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T-Mobile's 600MHz Spectrum Leases - More work still needs to be done September 22, 2020 08:54

Last week, T-Mobile filed to lease 200 of Dish's 600MHz licenses after receiving Department of Justice (DOJ) approval for the leasing terms.  We are going to examine how these new leases will impact T-Mobile 600MHz network and identify the markets where work will need to continue on T-Mobile's part to consolidate their available 600MHz spectrum into a contiguous block for LTE, 5G, or both.  To start this analysis, we are going to look at the new T-Mobile leases for spectrum in the Top 20 Partial Economic Area Markets.
 
 
New York:
In the New York market, T-Mobile will add the D block to their spectrum portfolio.  In the image below from our Web Spectrum Viewer, you can see the D block still in Dish's control with our Future Holdings dataset.  As a reminder, our tools enable users to select to see either Licensed Holdings, Current Holdings, or Future Holdings in the Spectrum Ownership Grid.  Licensed Holdings reflects the carrier that directly owns that spectrum license, Current Holdings reflects either the current license owner or the long term lessee if the spectrum license is leased.  Future Holdings reflects the current operator of the license unless there is a pending assignment (acquisition) or a pending lease filed with the FCC for that particular license.  Since these T-Mobile leases were just filed, they will be rolled into our end of month update so after October 5th, the D block in this Future Holdings view will reflect TMO instead of DSH, but the Current Holdings will reflect DSH until the lease is finalized.  Now back to the effects on T-Mobile's network: Dish's D block will allow T-Mobile to increase their LTE/NR channel size from 10 MHz to 15 MHz in all 28 counties included in the New York PEA market.
 
It is also interesting to note that Comcast's A block in New York, is being leased by Charter.  This new lease application was also filed last week.  You can get access to these weekly spectrum transactions by subscribing to our Weekly Spectrum Transaction Summary.
 
 
Miami:
In Miami, the effect of T-Mobile leasing the F block is straightforward,  It will increase T-Mobile's LTE/NR channel size from 15 MHz to 20 MHz.
 
 
Detroit:
In Detroit, T-Mobile already controls 15 MHz of spectrum but the F block they are leasing from Dish is separated by the D block that Comcast (XFI) owns.  If T-Mobile actually owned the spectrum it would be relatively easy for Comcast and T-Mobile to exchange the F block for the E block, but with Dish owning the license, that exchange would have to be initiated between Dish and Comcast.
 
  
Orlando:
In Orlando, T-Mobile faces a similar challenge preventing them from utilizing the entire 15 MHz that they will control in the market.  This would need to be another trade between Dish and Comcast.
 
 
Cleveland:
In Cleveland, Dish's F block is again separated from T-Mobile's core 15 MHz holdings by a 5 MHz channel owned by Grain Management.  In this market T-Mobile will need Dish and Grain to agree to swap spectrum licenses so they can fully utilize the 20 MHz of spectrum they will have in this market.
 
 
San Diego:
In San Diego, T-Mobile will immediately be able to expand their 15 MHz LTE/NR channel to 20 MHz with Dish's F block channel.
 
 
Portland:
In Portland T-Mobile has another opportunity for Dish and Comcast to trade spectrum licenses.  The most logical exchange may actually be for Dish to trade their G block channel for Comcast's E block, so they still control 10 MHz of contiguous spectrum if they cancel T-Mobile's lease.  If this exchange took place T-Mobile could increase its channel size from 10 MHz to 15 MHz.
 

Where is there excess GAA Spectrum? September 14, 2020 17:00

With the completion of the CBRS auction, there were 2006 PAL licenses that were not purchased.  In a typical auction, the unpurchased licenses continue to be held by the FCC until they schedule another auction.  With the CBRS spectrum, these licenses become part of the General Authorized Access (GAA) pool in each county.  We have updated our  Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, to reflect the auction results and we also show the total spectrum available for GAA in each county.  In our Spectrum Grid modules you can see that the GAA spectrum in Putnam County, NY includes all but 20 MHz of the 150 MHz available.  
 
 
From a national level, the counties that have more than the minimum amount of GAA spectrum (80 MHz) are shown in the map below.
 

Frequency Band Ownership - CBRS PAL Licenses September 8, 2020 17:00

The 10 highest bidders in the CBRS auction are shown in the table below.  How did each of these bidders' investments translate into the percent of the their ownership within the CBRS band? 

 

In our Frequency Band Ownership chart from our updated Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, you can see the relative ownership percentages based upon each bidders total MHz-POPs in the CBRS band.  Clearly the top 5 bidders turned their investment into a significant share of the CBRS band.


EBS Whitespace Primer (2 of 3) - Geographic Service Areas August 11, 2020 15:04

The primary challenge in evaluating the EBS Whitespace auction opportunities, lies with the available licensing information provided by FCC.  For each of the EBS licenses, the FCC provides a map for a 35 mile radius circle from the license centerpoint.  Below is the FCC map for WHR463, an EBS A1 channel license in Los Angeles county.  Not indicated in this map, is the overlap that this license has with two other A1 channel licenses in Los Angeles county.

WHR463:

In two images below, it is clear that a significant portion WHR463's 35 mile radius license area is shared with WHG227 and WND634.  

WHG227:

WND634:

The FCC resolves these overlap issues through the creation of Geographic Service Areas (GSA) for each license_channel combination.  The starting point is to look at all of the 35 mile overlaps on an individual channel basis, e.g. A1, A2, ...

Here is an example case with 5 licenses in a 4 county area.

 

The Geographic Service Areas are initially created by bisecting each of the overlapping areas (splitting the football) so each license has its own exclusive area.

 

 The GSA's were formed based upon active licenses on a specific date.  Licenses that were issued after this date (PSA6) do not claim any part of the overlap area with existing GSAs.

 These GSA's are sometimes referred to as "Cookie Bite" GSAs.

 

After the GSA's were formed, any cancelled or terminated licenses lost their area, but none of that area is added to the GSAs that previously overlapped the cancelled/terminated licenses.

 

 

The map below represents the licensed spectrum in this 4 county area, prior to the EBS Whitespace Auction for a specific channel.

The final representation of the unlicensed (whitespace) area in each county that will be available in the auction is the area from the GSA boundary for each license to the county boundary.

 

Going back to Los Angeles County A1 channel example, you can see the WHG227, WHR463, and WND634 licenses in the center of the map reflecting each of their A1 Channel GSAs.

Our final map indicates the whitespace area for the A1 channel in Los Angeles county.  Call signs WHG227 and WND634 were both cancelled after the GSA boundaries were computed, thus their license area is now part of the A1 channel EBS Whitespace, indicated in the orange cross hatch. 

 

 

 


EBS Whitespace Auction Primer (1 of 3) - Counties on the Wrong Band Plan August 6, 2020 22:24

As the Native American Tribal Window for acquiring unlicensed 2.5GHz spectrum winds down, we felt it would be a good time to begin an education process for the EBS Whitespace Auction through a series of blog posts.  Our first post is focusing on the markets (counties) where the existing licensees are operating a band plan that is incompatible with the established 3 channel auction configuration.  The counties below in red still have EBS licenses that are operating video broadcast systems which utilize what is referred to as the pre-transition band plan.  We posted a blog in 2018 that discussed the transition from the pre-transition band to the post transition band.  This transition was necessary to provide Clearwire, and then Sprint with spectrum free from video interference on which they could deploy LTE.
FCC Pre-transition Band Plan:
As a quick review, the pre-transition band plan interleaved different licenses, e.g. A channels and B channels.  A licensee would typically control all of the A channels (A1, A2, A3, and A4) or the B channels (B1, B2, B3, and B4).
Source: FCC
If the channels haven't been transitioned, you won't have the same individual channel sizes (the video channels were all 6 MHz, while now the A1, A2, and A3 channels are 5.5 MHz), and they can't be grouped to make the same Auction Channels like the 49.5 MHz Channel 1 below.
EBS Auction - Channel 1:
The EBS Auction - Channel 2 is the first place we begin to see the guardband channels that were created in the transition process.  Each of these channels is 0.33 MHz.  For the pre-auction licenses, the owners of the guardband channel JA1) is the owner of the A1 channel in the same geographic area.  Channel 2 below is the 50.5 MHz EBS Auction channel.
EBS Auction - Channel 2:
The final EBS Auction - Channel is the only one that has two discontiguous blocks of spectrum.  It has 1 MHz of spectrum in the KG guardband channels and 16.5 MHz of spectrum in the G channels.
EBS Auction - Channel 3:

Sub-6 GHz Spectrum Screen and the Effects on the CBRS and C-band Auctions July 7, 2020 22:54

Recently the FCC has revised the Sub-6 GHz spectrum screen through the following rulemakings;  the CBRS report and order, the 2.5GHz spectrum transformation report and order, and the C-band report and order.*  In the chart below we reflect the spectrum allotments that are included in our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool compared to the allotments that apply to the FCC Spectrum Screen.

The FCC divides the Spectrum Screen Total by 3 and rounds to 10 MHz.  So the Spectrum Screen seems to be set at 340 MHz for Sub-6 GHz spectrum.

Beginning with our July 2020 release of the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have updated our Spectrum Screen calculations to include the additional EBS and C-band spectrum.  

The Spectrum Screen calculations are available in the County Analysis Module, the CMA Market Analysis Module, and the PEA Market Analysis Module.

In the County Analysis Module, the Spectrum Screen values are displayed for each of 8 selected carriers for each US county. Nearly 2,000 carriers and spectrum owners can be selected for analysis.  Auto filters can be set on the 340 MHz spectrum screen value, or set lower to forecast the head room a carrier would need to acquire 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band auction without exceeding the spectrum screen.

The analysis carries over to the PEA Market Analysis Module and the CMA Market Analysis Module where auto filters again can be set to model specific conditions to determine carriers likely thresholds by market.

 

 

* Appreciation to Fred Campbell with Wireless 20|20 for his assistance in compiling the recent rulemakings Spectrum Screen effects.


USA National Carriers TOTAL Spectrum June 2, 2020 00:00

Why don't we see charts that show both Sub 6GHz and Millimeter Wave Spectrum?  I created the chart below to illustrate each carriers low band, mid band, and millimeter wave (high band) spectrum ownership.  This is not a view that I favor because the spectrum that is the most important today and likely for at least the next 5 years in buried at the bottom of the chart.  The values in the chart represent the population weighted average of each carrier's spectrum.  The important features of spectrum for the next 5 years will center on upper mid-band spectrum where 5G networks can have significant speed/capacity along with reasonable coverage.   Upper mid-band spectrum will be the only spectrum where large channel sizes (greater than 20MHz) will be available, but it is clearly difficult to evaluate each carriers available spectrum when the bar graphs are dominated by millimeter wave spectrum.

 


Commericializing Educational Broadcast Spectrum - 2.5GHz May 26, 2020 00:00

Last week we saw the first applications filed at the FCC that transfer educational (2.5GHz) spectrum to commercial carriers.  These are the first applications received by the FCC that take advantage of the new rules that were released in the Transforming the 2.5GHz Band Report & Order.  Below are the details for the  Educational Spectrum transfers from our Spectrum Transaction Summary that was released last Friday.  Prior to this Report & Order, commercial carriers could only utilize the educational spectrum via a spectrum lease.

Purpose Assignee Assignor CallSign Map RadioService Market Channel
Assignment Adams Telcom Brown County Community Unit School #1 WLX713 Map EBS P03398 - P35 GSA,40-6-37.2 N,91-1-47.5 W G
Assignment Adams Telcom Community Unit School District #3 WLX717 Map EBS P01103 - P35 GSA,40-6-37.2 N,91-1-47.5 W D
Assignment Adams Telcom Community Unit School District #4 WLX643 Map EBS P02520 - P35 GSA,40-6-37.2 N,91-1-47.5 W C
Assignment Adams Telcom COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #337 WLX644 Map EBS P01089 - P35 GSA,40-6-37.2 N,91-1-47.5 W B
Assignment Adams Telcom COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #337 WLX646 Map EBS P02060 - P35 GSA,40-6-37.2 N,91-1-47.5 W A
Assignment T-Mobile Midstate College WLX887 Map EBS P01124 - P35 GSA,40-37-44.1 N,89-34-12.4 W B
Assignment SoniqWave Networks BeamSpeed WMX652 Map EBS P02044 - P35 GSA,32-40-24.2 N,114-20-15.8 W C
Assignment SoniqWave Networks BeamSpeed WMX653 Map EBS P03745 - P35 GSA,32-40-24.2 N,114-20-15.8 W D
Assignment SoniqWave Networks Happy House Day Care WND521 Map EBS P03045 - P35 GSA,30-14-40.8 N,82-40-10.4 W B
Assignment SoniqWave Networks Luzerne County Community College WNC566 Map EBS P03161 - P35 GSA,41-10-58.3 N,75-52-19.7 W G


5G Reconfiguration in Mexico May 19, 2020 00:00

In April, El Economista highlighted a transfer of 3.5GHz spectrum in Mexico from Telmex to Telcel.  The article highlights a series of consultations between Telmex, Telcel, AT&T, and the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT).  I will use our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (MEX) to examine these transactions and the overall 5G spectrum plans in Mexico.

Our Spectrum Grid from December 2019, reflects the ownership of the 3.5GHz band prior to the Telcel acquisition.  At this point, Telmex, AT&T, and Axtel each owned 50MHz of spectrum (25MHz of uplink and 25MHz of downlink spectrum).  In this view we included a TDD band class 48 which is the only band class defined by 3GPP for this band.  Obviously, systems using this band configuration are not using band class 48 since they are FDD and band class 48 is TDD.

AT&T and Telmex approached the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) in December to request that they exchange AT&T's D channel for Telmex's H channel, providing each carrier with 50MHz blocks of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band.  This exchange only makes sense if IFT reconfigured the entire band to TDD spectrum. 

The new configuration is reflected in the image below with Telcel acquiring Telmex's 50MHz channel.  Now Telcel and AT&T are set up with the minimum 5G channel size in one of Mexico's two TDD bands and IFT also has 150MHz of spectrum remaining for a future auction.  It is interesting to note, that both Canada and Mexico have opted for licensing spectrum directly to carriers for their 3.5GHz bands while the USA has gone with the shared spectrum and PAL licensing approach.

 

 


TeraGo Networks | FDD then TDD: Canada's Millimeter Wave Spectrum Dilemma May 12, 2020 00:00

Last week, Lightreading published an article about TeraGo's Fixed Wireless aspirations utilizing 24GHz and 38GHz.  We have just updated our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN) to reflect the recent (ISED) consultation outlining Canada's millimeter wave spectrum configuration and upcoming auction.  This is important because TeraGo's plans rely on the existing paired spectrum configuration of the 38GHz band plan.  This band plan was compatible with the US 39GHz plan prior to Auction 103 when the plan was changed to TDD channels. 

 

Canada is changing the configuration of the above 38GHz band from fixed use to flexible use along with adding the spectrum down to 37.6GHz and up to 40GHz.  This creates a 37/39GHz band that is compatible with the US spectrum plans.  

 

 

Now that ISED has chosen to reconfigure the 38GHz they needed to either cancel the existing licenses from the 38GHz Fixed Service or create a transition plan.  ISED opted for the transition plan.  The existing 38GHz licenses will transition to an equal amount of spectrum in the 37/39GHz band at the end of their existing 10 year license term.  Looking at several of TeraGo's licenses, it appears that transition will occur in 2025.

 

 


Assessing the COVID Temporary Spectrum Licenses March 31, 2020 15:28

Last week we began to see announcements from the FCC authorizing a series of temporary spectrum usage agreements to provide additional spectrum to several of the wireless operators to increase network capacity as workers are dispatched to their homes.

We will look at the effect of these agreements in a few markets to see how they are increasing LTE capacity.  The analysis will be supported with outputs from our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool  specifically the Spectrum Ownership Grid.

T-Mobile 600MHz Capacity Expansion:

The first agreement provides T-Mobile with access to 600MHz spectrum from Bluewater Wireless, Channel 51 LIcense Co and LB License Co (Columbia Capital), CC Wireless Investment (Comcast), ParketB.com Wireless (Dish), New Level (Grain), and Tstar License Holdings (Tri-Star).

In the image below for the New York CMA market, T-Mobile will have access to Comcast's spectrum (XFI) and Dish's spectrum increasing their 600MHz channel size in New York from 10MHz channel to a 20MHz channel.  T-Mobile would have access to the entire 35MHz of spectrum so they could provide a 20MHz channel and a 10MHz channel for capacity.   Because T-Mobile has already deployed Band 71 equipment in New York, they can turn up the expanded spectrum without additional equipment installations.

 

USCellular AWS-3 Capacity Expansion:

The next agreement provides USCellular access to AWS-3 spectrum from their bidding partner Advantage Spectrum.  In the image below a few of the Washington markets where USCellular will access AWS-3 spectrum are indicated.  In most of these markets, USCellular currently operates on their cellular frequencies but doesn't have Band 66 operations.Thus,  USCellular will need to add base stations and antennas to their sites for Band 66 to utilize these new frequencies.  In five of these counties USCellular is likely operating on AWS-1 spectrum in Band 66 so the spectrum will be easier to deploy in those counties. 

 

Verizon AWS-3 Capacity Expansion:

In the image below we illustrate the AWS-3 spectrum that Verizon will gain temporary access from SNR License Co and Northstar Wireless (both Dish partners).  Northstar controls the AWS-3 G channel and SNR LIcense Co controls the AWS-3 H channel.  In the New York market, Northstar Wireless owns the G block spectrum and SNR Wireless owns the H block spectrum.  Accessing this spectrum will provide Verizon a second Band 66 LTE channel, increasing their LTE capacity from 20MHz to 30MHz.

 

Verizon & AT&T AWS-3 Capacity Expansion:

Verizon and AT&T have also requested access to the spectrum that Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless returned to the FCC when their auction discounts were eliminated.  The AWS-3 spectrum depth that is "unassigned" is indicated in the map below.  In our data, we reflect these unassigned licenses with the FCC heading.

 

AT&T requested the I block spectrum in the New York market, so it will expand their Band 66 LTE from 10MHz to 15MHz.  The markets AT&T requested are listed here and the markets that Verizon requested are here.

 

AT&T AWS-4 Capacity Expansion:

AT&T has also requested access to Dish's Band 66 spectrum.  From the image above AT&T can expand their Band 66 LTE by and additional 5MHz to 20MHz by using part of Dish's AWS-4 spectrum.  AT&T will still have an additional 15MHz of Dish's spectrum that they could use as an additional LTE channel in New York.  AT&T only requested access to Dish's Band 66 spectrum, not their Band 70 AWS-4 spectrum.

AT&T 700MHz E-block Expansion:

Dish also reported that AT&T requested access the the 700MHz E-block in the markets that AT&T doesn't own.  In the image below, Dish's ownership in Chicago and Detroit will provide AT&T the capability to expand their Band 29 supplemental downlink from 5MHz to 10MHz.


Verizon Continues to Acquire AWS-3 Licenses March 24, 2020 11:47

Earlier this month, Verizon filed to acquire all of Orion Wireless' paired AWS-3 spectrum.   This is Verizon's third acquisition of AWS-3 spectrum in the last six months. Last year Verizon filed to acquire AWS-3 spectrum from Cypress Cellular and Blue Ridge Wireless.

Geographic Coverage: 

The map below depicts all of Orion Wireless' AWS-3 licenses.  15 of Orion Wireless' licenses are for the AWS-3 G block and one for the AWS-3 I block.  This acquisition provides Verizon an additional 10 MHz of spectrum (5x5) in the in the areas where only Orion only controlled one license and 20 MHz of spectrum in two Minnesota counties where they control both the G and I blocks.

 

It is also interesting to look at how this spectrum will fit with Verizon's existing Band 66 spectrum.  Below is an output from our Spectrum Grid where you can see all of Orion Wireless' spectrum (OWL).  In most counties, the spectrum is not contiguous with Verizon's existing spectrum assignments, but in 5 Iowa counties, the Orion Wireless spectrum will provide Verizon with a larger second LTE channel ranging from 10 to 15 MHz.

 


Auction 103 Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool Update and Release March 12, 2020 21:45

Allnet Insights & Analytics is pleased to announce that our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has been updated with the Auction 103 results and is available for purchase.

Below is a sample of the Spectrum Grid Analysis Module, highlighting the 37/39 GHz spectrum ownership for the New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago CMA markets.

The Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool contains 20 additional analysis modules including:

  • Spectrum Depth - County
  • Spectrum Depth - Company Profile
  • Spectrum Depth - NR Band Class
  • Spectrum Depth - Frequency Band
  • Spectrum Depth - Market
    • Cellular Market Area (CMA)
    • Partial Economic Area (PEA)
    • Designated Market Area (DMA)
  • Spectrum Depth - Country
  • Spectrum Depth - State
  • Spectrum Depth - Channel
  • Licensed POPs Analysis
    • By Channel
    • By Frequency Band
  • MHz-POPs Analysis
    • By Frequency Band
    • By Country
  • NR Channel Analysis 
  • Contiguous Spectrum Analysis
  • Frequency Band Ownership Analysis

With our Web Spectrum Viewer subscription, maps for each carrier's total Millimeter Wave spectrum depth and their spectrum depth for each frequency band are available.  Below is a map for the 47GHz spectrum that Sprint won in Auction 103.

Click here to contact Allnet Insights & Analytics.


Millimeter Wave - Frequency Band Ownership Charts March 10, 2020 11:27

With the release of our March 2020 Mobile Carrier and Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools we have included a new analysis module which details the frequency band ownership for eight user selected carriers.  With the results for Auction 103 expected later this week, we are including the charts for the Millimeter Wave frequency bands.  These charts detail each carrier's total ownership in a band, measured in terms of MHz-POPs. 

Looking at the 28GHz chart, you can see that Verizon owns 73% of the band while T-Mobile controls 14%.  The 37GHz, 39GHz, and 47GHz slides reflect the FCC controlling 100% of each spectrum band.  In the second chart, reflecting our February 2020 data, the spectrum held in the 39GHz band, pre-auction is indicated.  Verizon controlled 39% of this band prior to the auction and AT&T controlled 27%.  All of this spectrum was traded back into the FCC before Auction 103 started, so it will be interesting to see how all of the carrier's bidding activity affect these charts, once the auction results are posted.

We anticipate releasing a mid-month release of our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool within two days of the FCC results announcement.

Millimeter Wave Frequency Band Ownership (March 2020):

 Millimeter Wave Frequency Band Ownership (February 2020):


How Much Does US Spectrum Information Charge? March 3, 2020 14:36

Many times customers ask how much does spectrum information change as they decide between our monthly subscriptions and one-time purchases.  Many customers consider one-time purchases either annually or following an auction completion.  

In the chart below, we have indicated the number of database record updates that we have determined for each week's FCC filed transactions.  There are three peaks from 2019.  January 2019 represents Verizon's filing to acquire Straightpath's LMDS and 39GHz spectrum.    June 2019 highlights the posting of the Auction 102 licenses and October/November 2019 includes the Auction 103 licenses.  Outside of these auction result periods, most weeks have between 100 and 400 licensing record updates.  So in a typical month there may be between 400 and 1600 licensing record updates.

A licensing record update may only update one block of spectrum for one county, or it may update multiple blocks of spectrum for an entire market (EA, BTA, PEA, or MTA)

Clearly, there are alot more changes than you would expect.

 


Verizon's 8th - 28 GHz Acquisition February 18, 2020 00:00

Last week, Verizon filed to acquire 2 Lightspeed's 28 GHz spectrum assets.  This is the 8th acquisition that Verizon has filed, targeting the 28 GHz spectrum held by companies prior to Auction 102.  The map below depicts where 2 Lightspeed owns spectrum.  Verizon is only acquiring the L1 and L2 (850 MHz) for the counties highlighted in orange, leaving 2 Lightspeed with 300 MHz of LMDS A spectrum in these counties.  In the yellow counties, 2 Lightspeed still will own the 150 MHz of the LMDS B spectrum.  These allocations are detailed below from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, Company Analysis Module.

 


Five Important Ways to Look at Spectrum - Featuring the MVDDS (12.2 GHz) Spectrum January 30, 2020 14:36

What is the best report to use to understand the ownership for each block of spectrum or each carrier's spectrum portfolio?  I am going to walk through five of my favorites, using the Multichannel Video and Data Distribution Service (MVDDS) band as an example of a band where the spectrum owners and their relative ownership is not widely known.  The MVDDS 5G Coalition has been pressing the FCC since 2016 to make the 12.2-12.7 GHz band available for 5G. 

The first place to start is looking at the National Spectrum Depth averages.  This can be done with our National Weighted Average Spectrum Depth charts.    The chart below describes the average amount of spectrum that the 8 primary carriers own in the MVDDS band.  Since this band includes 500 MHz of spectrum in all markets, Dish is the majority spectrum holder, controlling 377 MHz of spectrum on average.  Because the National Weighted Average Spectrum Depth charts include of all of the millimeter wave spectrum bands, it is clear that Dish is the only MVDDS licensee that also owns traditional millimeter wave spectrum.

National Average Spectrum Depth:

The population weighted average spectrum depths are influenced significantly by the amount of spectrum held in population centers, so looking at Licensed Population values will provide insight into how much of the US population can be reached with each carrier's MVDDS licenses.  From the chart below, Dish's licenses can reach 75% of the  US population, with RS Access reaching 13%, and Go Long Wireless reaching nearly 5%.

Licensed Populations:

The next view, is to looking at the Top 25 or Top 50 population centers.  Using the CMA Market Analysis Module, in our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, it is easily seen that Dish controls the MVDDS spectrum in all of the Top 25 CMA markets except for Baltimore MD, where the spectrum is owned by Go Long Wireless.

Top 25 CMA Markets:

Next, to look at this spectrum band from a valuation perspective, it makes sense to detail the MHz-POPs that each carrier controls.  MHz-POPs is calculated by multiplying the size of the spectrum (500 MHz) times the population of each county where it is controlled.  Totaling these values for all counties provides the national band ownership quantity.

MHz-POPs:

Geographic Maps are fairly self explanatory.  Maps highlight areas not served, overserved, and highlight geographically adjacent markets that would be difficult to identify in the tabular results we have discussed above. Included in the maps below is a map detailing the licenses that the FCC now controls.  These typically include cancelled and terminated licenses.

Geographic Maps:

Dish Licenses:

Cass Cable Licenses:

FCC Licenses:

RSA Access:


Historical Spectrum Data - A Look Back to 2012...MetroPCS, SpectrumCo, Clearwire, and Leap Wireless January 20, 2020 14:58

One of the benefits of Allnet Insights' Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools, is the repository of monthly releases that we have accumulated. With the USA Mobile Carrier Tool we have monthly versions going back to July 2012.  Each of our historical tools details spectrum ownership and the variety of spectrum depth analysis modules that were supported at that time.  

I thought it would be interesting to look back at the spectrum ownership landscape from July 2012.  Looking first at our Spectrum Grid for low band spectrum, you can see that Verizon still holds the 700MHz B block licenses that were sold later to AT&T.  In addition, Verizon also holds the 700MHz A block licenses that were sold to T-Mobile.  

Looking next at the lower mid band spectrum, former licensees like SpectrumCo, Leap Wireless, and MetroPCS still control blocks of AWS-1 and PCS spectrum.  This view of spectrum ownership also allows you to see how Verizon consolidated their AWS-1 spectrum holdings with SpectrumCo's holdings into a 20 MHz block through spectrum license trades with T-Mobile and their MetroPCS licenses.  Today Verizon controls the lower 20 MHz of the AWS-1 band and T-Mobile controls the upper 25 MHz in the New York / New Jersey counties.

Looking at the upper mid band spectrum we first see all of the original WCS spectrum licensees:  Horizon Wi-Com, Nextwave, Sprint, Comcast, and San Diego Gas & Electric.  Clearwire also appears in the upper mid band Spectrum Grid with their 2.5GHz spectrum holdings.

It is interesting then to look at our County Analysis module to see the detail on each carrier's spectrum depth.  It is noteworthy to mention that Verizon has 119 MHz of spectrum in most of the New York / New Jersey counties with AT&T trailing with 91 MHz of spectrum.  Verizon still sits with rough the same amount of spectrum although they replaced all of the 700MHz spectrum they sold to AT&T and T-Mobile with SpectrumCo spectrum and AWS-3 spectrum while AT&T has growth while AT&T has grown their spectrum depth in the same counties to 161 MHz.


Rogers (CAN) 5G Spectrum and Roll out January 16, 2020 00:00

Today, Fierce Wireless had an article examining Rogers 5G roll out announcement.  The article states that Rogers will initially deploy using 2.5 GHz spectrum followed by 600 MHz and 3.5 GHz.  Although we are familiar with these bands from a US spectrum allocation, it is important to understand several of the differences between the Canadian allocations and the US allocations.  

First, we are going to look at the 2.5 GHz band using the Spectrum Grid from our Canadian Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Canada's 2.5 GHz spectrum is configured to the international standard with paired (FDD) LTE Band 7 and TDD band 38/41.  In each of the 4 deployment cities, Rogers controls FDD and TDD spectrum.  I believe that Rogers will be deploying the TDD/Band 41 spectrum blocks due to its compatibility with Sprint's 5G deployment and the Band 41 ecosystem.  Rogers has 20 MHz of spectrum available in each of their roll out markets which should deliver about 30% of the speed performance that Sprint is achieving on their 5G launches.

Second, Rogers will roll out 5G using their 600 MHz low band spectrum.  This spectrum is configured identically to the US allocation with 7 x 10 MHz FDD channels in LTE Band 71.  Rogers has 10 MHz channels available in all of their roll out markets except Toronto where they have a 20 MHz channel available.

Third, Rogers will roll out 5G in Canada's 3.5 GHz band.  In the US, this spectrum is primarily allocated as CBRS spectrum requiring the use of a Spectrum Access System (SAS) with multiple users.  The entire CBRS band is 150 MHz while the Canadian 3.5 GHz band is 200 MHz broken up into 20 - 10 MHz (TDD) channels.  Canada will be licensing all of this spectrum to carriers, while the US model is shared spectrum.  Since the 3.5 GHz auction has not occurred, Rogers spectrum ownership in these markets is unknown.  The 3.5 GHz auction will occur sometime in 2020.


Another Verizon AWS-3 Acquisition - Blue Ridge Wireless November 28, 2019 20:07

Yesterday, Verizon filed to acquire all of Blue Ridge Wireless' paired AWS-3 spectrum.   This is Verizon's second acquisition of AWS-3 spectrum in the last two months. Last month Verizon filed to acquire AWS-3 spectrum from Cypress Cellular.  Let's look at the details for the Blue Ridge Wireless purchase with Allnet's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools.  We will look at the geographic coverage in our Web Spectrum Viewer - Mapping Module, MHz-POPs and Licensed POPs in our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.

Geographic Coverage: 

The map below depicts all of Blue Ridge Wireless' AWS-3 licenses.  Verizon is only purchasing Blue Ridge's paired spectrum licenses, leaving the uplink only spectrum (A1 and B1) with Blue Ridge.

Licensed Population:

In the graphic below, we show the amount of the US population, that each channel of Blue Ridge's AWS-3 spectrum licenses can reach.  Clearly, the A1/B1 uplink channels represent the majority of the licensed population Blue Ridge controls.  The collection of G channel licenses reach 2.6 million people.

MHz-POPs:

From our MHz-POPs summary below, Blue Ridge Wireless licenses represent 108 million MHz-POPs.  This includes their paired and unpaired spectrum.  The Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool also includes a detailed MHz-POPs module highlighting the MHz-POPs controlled in each county by frequency band.

 


Verizon Sweeps up Two Additional 28GHz Acquistions November 26, 2019 07:33

Last week, Verizon filed applications to acquire the 28GHz (LMDS) spectrum held by two additional companies; Sunshine LMDS and Virginia Tech Foundation.  We are using our recently released, Web Spectrum Viewer - Mapping Module to illustrate the spectrum owned by each of these companies.  As with Verizon's other recent 28GHz acquisitions these transactions involve the Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) spectrum that was owned prior to Auction 101.    The first map below illustrates the license area for Sunshine LMDS.  Verizon is only acquiring the L1 and L2 channel spectrum from Sunshine LMDS.  The spectrum depths on the map indicate that Sunshine controls the L1/L2 channels (850MHz) and the remaining A block LMDS channels (300MHz).  The county detail for Sunshine's spectrum is indicated in the second map.

Sunshine LMDS:

Sunshine LMDS - County Detail:

The second transaction involves Virginia Tech Foundation.  In this transaction, Verizon is acquiring rights to both the L1/L2 channels as well as the remaining A block LMDS spectrum.  In the county detail map, the counties where Virginia Tech only controls the L1/L2 channels are visible in light tan color, while the markets where they also control the remaining A block LMDS channels are in a dark tan.  The FCC controls the remaining A block LMDS channels in the counties where Virginia Tech Foundation only controls the L1/L2 channels.

Virginia Tech Foundation:

Virginia Tech Foundation - County Detail:


Sub 6GHz and Millimeter Wave Spectrum Ownership Mapping November 5, 2019 21:57

Allnet Insights & Analytics is pleased to announce the availability of our Mobile Carrier and Millimeter Wave Spectrum Mapping Modules.  The Mapping Modules operates within our Web Spectrum Viewer to provide National maps, including all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands; along with county-level details.  The maps provide insights into each carrier and licensee's total spectrum, and spectrum in each frequency band.  For the mobile carrier bands (sub 6GHz), the low band, lower-mid band, and upper-mid band spectrum depths are also provided.  Below are maps that show various aspects of AT&T's Sub 6GHz and Millimeter Wave Spectrum.  The final map zooms in on AT&T's 24GHz spectrum in Colorado to show the county detail.  Selecting an individual county (Garfield in our example) displays the actual spectrum depth in the legend box.

AT&T Total Sub 6GHz Spectrum Depth:

AT&T Low Band Spectrum Depth:

AT&T Cellular Spectrum Depth:

AT&T Total Millimeter Wave Spectrum Depth:

AT&T 24GHz Spectrum Depth:

AT&T 24GHz Spectrum Depth (County Detail):


Verizon AWS-3 Spectrum Acquistion October 11, 2019 15:02

This week Verizon filed to acquire 40 AWS-3 licenses from Cypress Cellular.  I thought this would give us a good opportunity to gain strategic insights into how this acquisition fits with Verizon's existing spectrum portfolio.

First up, a national map of Cypress Cellular's AWS-3 spectrum.  Most counties have 10MHz of paired spectrum (5x5) while 3 counties have 20MHz of paired spectrum (10x10).

To see how Cypress Cellular's channels fit with Verizon's existing AWS-1 and AWS-3 spectrum, we use the Spectrum Grid modules from the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  To find all of the counties where Cypress control AWS-3 spectrum, we auto filter on Cypress's 3 character code (CYC).  This allows us to see that on the counties displayed, Cypress owns the G block channels. It also allows us to determine if the spectrum is contiguous with any other Verizon spectrum and whether Verizon has any other AWS-3 in that county.  In the Florida counties shown, Verizon will increase the LTE channel size in the AWS-3 band from 10MHz to 15MHz with this acquisition.

Another way we can evaluate this acquisition is to look at the county spectrum depths in the County Analysis Module.  From this data, we can see that Verizon lacks AWS-3 spectrum in most of the counties shown in this view.  In some counties Verizon will have a total of 30MHz of spectrum after the transaction closes.  All of this analysis focuses on 36 of the 191 counties involved in this transaction.


Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool Release for MEXICO September 30, 2019 15:06

Allnet Insights & Analytics is excited to announce an expansion of our industry leading spectrum ownership analysis products to cover the Mobile Carrier (600MHz to 3.7GHz) frequency bands for Mexico. We are releasing not only a October 2019 new release, but historical monthly releases going back to June 2016.  The Mobile Carrier Tool not only provides the spectrum allocation details for all of the Mexican Mobile Carrier spectrum but it provides 21 different analysis modules and charts to analyze and compare each wireless carrier's spectrum assets by channel, market, frequency band, band classification, and LTE band class.  Each carrier's licensed population and MHz-POPs values are included as well.

The Mexican Spectrum Grid details the current and future spectrum ownership for each municipio (county).  The municipio areas can be seen on the map below which indicates Ultravision's Broadband Radio (2.5GHz) holdings. 

 

Below is the Mexican Spectrum Grid for the Mobile Carrier low band spectrum.  All of the 600MHz spectrum is currently controlled by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IPF) leading up to an early 2020 auction.