.g. A1, A2, and A3)

FCC Request for Comments:

License Area:

The FCC has expressed a desire to make the EBS unlicensed area available for use.  The FCC has asked whether the expansion of the licenses should include the entirety of the census tracks that license (35 mile) intersects or the entire county that the license intersects.  The map below from the National EBS Association (NEBSA) illustrates the counties that would be added to each intersecting EBS license for the A1 channel.  For the carriers that already lease these licenses, they would have the opportunity to deploy sites on the larger license area and would likely also pay the licensee a higher monthly payment due to the increase in licensed population.   As you can also note below, this approach still leaves all of the white counties unlicensed.

 The FCC would like to license the white counties in a 4 step manner:

  1. Existing licenses could extend their license areas to the borders of the counties they currently intersect but there may be requirements on how much of each county you must already cover.
  2. Rural tribal nations can apply for licenses covering their local area.  License areas could be census tracks or counties.
  3. Accredited schools or governmental entities can apply for their local area licenses.  License areas could be census tracks or counties.
  4. Auction remaining unlicensed area with competitive bidding.

Service Rules:

The FCC is also proposing to change the service rules for the EBS spectrum to allow the spectrum to be sold to commercial operators rather than requiring leases.

Remaining Pre-transition Markets:

The FCC is also proposing to complete transitioning the remaining pre-transition markets so a consistent band plan would be in use nationwide.  A few wireless cable operators had received waivers but most of those operators have ceased operations.  This will clear interference issues between markets and facilitate the deployment of data in the Lower Band Segment (A,B,C, and D groups) and the Upper Band Segment (E,F,G, and H groups).  Video operations will continue in the Mid Band Segment (A4, B4, C4, D4,G4,F4, and E4) in the markets where they operate today.


New Millimeter Wave Spectrum Bands April 05, 2018 00:00

In our last post we were discussing  the next steps for the US millimeter wave spectrum after FiberTower and the FCC settled FiberTower's licensing issues.  As we prepare for a 28GHz auction in November, and a 24GHz auction early next year, let's take a look at how each of the new millimeter wave frequency bands are configured.  Each of these images is taken from our updated Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool which is now reflecting the new channel band plans for 24GHz, 37GHz, and 47GHz.

24 GHz Spectrum:

In this view we show both the expanded 24GHz band configuration and the old 24GHz configuration. All of the spectrum depth values are calculated from the New 24GHz data. We have left the old 24GHz configuration, so you can continue to see the remaining 24GHz spectrum licenses which will need to be moved over to the New 24GHz by the FCC. The current licenses are licensed for a 40MHz uplink and 40MHz downlink which won't map properly to the new band plan.

37GHz Spectrum:

For the 37/39GHz bands we show the new 37GHz band alongside the reconfigured 39GHz band.  The new 39GHz columns are not populated because the existing spectrum holders will need to be transitioned to the larger/unpaired channels in the new 39GHz plan.  We are providing spectrum depth values for the new 37GHz spectrum and the old 39GHz spectrum.

47GHz Spectrum:

We have added the new 47GHz band configurations to the Spectrum Grid and each of the spectrum depth modules.

PEA Market Analysis:

Our last addition, is a PEA Market Analysis module.  This module displays spectrum depths for each selected carrier using the new FCC Auction market structure.  For the 28GHz auction, you can see the amount of spectrum that will be available in each of the PEAs in the LMDS A (FCC) column on the far right of the chart.

 

 


Spectrum Transaction Summary and Alerts April 03, 2018 11:28

Beginning on March 1st, we have added an email service to provide customers with weekly alerts on the spectrum transactions for the US Mobile Carrier industry.  These transactions include spectrum assignments and long term leases. Below is an example of an actual Spectrum Summary and Alerts email notification.
 
The Spectrum Summary email is distributed on Friday mornings and it summarizes the transactions that were posted by the FCC on the typical Wednesday transaction announcement.   The assignee and assignor for each transaction are noted along with the markets, frequency bands, channel, and links to FCC maps for dis-aggregated spectrum. 
 
The Spectrum Alerts email is distributed whenever a transaction or noteworthy FCC notice is released on the other four week days.
 
The Spectrum Summary and Alerts emails provide a simple way to stay connected with the transactions affecting the US Mobile Carriers in a quick, easy to read format.  Subscriptions are company-wide.  Recipients can be added to our distribution list or have the email forwarded by a company contact.
 
 
FCC Assignment Transactions posted on March 28, 2018 
In this week's transactions, T-Mobile and Cross Wireless exchanged spectrum licenses in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Northeast Texas with T-Mobile receiving AWS-F band spectrum in Benton and Washington counties, and Cross Wireless receiving 2.5GHz of PCS spectrum in McCurtain county, OK and AWS3-G band spectrum in Pawnee County, OK and Delta, Lamar, and Red River counties, TX.   Appalachian Wireless is acquiring 600MHz-A spectrum in 8 Kentucky and Tennessee counties.  Sprint completed 2 new leases for EBS licenses in the Chicago area, and 1 new lease in Chattanooga, TN.  The last transactions involve leases from Silver Star Telephone to Gold Star Communication in the Wyoming markets.
Purpose Assignee Assignor Call Sign Partition Radio Service Market Channel Block
Assignment Cross Telephone T-Mobile WPOL282 Map PCS BTA443 - Texarkana, TX/AR C
Assignment Cross Telephone T-Mobile WQVP438 Map AWS-3 CMA598 - Oklahoma 3 - Grant G
Assignment Cross Telephone T-Mobile WQVP443 Map AWS-3 CMA658 - Texas 7 - Fannin G
Assignment Appalachian Wireless Cumberland Cellular WRAM732 Map 600MHz PEA096 - Richmond, KY A
Assignment T-Mobile Cross Telephone WQTC206 Map AWS-1 REA004 - Mississippi Valley F
Lease Sprint SOUTH SUBURBAN COLLEGE WLX940 Map EBS P00362 - P35 GSA,41-36-17.1 N,87-37-16.2 W B1234
Lease Sprint Triton College WHM934 Map EBS P02406 - P35 GSA,41-52-44.1 N,87-38-10.2 W B1234
Lease Sprint BEASLEY MEDIA GROUP WMI898 Map BRS P02039 - P35 GSA,35-12-34.3 N,85-16-38.9 W F1234
Lease Gold Star Communications Silver Star Telephone KNLG221 Map PCS BTA381 - Rock Springs, WY F
Lease Gold Star Communications Silver Star Telephone WQGV749 Map AWS CMA720 - Wyoming 3 - Lincoln A
Lease Gold Star Communications Silver Star Telephone WQVT393 Map PCS BTA381 - Rock Springs, WY E
Lease Gold Star Communications Silver Star Telephone WQXK484 Map PCS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID C

What is next for Millimeter Wave Spectrum? Auction, Clear, Re-band,... February 26, 2018 17:39

Things are beginning to clear up now that we have the settlement between FiberTower and the FCC, which eliminated an average of 121 MHz of 24GHz spectrum that FiberTower could have provided to AT&T but FiberTower did provide AT&T most of the active and terminated licenses they wanted in the 39GHz band.

With Chairman Pai's comments at MWC 2018, it is clear that the FCC is targeting a 28-31GHz auction by the end of the year.  This makes the most sense, since the ownership of the LMDS band is more "clean" than the 39GHz.  Looking at the CMA Market Analysis from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we can see that most of the spectrum that is in the FCC's hands is the LMDS B block (31,000 to 31,075MHz) and (31,225 to 31,300MHz).  It appears that 150MHz of spectrum will be available in 23 of the Top 75 CMA markets.  In addition, LMDS A block spectrum (1150Mz) will be available in 15 of the Top 100 CMA markets.   

Chairman Pai's comment that 24GHz will be the second auction, also makes sense because the settlement with FiberTower cleared the 24GHz band except in a few western markets including parts of Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and California.  This spectrum is currently licensed as 2 - 40MHz channels so these channels don't match up to the new band plan for 100 MHz channels.

It is unknown when the FCC will be able to auction the new 37GHz band with the remaining spectrum held in the 39GHz band.  Below is a county-level view of the ownership of this band from the Spectrum Grid Module in our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  You can see the spectrum blocks controlled by the FCC in grey along with the spectrum that Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile each control.   These channel allocations need to be shifted so that carriers own 200MHz contiguous blocks to match the new 37/39GHz band plan.

 

Looking at this same counties in our County Analysis module for Spectrum Depth, you can see that each carriers allotments aren't always in 200MHz increments which are the channel sizes for the new combined 37/39GHz.  The carriers will have to figure out a plan to shift their holdings into 200MHz channels and the FCC will have to deal with fractional channel blocks and fractional counties, since the 39GHz licenses include rectangular licenses that overlap county boundaries.

 


FCC Announcements Blog - Find Links to Important FCC Documents for the Mobile Carrier Industry December 11, 2017 07:00

Allnet Insights & Analytics has launched a blog capturing all of the FCC Announcements that relate to the frequency bands that we cover in our Mobile Carrier and Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools along with announcements that relate to siting, spectrum caps, and any proceedings that would interest the wireless carrier industry. 

The blog provides easy, searchable access to Notice for Proposed Rule-makings, auctioned spectrum proceedings and grants, as well as transfer of control announcements.  Many times these notices are difficult to find within the FCC document system. 

The blog is available from the primary menu of our home page or the direct link below.

FCC Announcements Blog

There are two ways to find specific announcements.  First, you can select Tags for the carrier, spectrum band, auction, or activity.

Second, you can utilize the search field in the bar above our menus.  This field searches are entire web site, including our Spectrum Blog, FCC Announcements Blog, as well as our Products pages.  In the search below, Key Bridge is found in the FCC Announcements blog as a database provider for the 70/80/90 GHz registration system.


T-Mobile 3rd Quarter Earnings Spectrum Transactions October 23, 2017 06:30

With T-Mobile's earnings release today, they indicated 3 significant spectrum transactions without identifying either the transaction partners or the markets.  Below we have compiled a transaction listing from our Web Spectrum Viewer that details the March 2017 transaction with AT&T, the September 2017 transaction with AT&T, and the pending October 2017 transaction with Verizon. Allnet Insights' Web Spectrum Viewer enables the user to display all of the details for each of these transactions including whether the entire license is being assigned or only certain frequencies for certain counties.

In the images below, AT&T transactions are highlighted in orange, Verizon transactions are highlighted in red, and USCellular transactions are highlighted in blue.  Transactions with other carriers or spectrum holder are not color-coded.


Visualize 600MHz Reserved Spectrum September 07, 2017 06:30

With the September 2017 release of our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have also added the ability to visualize and track the 600MHz reserved spectrum by county or by market.

In our Spectrum Grid default view, you are able to visualize which spectrum blocks are designated as reserved for the counties in each of the most populated Cellular Market Area (CMA) markets.



To display the reserved spectrum for all of the counties within a Partial Economic Area (PEA) market, you can sort the county data using the PEA # column.


What portion of the US Population can Dish reach with its License Portfolio? September 05, 2017 06:30

With the September 2017 release of our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have added three new charts that provide insights into the US Population that each carrier can serve with each channel in their wireless spectrum portfolio, each frequency band, and each band classification.

Licensed POPs by Channel:

With our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, you can analyze over 1900 carriers and spectrum holders in a similar fashion to our Dish analysis. In the chart below, we examine the population that Dish could serve with each of the channels in their license portfolio.  For example, Dish's 700MHz E Block spectrum reaches nearly 250 million people while their AWS3 A1 Block reaches 300 million people.

 

Licensed POPs by Frequency Band:

This chart shows the cumulative population that can be served by all of a carrier's channels in a frequency band.  Where the Licensed POPs by channel chart shows the population served by each of Dish's 600MHz channels; none of which serve more than 200 million people; with Dish's overall 600MHz spectrum, they can reach nearly the total 322 million US population.

Licensed POPs by Band Classification:

This chart shows the cumulative population that can be served by all of a carrier's low-band, mid-band, or high-band spectrum.  This is an important perspective when you consider low-band spectrum being a traditional coverage layer with mid-band spectrum being traditionally a capacity layer.  Dish's current spectrum portfolio provides them with the ability to serve the entire US population both with coverage spectrum and capacity spectrum.


Dish's AWS-3 Licenses - Back in Play August 31, 2017 06:30

 Last week the US Court of Appeals  determined that the Dish had too much control of its affiliates (Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless) and the FCC acted properly by denying both affiliates their combined $3.3 Billion in bidding credits which ultimately lead to Northstar and SNR giving back many of their AWS-3.    In Dish's favor, the court determined that the FCC needed to provide Northstar and SNR with the opportunity to revise their contracts with Dish to comply with the issue of control.    This opens the opportunity for Dish to regain some of the AWS-3 licenses they collectively won at the auction.  Below we have listed the licenses and channels that Northstar and SNR each returned to the FCC.

 

   

   


Where Else will T-Mobile Deploy 600MHz - LTE? August 16, 2017 11:30

Today, T-Mobile announced further details on the deployment plans for their 600MHz spectrum.  Let's review what we indicated back in April.

The green areas are the areas that we expected T-Mobile to deploy a 5x5 LTE channel using their 600MHz spectrum.  Let's check these areas with the press release:

  • Wyoming         
  • Northwest Oregon     
  • West Texas     
  • Southwest Kansas     
  • Oklahoma panhandle     
  • Western North Dakota     
  • Maine     
  • Coastal North Carolina     
  • Central Pennsylvania     
  • Central Virginia     
  • Eastern Washington     

Central Pennsylvania appears to be our only miss in this T-Mobile list.  It is strange that T-Mobile is emphasizing a 600MHz deployment in an area they already control the 700MHz -A Block spectrum.


Tracking the FirstNet Opt-in Responses and their Cumulative Effect (Licensed Population) August 08, 2017 06:30

As more states have have announced that they have agreed to opt-in for a nationwide public-safety broadband network that will be built and operated by AT&T, we are going to look at Allnet Insights' tools to see several ways that the effects of these opt-ins can both be seen and analyzed.  All of our products are updated monthly to reflect the continuous change in the US licensed spectrum landscape.

The first view is the county by county view in the Web Spectrum Viewer.  In the screen shot below, we are looking at the current owners of the public-safety spectrum (the right 2 columns) which highlight the counties/states where Firstnet (FSN) is still the assigned current owner.  In this view, you can see the New Jersey counties in the New York CMA, the New Jersey counties in the Philadelphia CMA, and the Michigan counties in the Detroit CMA; are all opting in for an AT&T operated network.

Selecting one of the county_channel cells coded with FSN (Bronx county, NY) will reveal a detailed view of a non-opt-in county.  FirstNet is still licensed for that channel, and the current operator, but AT&T is still expected to be the future operator.

An AT&T coded cell (Somerset county, NJ) will reveal a detailed view of a opt-in county.  AT&T is indicated as the licensee, as well as the current and future operator of that channel.

Last, we are going to use the Channel Licensed POPs module from the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to determine how much of the US Population is locked in with AT&T operating the FirstNet spectrum.

Looking under the column for PSBB (Public Safety Broadband), you can see that with the existing 6 states that have opted-in, AT&T controls the FirstNet spectrum over a population of 42 million or roughly 13% of the US population (322 million total).  You can also see the population percentages that AT&T can reach with each of the other 700 MHz channels that they own or lease across the country.

 


Comparing the Millimeter Wave Deals June 23, 2017 06:30

Yesterday Allnet Insights & Analytics presented at the Wells Fargo 5G forum.  Below are several of the slides that describe the millimeter wave spectrum holdings for each of the parties involved in the current millimeter wave deals. Each of these slides is a direct analysis output from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  In these slides we have selected 8 carriers from the 173 carriers available in the tool. The first slide compares the National Weighted Average spectrum depth for each of the carriers.  Verizon's spectrum position is displayed as NextLink Wireless since Verizon at the time this slide was created was only leasing NextLink's spectrum.  In this set of slides we also highlight the risk surrounding the FiberTower transaction for AT&T.  The largest portion of the FiberTower transaction is for licenses that the FCC has terminated.  It is unknown how many of these licenses will be restored and added to AT&T's spectrum holdings.

 While the National Average slide highlights how much spectrum each carrier has on average across the county, networks are deployed using the available spectrum within a market.  The slides below highlight the amount of spectrum that each carrier has in a CMA (Cellular Market Area).  The Top 5 markets are in the first slide including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

 The remaining Top 10 markets are in the second slide: Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, and Boston. 

 The last slide highlights the estimated MHz-POPs for each of the carriers for their Millimeter Wave spectrum.  It is worth noting that the ranges for Mobile Carrier spectrum (600MHz-2.5GHz) for the National Carriers is 30B MHz-POPs to 65B MHz-POPs.  On this chart, the lowest range is 50B MHz-POPs.

 

 


FiberTower 24 GHz and 39 GHz Licenses (Active and Terminated) May 16, 2017 06:30

Allnet Insights' spectrum tools have historically only focused on spectrum licenses that are active or pending.  As we compared the size of the FiberTower/AT&T transaction using our active license data, it was clear that FiberTower's terminated licenses make up a large percentage of the transaction.  To allow our customers to evaluate the FiberTower transaction in terms of the nationwide scope and market by market effect, we have added the FiberTower terminated licenses to our FCC data set.  Since it is not clear how many of the terminated licenses will actually be reinstated, we have not included the terminated licenses in our current or future holdings data until they are formally restored by the FCC.  

Below we show FiberTower's active licenses compared to their terminated licenses in our Spectrum Grid for the 24 GHz band.  FiberTower's active licenses use the FBT carrier code while the terminated licenses use the FTT carrier code.  In this view FiberTower's active licenses only include the Chicago CMA counties while the terminated licenses cover Los Angeles county and all of the Philadelphia counties.

Looking at the 39GHz spectrum blocks, FiberTower's terminated licenses cover the A block channel for all of the New York counties and the H block for all of the New York counties that AT&T doesn't currently control.


AT&T | FiberTower | Straight Path 39GHz - Rectangular Area Licenses May 09, 2017 06:30

 One of the important aspect to understand about the millimeter band spectrum is the different types of licenses that compromise the 39 GHz Band.  One block of licenses were auctioned with Economic Area boundaries (similar to the AWS-3 Auction for H, I, and J licenses).  The second block of licenses are referred to as "Rectangular Licenses".  The rectangular licenses are defined by 4 latitude/longitude points making a rectangle.  These licenses include 1 or more of the 39 GHz channels and the rectangles encroach on the Economic Area licenses in quite a few of the US major metro areas.  Essentially the rectangular area licenses subtract license area and population from the Economic Area licenses.

Below is a map which reflects the active and terminated rectangular area licenses.  The terminated licenses (in red) represent some of the licenses that AT&T and FiberTower are attempting to restore.  The are also trying to restore a most of the 24 GHz licenses that FiberTowerhad terminated by the FCC.  Straight Path's consent agreement with the FCC required them to cancel all of their rectangular licenses so those are not included in the map.

Cancelling the Straight Path licenses accomplished two purposes.  First, it penalized Straight Path for lax controls on their construction and substantial service process.  Second, it cleaned up the licensing boundaries for the spectrum the FCC still controls enabling the FCC to auction complete counties for more 39 GHz channels.


T-Mobile Low Band Spectrum LTE versus 5G April 28, 2017 07:30

For this blog post, I am going to use Allnet Insights' Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to estimate the 600 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile will use to deploy LTE and what will remain available to deploy 5G. 

To start this analysis, I will get T-Mobile 600 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum holdings at a county-level from the Company Analysis Module.

Using this data, we assign 10 MHz of 600 MHz spectrum to all counties where T-Mobile doesn't control 700 MHz spectrum.  This spectrum assignment would provide T-Mobile with similar LTE capacity across the United States. Note that there are a few counties where T-Mobile controls enough 700 MHz spectrum to enable a 10x10 LTE channel.

The remaining 600 MHz spectrum is expected to be deployed as a 5G technology.  For the map below, i have indicated 5G channel sizes that are similar to LTE channel sizes except for a 25 MHz channel size which doesn't exist in the LTE framework.  This is in markets where T-Mobile controls 50 MHz of spectrum above the 5 MHz channel LTE network.


600MHz Auction Results and Mobile Carrier Spectrum Depth Analysis April 14, 2017 06:30

We have released a mid-month update to our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, to include the results of the 600MHz Auction.  The FCC announced the auction winners on 4/13.  Below is a screen shot of our Spectrum Grid reflecting the channel winners and the new 3GPP band class (71) that is already in the standardization process.

Next is an updated National Weighted Average Chart reflecting the average spectrum depth (population weighted average) for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Dish, USCellular, Comcast, and the FCC.  Looking at the low band spectrum summaries, T-Mobile clearly closed the gap on low band spectrum going from a national weighted average of about 8 to 41 MHz.

The image below comes from our County - Spectrum Depth analysis module, depicting the same 8 carriers spectrum depth for the counties in the New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago CMA markets.  This module also details the spectrum holdings in each of these counties by frequency band.

To purchase Allnet Insights products that include the 600MHz auction results use the links below:

Mobile Carrier Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool - $4495

Evaluate all 1900 wireless carriers and spectrum holdings using all of our spectrum depth and LTE channel analysis modules.

Custom Spectrum Depth Report - $1995

Evaluate 8 carriers spectrum depth either by county or by market (CMA, PEA, or EA).  Our suggested 8 carriers are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, USCellular, Dish, Comcast and FCC

National Carriers Spectrum Depth Top 100 CMA Markets - $495

Evaluate 6 carriers spectrum depth by CMA market.  This is a standardized monthly report that Allnet Insights provides every month.  The included carriers are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, USCellular, and Dish

 


Spectrum Trades - Highlighting Market Spectrum Changes March 10, 2017 14:30

In my most recent post on the filed FCC Transactions for February 2017 there were over 275 call signs that were assigned to new licensees and nearly 100 call signs that were leased.  In an industry driven by spectrum, these changes affect the operations for every wireless carrier, they change site interference, and they affect the channels that are programmed into private repeaters and DAS systems.

So how can your company stay on top of the changes that may affect your markets.  Allnet Insights' publishes a National Carrier Spectrum Depth Report which details the spectrum held by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Dish, and USCellular in the Top 100 Cellular Market Areas (CMA).  We report both the spectrum that each carrier currently holds (Current Holdings) and the spectrum they will hold in the future (Future Holdings) based on pending FCC transactions.  Reporting on both current and future holdings enables Allnet Insights' to also report on the changes between current and future holdings which highlight the location and quantity of spectrum that is changing hands.

Below is a screenshot of the 11th through the 25th most populated CMA markets in our February 2017 report.  This highlights the markets where the national carriers are either increasing or decreasing their spectrum holdings.  In the Excel report you can reveal specific holdings by frequency bands that are changing but for this post, we will stay with the total spectrum view.   From this view, you can see that in San Diego, T-Mobile is increasing their held spectrum by 5MHz while AT&T is decreasing their held spectrum by 5MHz.  The reverse is happening in the Sacramento CMA.

We also highlight the spectrum that is changing hands in our Web Spectrum Viewer.  In the Spectrum Grid menu, we lower case the 3 letter carrier code to indicate that the carrier ownership is changing from the current to the future.  Looking at the same San Diego market (San Diego County) you can see (tmo) on the PCS B6 spectrum.  Since this screen shot is of the Future Holdings, T-Mobile is will control this spectrum in the future.   

Future:

The screen shot below is of the San Diego County Current Holdings. (att) in the PCS B6 column indicates that AT&T is the current operator of the B6 channel. 

Current:

For Sacramento (Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo Counties), we can see that AT&T will be the future operator of the PCS B11 channel and that T-Mobile will be the carrier giving up the PCS B11 channel. 

Future:

Current:

 My last example is in Tucson, AZ.  From the National Carriers Report we can see that T-Mobile is increasing their held spectrum by 10MHz.   

From the Web Spectrum Viewer, it is clear that T-Mobile is receiving the PCS A10 and A11 channels from Commnet (cmm).

Future:

Current: 

 

 


FCC Spectrum Transactions - February 2017 March 06, 2017 06:30

Today, we have released Allnet's Insights' March 2017 Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Below are the transactions that have been updated by the FCC from February 1st to February 28th and are included in our update. 

The details for all of the below transactions are available by subscribing to Allnet Insights' Web Tool - Basic Module.  Our Web Tool provides spectrum transaction detail, a spectrum grid of spectrum owners at a county level, and spectrum database covering all mobile carrier frequencies from 600MHz to 2.5 GHz.

Granted Assignments (Assigning Ownership from Assignor to Assignee):

Granted Leases (Leased to Assignee from Assignor):

New Pending Assignments (Assigning Ownership from Assignor to Assignee):

Pending Leases (Leased to Assignee from Assignor):