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).
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: