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Weekly Spectrum Transaction Summary - August 20, 2021 October 20, 2021 15:00

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FCC Transactions from August 18, 2021
In this week's FCC transactions, T-Mobile filed two re-lease applications to retain access to EBS spectrum in Missouri and Colorado.  T-Mobile also filed new sub-lease applications to provide continued access to 5 EBS licenses in Detroit.  T-Mobile is sub-leasing these licenses from Community Telecommunications Network which owns the leases with the individual licensees.  Coeur Rochester is leasing an AWS-1 license and a 700MHz B block license in Pershing NV from ATNI.  In the last transaction, Nsight is leasing an AWS-1 license from Verizon in Wisconsin.

Purpose Assignee Assignor CallSign Map RadioService Market Channel
New Lease T-Mobile Thompson School District R2-J WNC613 Map EBS P01172 - P35 GSA,40-29-35.9 N,105-10-54.9 W D
New Lease T-Mobile Innovative Technology Education Fund WHR806 Map EBS P02882 - P35 GSA,38-28-56.2 N,90-23-53.4 W B
New Lease Coeur Rochester ATNI WQGA721 AWS-1 CMA543 - Nevada 1 - Humboldt A
New Lease Coeur Rochester ATNI WQIZ530 700MHz CMA543 - Nevada 1 - Humboldt B
New Lease Nsight Verizon WQQZ832 AWS-1 REA003 - Great Lakes E
New Sublease T-Mobile Community Telecommunications Network WAK57 Map EBS P02029 - P35 GSA,42-27-13.1 N,83-9-49.7 W G
New Sublease T-Mobile Community Telecommunications Network WHR508 Map EBS P00877 - P35 GSA,42-27-13.1 N,83-9-49.7 W G
New Sublease T-Mobile Community Telecommunications Network WHR914 Map EBS P03333 - P35 GSA,42-27-13.1 N,83-9-49.7 W B
New Sublease T-Mobile Community Telecommunications Network WHR915 Map EBS P00944 - P35 GSA,42-27-13.1 N,83-9-49.7 W G
New Sublease T-Mobile Community Telecommunications Network WHR916 Map EBS P02451 - P35 GSA,42-27-13.1 N,83-9-49.7 W C

C-band Interim and Future Licenses August 12, 2021 22:28

On July 23rd, the FCC granted most of the C-band (Auction 107) licenses. This provided us the first opportunity to see how the FCC was going to handle the interim A block licenses that will transition into the permanent license on December 31, 2023.  The FCC provided call signs for each of the permanent licenses as well as call signs for each of AT&T's interim licenses.

These interim and future designations allow us to highlight a unique capability of our Web Spectrum Viewer and Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.   For each block of spectrum we capture the spectrum licensee and the carrier that may lease the spectrum.  This information indicates the current operator.  Typically the current operator is the future operator, unless a pending transaction allocates that spectrum block to a different operator.  We are using this database capability to reflect the interim C-band licenses with the current operator field and the permanent operator with the future operator field.  You can see the AT&T interim allocations below as we are displaying the "Current" Spectrum Ownership Grid. 

Current View:

 

The future allocations are seen in the Future View below.

Future View:

 

Another way that this current and future ownership data can be seen is in our Spectrum Survey.    The Spectrum Survey provides the call sign, current operator, and future operator for all of the frequency bands in a selected county.  

Spectrum Survey:

 


Canadian 3.5GHz Auction Results and Consolidated Spectrum Ownership August 3, 2021 12:00

Last week the Canadian 3.5GHz spectrum auction concluded and winning bids were announced.  Our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN) has been updated to reflect these new winning bids.  Below are a few views of both the auction results and the composite spectrum holdings that are available from this analytical tool.
 
Spectrum Ownership Grid:
 
 
Spectrum Depth (Frequency Band Detail):
 
 
National Spectrum Band Ownership:
 
This chart indicates the percentage of the Broadband Wireless (BWS) band that each selected carrier controls based upon each carriers National MHz-POPs.  From this chart you can see that 7% of the BWS spectrum is controlled by carriers other than the 8 listed.  National Spectrum Band Ownership charts are available for each of the band classifications (low band, lower mid band, and upper mid band) along with each of the frequency band in all of our Mobile Carrier Tools.
 
 
Carrier Spectrum Distribution:
 
These charts highlight individual carrier's spectrum distribution, again measured as a percentage of MHz-POPs.  The chart immediately below indicates that the largest percentage of Telus's spectrum is upper mid band.  The specific frequency band percentages can be seen in the lower chart.  The upper mid band percentage (45%) is made up of roughly 13% (WCS), 16% (BRS), and 17% (BWS).
 
 

EBS Auction Update Webinars (Auction 108) July 14, 2021 11:00

Allnet Insights will be hosting EBS Auction Update Webinars throughout July.  The webinar will highlight how the existing license areas are determined and how the corresponding unlicensed areas (whitespaces) are calculated.  The update will also include an overview of the available licenses by county.  Below are the Webinar times.  Clicking a date will take you to a sign up page where you will receive the webinar link.  Your contact information will not be visible to the other webinar attendees.


EBS Auction Inventory June 15, 2021 20:30

On January 1, 2021 the FCC announced the license inventory for the EBS Whitespace Auction.  On May 17th, the FCC announced an extension to the Auction comment period due to a series of filings outlining issues with the initial inventory list and the complex process to calculate the whitespace license areas.

In this post, we will compare the auction inventory with our EBS Auction Tool and accompanying maps.

Below is the inventory data that the FCC provided for the 1st Auction Channel in  Douglas County, NV.  Douglas County is just south of Reno, NV.

This FCC data would lead a carrier to believe that a 49.5MHz channel covering 46,997 people could be purchased during Auction 108.  From the image below, Channel 1 is a composite of nine currently licensed channels.  To determine the number of people (POPS) that the 1st Channel covers, requires evaluating the licensed areas for each of these 9 sub channels.

Let's first look at the licensed area for the A1 channel surrounding Douglas County.  From the image below, only the southern point of Douglas County is not currently licensed, thus that area and its population would be available if a carrier purchased the 1st Auction channel for Douglas County. 

EBS A1 License Area:

The available whitespace for the A1 channel can be seen below from our Web Spectrum Viewer - EBS Auction subscription.

EBS A1 Whitespace Area:

Next we will look at the A2 channel which has a different license area than the A1 channel, thus a different (and larger) whitespace area.

EBS A2 License Area:

EBS A2 Whitespace Area:

Our last example will be the B2 channel which has the most whitespace area for any of the Douglas County sub channels.

EBS B2 Whitespace Area:

The geographic areas that can be purchased are important so you can visualize the areas that you can serve, but the population available in each of these whitespace areas is necessary to calculate the economic opportunity for each license, thus its value. 

Our EBS Auction Opportunities Tool calculates the population available in each of the whitespace areas for each auction channel.  The value on the far right of this table represents the total MHz-POPs available. 

Population View: 

The FCC's inventory indicates that there are 2,326,352 MHzPOPs for auction in this channel but there are on 344,398 MHzPOPs available, 15% of the FCC's value.

In the EBS Auction Opportunities Tool we also display the same data in a population percentage view, where the available population can be seen as a percentage of the county population.

Population % View: 

 

 


3.45GHz Operation Coordination Areas June 8, 2021 16:30

On June 3rd, the FCC and NTIA released coordination information for the 3.45GHz band.  On the map below, we have indicated the geographic boundaries for each of the coordination areas.  Coordination areas are broken down either as Cooperative Planning Areas (CPA) or Periodic Use Areas (PUA).  Green indicates CPA only areas, blue indicates CPA & PUA combined areas, and yellow indicates PUA only areas.
  
   
CPA and PUA Areas:

A Detailed View of 2.5GHz Spectrum in the United States May 18, 2021 14:30

Soon we should be hearing about the timing and procedures for Auction 108: 2.5GHz Band.  This auction is also been discussed as the EBS (Educational Broadcast Service) Whitespace auction since it is offering the unlicensed spectrum that was previously reserved for educational groups.  In the maps below, we are going to use the data from our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to highlight the current status of both 2.5GHz sub-bands; Educational Broadcast Service (EBS) and Broadband Radio Service (BRS).

The first map indicates the counties where T-Mobile has up to 80MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum and the counties where it exceeds 80MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum.  This cutoff highlights the markets where T-Mobile spectrum is limited to the BRS (owned) spectrum versus the markets where they have traditional leases to expand their spectrum resources into the EBS band.

The remaining maps are focused exclusively on the EBS spectrum band.  This second map highlights the counties where more than 50% of the EBS spectrum (measured in MHz-POPs) is controlled by the FCC and available in Auction 108.

In the next map, the counties are highlighted where T-Mobile controls 50% of the existing EBS spectrum, either through ownership or leasing.
In the last map, we highlight the counties where a carriers other than T-Mobile or the FCC control more than 50% of the spectrum.  A couple of the region/carrier match ups include:  American Wireless (southeast Utah), C Spire (Mississippi), Northern Michigan University (Michigan) and Redzone Wireless (Maine).

 


Status Check on EBS Tribal Applications May 3, 2021 08:30

Today was the cutoff for comments on the EBS Whitespace Auction procedures, so let's take a look at the current status of the EBS Tribal applications, which have a priority on claiming EBS white space.  From the chart below, 44% of the applications are still in process.  Most concerning are the 83 applications that have been filed but have not seen any action by the FCC.  Typically applications are moved to a pending status within a few weeks but these applications have been on file since 3Q - 2020.

Tribal Applications Status
Filed 394
Granted 201
Pending 92
Dismissed 18
No Action 83

 

Below is a map of the granted tribal boundaries overlaid with the EBS A1 channel license areas.  Each of these tribal applications has requested access to the first EBS auction channel (49.5MHz).  Any tribal areas that extend into these license areas will not have access to the A1 channel (5.5MHz) in the overlap area.

 


Sub-6 GHz Spectrum Screen including 3.45GHz allocation April 8, 2021 09:38

Last year we provided an FCC Spectrum Screen Analysis reflecting the effects of the EBS reconfiguration, the CBRS allocation, and the C-band allocation.  Two weeks ago the FCC has revised the Sub-6 GHz spectrum screen through their 3.45GHz rulemaking. 

In the chart below we reflect the spectrum depth allotments that are included in our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  The links under in the frequency column will open the FCC spectrum screen documents and the comment field indicates the paragraphs where the spectrum screen is discussed.

The Allnet Spectrum Depth column indicates the spectrum allocations that we use in all of our typical spectrum depth reporting (county, CMA, PEA, State, and National).  The FCC / Allnet Spectrum Screen allocations reflect the allocations that we use in our County, CMA market, and PEA Market Spectrum Screen columns.

Band Frequency Allnet Spectrum Depth FCC / Allnet Spectrum Screen Comments
Low Band 600 MHz 70 70
Low Band 700 MHz 90 70 First Net Spectrum not included
Low Band Cellular 50 50
Low Band SMR 14 14
Lw Mid Band PCS 140 140 Includes H-block
Lw Mid Band AWS-1 90 90
Lw Mid Band AWS-3 65 65
Lw Mid Band AWS-4 40 40
Up Mid Band WCS 30 20
Up Mid Band BRS 77.5 67.5 BRS1 and BRS K guard bands not included
Up Mid Band EBS 116.5 116.5 Paragraph 98-100
Up Mid Band 3.45GHz 100 100 Paragraph 101
Up Mid Band CBRS 0 0 Paragraph 107
Up Mid Band C-Band 280 280 Paragraph 83
Total MHz 1163 1123

 

To determine the overall Spectrum Screen value, the FCC divides the spectrum screen allotment (1123) by 3 and rounds to the nearest 10MHz.  This makes the new spectrum screen including the 100MHz of 3.45GHz spectrum, 370 MHz.

In the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we have three views into the Spectrum Screen.  They are a County Analysis View, a Cellular Market Area (CMA) View, and a Partial Economic Area (PEA) View.

County Analysis View:

In this view, each of the national carriers spectrum screen values are displayed along with the amount of spectrum in that county controlled by the FCC.  The FCC value predominately represents the 3.45GHz spectrum allocation, but there is some EBS spectrum (whitespace) that is also allocated to the FCC.

PEA Market Analysis View:


3.45GHz Band Update April 6, 2021 09:30

The FCC announced the final rules for the new 3.45GHz band on March 19, 2021.  With our April 2021 release, we updated our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to include the 3.45GHz frequency band in each of the analysis modules.  The 10 - 10MHz channels appear in our Spectrum Grid as a part of NR Band 77.  In the image below, we highlight the FCC's ownership of each of the channels (pre-auction) by county.  

Honolulu County has a NA (Not Available) code for both the 3.45GHz spectrum and the C-band spectrum since neither band in available in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Looking at the National Band Ownership Charts, we can see that this unavailability affects 2% of the MHz-POPs or 2% of the US Population (~6.6M).

In the County Analysis Module the spectrum depth values for eight selected carriers are displayed.  This image highlights each carriers 3.45GHz, CBRS, and C-band holdings.

Below is a more detailed description of our Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools and the analysis capabilities it supports.

 

 


Viewing CBRS Licenses and Call Signs March 29, 2021 09:19

On March 15th, the FCC granted the first CBRS PAL licenses to 222 carriers.  In total the FCC issued nearly 17,500 PAL licenses in this initial group.  To view these licenses in our Web Spectrum Viewer, choose our Upper Mid-band (Up-Mid Band) in the band menu and chose the CBRS in the sub-band menu.

 

To find PAL licenses for specific markets, use our geographic filters.  To find call signs for the Dallas/Fort Worth market, chose CMA Name in the Region menu and start typing Dallas in the Regional Values menu.

 

In this view you can see the PAL licenses that each carrier controls for each county in the Dallas/Fort Worth CMA market.  From this view there are two ways to view the call sign for each license.  The first way is to click on the spectrum grid cell to reveal the call sign details for that cell.  The detail below is for the CBRS-A channel that Charter controls in Dallas county.

The second way to reveal the call signs puts the call signs into each of the spectrum grid cells, by selecting call signs in the Data Type menu.  This view allows the user to see all of the call signs for the Dallas/Fort Worth market and also indicates the licenses that have not been granted yet, because our placeholder call signs (CBR_C48221_A) are still present.

Auction 108 LIcense Inventory - Alabama February 22, 2021 10:56

Attachment A
Auction 108 License Inventory Subject to the Results of the Rural Tribal Priority Window
Proposed Bidding Units, Upfront Payments, and Minimum Bids
State/
Territory
County Name FIPS
Code
Channel Item ID Band-
width
MEA Population
(2010)
Subject to Small Market Cap Bidding
Units
Upfront
Payment
Minimum
Bid
AL Autauga 1001 1 AL-001-1 49.5 24 54,571 Yes 80 $8,000 $10,000
AL Autauga 1001 2 AL-001-2 50.5 24 54,571 Yes 80 $8,000 $10,000
AL Autauga 1001 3 AL-001-3 16.5 24 54,571 Yes 20 $2,000 $5,000
AL Baldwin 1003 1 AL-003-1 49.5 27 182,265 No 200 $20,000 $50,000
AL Baldwin 1003 2 AL-003-2 50.5 27 182,265 No 200 $20,000 $50,000
AL Baldwin 1003 3 AL-003-3 16.5 27 182,265 No 90 $9,000 $10,000
AL Barbour 1005 1 AL-005-1 49.5 24 27,457 Yes 40 $4,000 $8,000
AL Barbour 1005 2 AL-005-2 50.5 24 27,457 Yes 40 $4,000 $8,000
AL Barbour 1005 3 AL-005-3 16.5 24 27,457 Yes 10 $1,000 $2,000
AL Bibb 1007 1 AL-007-1 49.5 24 22,915 Yes 30 $3,000 $6,000
AL Bibb 1007 2 AL-007-2 50.5 24 22,915 Yes 30 $3,000 $6,000
AL Bibb 1007 3 AL-007-3 16.5 24 22,915 Yes 10 $1,000 $2,000
AL Blount 1009 1 AL-009-1 49.5 24 57,322 Yes 80 $8,000 $10,000
AL Blount 1009 2 AL-009-2 50.5 24 57,322 Yes 80 $8,000 $10,000
AL Blount 1009 3 AL-009-3 16.5 24 57,322 Yes 20 $2,000 $5,000
AL Bullock 1011 1 AL-011-1 49.5 24 10,914 Yes 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Bullock 1011 2 AL-011-2 50.5 24 10,914 Yes 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Bullock 1011 3 AL-011-3 16.5 24 10,914 Yes 5 $500 $1,000
AL Butler 1013 1 AL-013-1 49.5 24 20,947 Yes 30 $3,000 $6,000
AL Butler 1013 2 AL-013-2 50.5 24 20,947 Yes 30 $3,000 $6,000
AL Butler 1013 3 AL-013-3 16.5 24 20,947 Yes 10 $1,000 $2,000
AL Chambers 1017 2 AL-017-2 50.5 8 34,215 Yes 50 $5,000 $10,000
AL Cherokee 1019 1 AL-019-1 49.5 8 25,989 Yes 30 $3,000 $7,000
AL Cherokee 1019 2 AL-019-2 50.5 8 25,989 Yes 30 $3,000 $7,000
AL Cherokee 1019 3 AL-019-3 16.5 8 25,989 Yes 10 $1,000 $2,000
AL Chilton 1021 1 AL-021-1 49.5 24 43,643 Yes 60 $6,000 $10,000
AL Chilton 1021 2 AL-021-2 50.5 24 43,643 Yes 60 $6,000 $10,000
AL Chilton 1021 3 AL-021-3 16.5 24 43,643 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Choctaw 1023 1 AL-023-1 49.5 26 13,859 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Choctaw 1023 2 AL-023-2 50.5 26 13,859 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Choctaw 1023 3 AL-023-3 16.5 26 13,859 Yes 6 $600 $1,000
AL Clarke 1025 1 AL-025-1 49.5 27 25,833 No 30 $3,000 $7,000
AL Clarke 1025 2 AL-025-2 50.5 27 25,833 No 30 $3,000 $7,000
AL Clarke 1025 3 AL-025-3 16.5 27 25,833 No 10 $1,000 $2,000
AL Clay 1027 1 AL-027-1 49.5 8 13,932 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Clay 1027 2 AL-027-2 50.5 8 13,932 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Clay 1027 3 AL-027-3 16.5 8 13,932 Yes 6 $600 $1,000
AL Cleburne 1029 2 AL-029-2 50.5 8 14,972 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Coffee 1031 1 AL-031-1 49.5 24 49,948 Yes 70 $7,000 $10,000
AL Coffee 1031 2 AL-031-2 50.5 24 49,948 Yes 70 $7,000 $10,000
AL Coffee 1031 3 AL-031-3 16.5 24 49,948 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Conecuh 1035 1 AL-035-1 49.5 27 13,228 No 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Conecuh 1035 2 AL-035-2 50.5 27 13,228 No 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Conecuh 1035 3 AL-035-3 16.5 27 13,228 No 6 $600 $1,000
AL Coosa 1037 1 AL-037-1 49.5 8 11,539 Yes 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Coosa 1037 2 AL-037-2 50.5 8 11,539 Yes 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Coosa 1037 3 AL-037-3 16.5 8 11,539 Yes 5 $500 $1,000
AL Covington 1039 1 AL-039-1 49.5 24 37,765 Yes 50 $5,000 $10,000
AL Covington 1039 2 AL-039-2 50.5 24 37,765 Yes 50 $5,000 $10,000
AL Covington 1039 3 AL-039-3 16.5 24 37,765 Yes 10 $1,000 $3,000
AL Crenshaw 1041 1 AL-041-1 49.5 24 13,906 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Crenshaw 1041 2 AL-041-2 50.5 24 13,906 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Crenshaw 1041 3 AL-041-3 16.5 24 13,906 Yes 6 $600 $1,000
AL Cullman 1043 1 AL-043-1 49.5 24 80,406 Yes 100 $10,000 $20,000
AL Cullman 1043 2 AL-043-2 50.5 24 80,406 Yes 100 $10,000 $20,000
AL Cullman 1043 3 AL-043-3 16.5 24 80,406 Yes 30 $3,000 $7,000
AL Dale 1045 1 AL-045-1 49.5 24 50,251 Yes 70 $7,000 $10,000
AL Dale 1045 2 AL-045-2 50.5 24 50,251 Yes 70 $7,000 $10,000
AL Dale 1045 3 AL-045-3 16.5 24 50,251 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000
AL Dallas 1047 1 AL-047-1 49.5 24 43,820 Yes 60 $6,000 $10,000
AL Dallas 1047 2 AL-047-2 50.5 24 43,820 Yes 60 $6,000 $10,000
AL Dallas 1047 3 AL-047-3 16.5 24 43,820 Yes 20 $2,000 $4,000

Mexico 3.5GHz Spectrum - Additional Reconfiguration February 2, 2021 16:00

Back in May 2020, we wrote about a reconfiguration of Mexico's 3.5GHz spectrum band to provide AT&T and Telcel with 50MHz of contiguous spectrum in exchange for the 2x25MHz paired spectrum blocks they previous controlled.  At the time Axtel still owned 2x25MHz paired spectrum blocks as seen below.
 
 
 
 
In July 2020,  Telcel announced their purchase of Axtel's 3.5GHz spectrum which kicked off an ITF (Instituto Federal De Telecommunicaciones) process to combine these spectrum licenses into another 50MHz block.  This move would appear to finish the transformation of Mexico's 3.5GHz band from FDD operation to TDD operation for 5G.  This also consolidates Telcel's spectrum into a contiguous 100MHz block and it delineated available spectrum for a future auction, where we would expect AT&T to be an active bidder to equalize their 3.5GHz spectrum position with Telcel.
 
 
 
In the chart below, we look at the frequency band ownership percentages (in terms of MHz-POPs) for the 3.5GHz band where AT&T owns 16.7%, Telcel owns 33.3%, and ITF still controls 50% of the band.
 

EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool January 24, 2021 16:03

What is EBS Spectrum?

Background

Educational Broadband Service (EBS) is part of the US 2.5GHz spectrum allocation along with the Broadband Radio Service (BRS). These two types of spectrum fall between 2495MHz and 2690MHz on the 2.5GHz band allocation.

EBS spectrum has traditionally been owned by educators, including colleges, universities, K-12 school districts, and para-church organizations. Originally, the EBS and BRS spectrum licensees were assigned 35-mile licensing circles around a set of coordinates representing the original broadcasting site. In 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held an auction for the areas of unlicensed BRS spectrum (all BRS spectrum outside of the licensed circles). However, unlicensed EBS spectrum has never been made available to the public, and thus remains under FCC control. This unlicensed spectrum is precisely what will be auctioned off in early 2021. 

Given that the EBS Whitespace Auction is focused on the unlicensed area surrounding existing licenses, a basic understanding of how current EBS license areas are structured is necessary to evaluate the available whitespace areas.

Existing EBS licenses are organized into what are referred to as geographic service areas — or GSAs. According to the FCC’s licensing description for BRS and EBS spectrum, “the GSA of a P35 license (which can be either BRS or EBS) generally consists of the station’s 35-mile radius around the protected service area coordinates. In those instances where two co-channel stations have overlapping protected GSAs, the GSA of each license may be reduced due to the ‘splitting the football’ approach used to divide the overlap area between the licensees.” The FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) database does not reflect changes made to the GSAs based on overlapping service areas. 

In developing our EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool, we have generated geographic license areas for every existing license across all EBS and BRS channels. While there are other companies that may make available their interpretation of each licensee’s GSA, our license areas take into account many of the nuanced licensing details that are easy to overlook. Our licensing expertise ties back to our president’s time spent at Clearwire as their Director of Spectrum Operations, where he developed a profound understanding of EBS/BRS licensing. This experience has contributed to what we believe is the most accurate representation for all of the EBS/BRS license areas. No one has attempted to analyze each county’s whitespace based upon these license areas, making the resulting data, available in our EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool, a crucial part of your Whitespace Auction strategy which is not available from any other source.

Our license areas account for:

  • Original P35 licenses
  • Overlapping P35 licenses with changes based on football splits
  • Licenses filed after original GSAs were generated
  • Removal of GSAs for canceled licenses
 

Auction Channels & Sub-Channels

For the EBS Whitespace Auction, the FCC created individual auction channels from the EBS channels illustrated previously. The original sub-channels have been allocated to form the three distinct auction channels.

Each of the auction channels is a different size in terms of bandwidth. Below are the sizes of each auction channel, measured in MHz:

    • Channel 1: 49.5 MHz
    • Channel 2: 50.5 MHz
    • Channel 3: 1 MHz & 16.5 MHz

The EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool

Introduction

The EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool is an Excel-based product which provides insights into the available 2.5GHz unlicensed spectrum for each of the three EBS auction channels. This tool will allow all interested parties — including wireless carriers, telephone companies, internet service providers, and investors — to determine the amount of available spectrum that can be licensed in a county.

The Auction Opportunities Tool is designed to show the number of people that can be served within the whitespace in each auction channel at a county level.

The composite view of all US counties provides insights into the areas where spectrum is available and a larger picture of the overall size of the EBS Whitespace Auction. The primary tools available within the Auction Opportunities Tool are:

    • Population View
    • Population Percentage View
    • Whitespace Area Mapping

Population & Population Percentage Views

What are MHz-POPs?

When looking at the geographic whitespace in a county, there is the potential for each sub-channel’s unlicensed areas to look different. In the EBS Auction Opportunities Tool, we have summarized the amount of people that fall into the whitespace areas for each county. The total MHz-POPs available in each auction channel has been calculated accordingly.

MHz-POPs is a measurement of how much spectrum is available across a market area, typically defined by its population. For EBS spectrum, MHz-POPs are calculated by taking the population available in each sub-channel times the MHz bandwidth of that channel. Since cell phone service is a revenue opportunity tied back to individual consumers, MHz-POPs is a measurement that allows auction participants to forecast the total opportunity within an area of whitespace in a county, therefore determining the general value of the spectrum area.

For example, for two counties in West Virginia, the whitespace area matches the county boundary for the entirety of EBS Auction Channel 1 (figures 7 & 8). This is clearly demonstrated using Population Percentage View (figure 9), which shows that 100% of the total county population falls in the whitespace area for each of the sub-channels that make up EBS Auction Channel 1. To make this more apparent, we employ a “heat chart” format where channels with lower available population% are indicated in red, while high available population% are green. Accordingly, Kanawha and Putnam counties are both highlighted in green across Auction Channel 1. The implication of this data is that the available whitespace population in these counties is equal to the county population and the winning bidder will have access to the entire EBS Auction Channel 1 (49.5 MHz) over the entire county population. 

The exact number of people that channel 1 would be able to reach, if licensed, can be evaluated using Population View, which shows the actual whitespace population for each county, along with the total MHz-POPs available for EBS Auction Channel 1 (figure 10). In Kanawha County, the total population is 193,063 x 49.5MHz (channel 1 width), resulting in 9,556,619 MHz-POPs.

In some counties, the unlicensed area will be different for several of the sub-channels. In Douglas County, Nevada, the amount of available whitespace for Auction Channel 1 ranges from 4% (red) to 93% (green) of the total county population. Accordingly, the winning bidder for Auction Channel 1 in Douglas County could use the 5.5MHz B2 channel to reach 93% of the county population with a wireless signal.

In Population View, the raw population counts in each sub-channel’s whitespace area are shown, along with the total MHz-POPs for the entire auction channel. Looking at the B2 sub-channel in Douglas County, one is able to determine that over 43,000 people could be served with a 5.5MHz wireless signal on this sub-channel.

Whitespace Area Mapping

To accurately represent whitespace areas geographically at a county-by-county level, we have added an EBS Auction section to our Web Spectrum Viewer tool. In this section, you will see a similar population view and population percentage view as the Excel tool. In the web view, the user has the ability to select individual sub-channels by clicking the corresponding cells. This will reveal the whitespace area for that specific sub-channel represented visually. Here, a user can gain important insight to more accurately evaluate the available whitespace in that county. Cities, roads, and other landmarks are clearly identified on our Whitespace Area Mapping tool, making it easy to determine whether or not they fall within the available unlicensed areas.

Additional Mapping Files

In addition to geographic mapping through our Web Spectrum Viewer, we are also providing MapInfo TAB files and Google Earth KMZ files as part of each one-time subscription. This would allow the user to utilize these mapping layers in conjunction with their internal infrastructure data. 

Tribal Land Licenses

Before the EBS Whitespace Auction goes live, first priority for this spectrum has gone to Native American Tribes to access the whitespace spectrum overlapping with their tribal lands. Each tribe is required to submit an official FCC application to acquire this spectrum, and new Tribal Land licenses are being granted periodically. The information regarding individual Tribal Land licenses will be included in our Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool. However, as this process is still ongoing, these newly licensed tribal areas are not yet removed from the overall whitespace area on our tool. Once all tribal licenses are finalized by the FCC, our geographic files and our Whitespace Population tools will be updated and made available to all Whitespace Tool users.

We will provide the tribal lands overlay (see below) as new applications are finalized by the FCC, so the effect of the tribal licenses can be predicted as things progress.

Purchasing

The EBS Whitespace Opportunities Tool is available for purchase in two different versions: a national version with all fifty states and US territories, or a specific state-by-state version. In the state-by-state version, you will have the ability to specify as many states as you would like. On our website, simply select the State version of this product, then specify the number of states you’d like to purchase in the quantity field provided. On your way to check out, you will be given the option to “add special instructions.” In the corresponding text box, indicate exactly which states you want included in your one-time subscription.

 

The EBS Whitespace Opportunities Tool is delivered by download from a cloud service. A link for this download will be provided after your payment is confirmed. Typically you will have access to the data within the same business day of your payment being processed.

All purchases are corporate subscriptions, which allow any employee within the same email domain to utilize the data and request access to the Web Spectrum Viewer. 

To schedule a video demonstration, email info@allnetinsights.com or call (425) 522-2142.

Pricing

Purchases can be made through our website or by emailing us at info@allnetinsights.com.


C-Band Auction | Markets and When the Spectrum will be Available November 30, 2020 06:30

With Auction 107 officially starting a week from tomorrow, we developed a two helpful graphics to indicate when the C-Band channels will be available in each of the Top 100 Partial Economic Area (PEA) markets.  The A channels indicated in green will be available by December 5, 2021 with all of the yellow channels available by December 5, 2023.  The Honolulu HI PEA will not have C-band spectrum available as the spectrum is reserved to meet the continued satellite video demand.

 

 


Which AWS-3 Licenses are at the center of the FCC - Dish Decision? November 19, 2020 12:50

Today, the FCC ruled that Dish should not have received small company discounts for their bidding partners in the AWS-3 auction, meaning that Dish would need to pay full price for the spectrum licenses won by Northstar and SNR or they would need to return the spectrum to the FCC for a re-auction.

Below is a map that reflects the AWS-3 spectrum that would be available at auction if Dish declines to pay the full auction price.

The next questions will focus on who could benefit most from this spectrum.  In the image below from our Spectrum Ownership Grid, the AWS-3 ownership for the Top 3 US markets are shown.  The columns filled with "FCC" indicate the spectrum that would be re-auctioned, so there would be a 5x5 channel in the New York EA (Economic Area Market) and a 10x10 channel in the Chicago market between the Chicago CMA (G channel) and the Chicago EA (H channel).  It is work noting that AT&T already has a strong position in these markets, but Verizon lacks AWS-3 spectrum in each of these markets, although no AWS-3 spectrum is available in the Los Angeles market.

 


Tribal Boundaries - EBS Auction (2.5 GHz) November 3, 2020 23:00

On October 23, 2020 the FCC granted EBS whitespace licenses to 154 Tribal  Applicants through the Tribal Priority Window.  This is the first stage to the EBS (2.5 GHz) auction.  Below is a map representing all 154 tribal areas (in brown) along with the licensing contours (in green) for the EBS A1 channel.  Most of the 154 tribal applications claimed the unlicensed (whitespace) area for each of the three EBS auction channels.  

 

It is important to recall that each of the EBS auction channels consists of multiple existing EBS channels that have different existing licensing boundaries.  EBS Auction Channel 1 consists of the A1 channel shown in the map along with 8 other EBS channels. In the map below, we show how the Tribal whitespace boundaries overlap with the existing license boundaries in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.  For the areas that are covered by the green licensed areas, the Tribal applicants do not have access to the A1 channel in EBS Auction Channel 1.

To determine the amount of spectrum available to each Tribal area, you must evaluate the available whitespace area with the Tribal boundary for each existing license channel like we did above for the EBS A1 channel.


US Carrier - Individual Spectrum Ownership Charts October 22, 2020 10:30

In the November 2020 updates to our Mobile Carrier and Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools, we have added Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Charts that provide a breakdown of each carriers spectrum assets by band classification (low band, lower mid band, and upper mid band) and by frequency band.  Each of these charts are based upon the total MHz-POPs that a carrier controls in each band classification or frequency band.  Within the each Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, eight carriers can be selected from the available 2200 licensees and spectrum holders, to compare each carriers spectrum portfolio side by side.

Carrier Spectrum Divisions (by Band Classification):

Carrier Spectrum Divisions (by Frequency Band):

In both tools we continue to also have charts that detail for the same eight selectable carriers, each carrier's proportional ownership for each frequency band.

National Band Ownership:


The Effect of T-Mobile's 600MHz Leases with Dish October 8, 2020 15:39

Last month we presented some initial analysis of T-Mobile's agreement to lease 200 - 600MHz licenses from Dish.  Now that we have released our October 2020 Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool reflecting all of the September 2020 transactions, we can compare the 600MHz results between the October 2020 and September 2020 versions.

MHz-POPs:

Our October 2020 - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool reports that T-Mobile controls 12,593,033,060 MHzPOPs in the 600MHz band, an increase of 982,154,940 MHzPOPs over the number of MHzPOPs that T-Mobile held in September.  

Spectrum Grid:

In the Spectrum Grid sequence below, You can see the effect of two transactions that were both filed in September.  First, Charter's lease of Comcast's A block spectrum is seen in the top image (October 2020) and T-Mobile's lease of Dish's D block spectrum can be seen to increase their New York channel size to 15MHz.  The lower image represents each carrier's spectrum held for September 2020.

October 2020:

September 2020:


 

PEA Market Analysis:

In comparing the  PEA Market Analysis outputs below, you can see the increase in T-Mobile's 600MHz spectrum in New York, Miami, Detroit, Orlando, and Cleveland.

October 2020:

September 2020:


Evaluating Potential Markets - EBS Whitespace Auction Primer | 2.5GHz (3 of 3) October 6, 2020 21:18

In August, we had blog post that discussed the counties that are on the EBS band plan and the way that the EBS license areas were determined.  In this post we are going to examine how to use our EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool.

The EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool provides carriers, telephone companies, internet service providers (ISP), cable companies, investors, and financial analysts with the tools to evaluate the opportunities in this auction.

As we discussed before, this auction will provide the winner's access to 3 wide band channels in the EBS (2.5GHz) band.  One channels is 49.5 MHz, one channel is 50.5 MHz, and one channel is a combined 17.5 MHz.  In the images below, we indicate how each of the existing EBS channels (A1,A2,..) are component channels in the larger wide band EBS Auction channels.

EBS Auction Channel 1:

EBS Auction Channel 2:

EBS Auction Channel 3:

The population that a bidder can serve is determined by the unlicensed population for each of the component channels within each EBS auction channel.

Below is an example of two counties in West Virginia where 100% of the county population is available for each component channel in the EBS Auction Channel 1.  In our EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool this is seen in the Spectrum Grid (% POPs) worksheet.  The percentage of the available unlicensed population is divided by the full county population.

Population Percentage Worksheet:

The second worksheet in the EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tool provides the discrete available unlicensed population for each component channel as well as total MHz-POPs for the entire EBS Auction Channel. 

Population Worksheet:

Our next example is a Nevada county that has varying available whitespace population for each component channel.  In the POPs view immediately below, the available whitespace population for EBS Auction Channel 1 varies from 2,024 for the A1 component channel to 43,872 for the B2 channel.

Population Worksheet:

In the % POPS view, the population comparison to the total county population is highlighted with Red to Green cell colors.  For the A1 component channel, the 2,024 available whitespace POPs represents 4% of the Douglas county population while for the B2 component channel, the 43,872 available whitespace POPs represents 93% of the Douglas county population.

Population Percentage Worksheet:

Available Whitespace Area:

In addition to Population Analysis to each component channel, purchasers of the EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunity Tool also receive access to our EBS Whitespace Mapping module in our Web Spectrum Viewer.  Selecting either the A1 component channel cell for POPS or for % POPs, the whitespace license area map for that component channel is displayed.

A1 Component Channel Whitespace Area:

For the B2 component channel the whitespace license area fills a majority of Douglas county reflecting the 92% population availability.

B2 Component Channel Whitespace Area:

The EBS Whitespace Auction Opportunities Tools is available either as a nationwide purchase (all 50 states and US territories) or a state by state purchase.  The purchase will enable carriers and investors to evaluate their opportunity to add 2.5GHz spectrum in the targeted markets and it will allow investors to quantity the national or state opportunities for these new channels as well as provide an evaluation of the strength or weakness of the existing 2.5GHz licensee in each market.

 

 


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.


Geographic Service Areas - EBS Whitespace Auction Primer (2 of 3) 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.