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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

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.

 

   

   


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.

 

 


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):


Dish 5G Spectrum from Echostar February 02, 2017 06:30


FCC Spectrum Transactions - December 2016 January 05, 2017 18:30

Today, we have released Allnet's Insights' January 2017 Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Below are the transactions that have been updated by the FCC from December 1 to December 31 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 700MHz 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):

 


Change in Spectrum Holdings? September 13, 2016 08:30

With this blog post, we are highlighting the Change in Spectrum Holdings feature of our National Carriers - Spectrum Holdings reports.  In this report, we detail the spectrum holdings for each of the national carriers, including Dish, and USCellular.  The first segment of the report details each carrier's future holdings, tracking the effects of all pending FCC transactions.  The second segment of the report details each carrier's current spectrum holdings.  Using each of these segments, we provide a Change in Spectrum Holdings segment which highlights the CMA markets where a carrier's spectrum holding are increasing (+) or decreasing (-) because of filed FCC transactions.

In the view above, from August 2016, you can see the summary details for the spectrum additions and subtractions for each of the national wireless carriers.  This view highlights a spectrum trade between Sprint and T-Mobile in the Cleveland market (5 MHz) as well as the T-Mobile's pending 700MHz A-Block transactions.

 The view above details the band classifications (low, mid, or high) and the frequency band that contribute to T-Mobile's 12 MHz increase in spectrum.  The August 2016 report concludes that the transactions for all of the listed market names are still pending.

Now looking at the September 2016, the Allnet's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has updated the transactions that were consummated during August 2016.  The only pending 700MHz - A Block transaction is T-Mobile's purchase of Laser in Chicago, IL.

For the cost of a monthly subscription to the National Carrier - Spectrum Depth Reports ($495/mo), the monthly effect of pending and closed transaction can be seen and evaluated.


Allnet Insight’s Top 20 Peak Downlink Throughput September 01, 2015 10:00

 

                   

These graphs detail the peak capacity for downlink files and streaming video for the four major national wireless carriers plus Dish and USCellular.  They illustrate the peak capacity on a market-by-market basis.  In creating the graphs, I anticipate the usage of each wireless carrier’s total spectrum available, not just the spectrum they have dedicated to LTE at this time. These graphs allow you to see the significant capacity advantage that Sprint will have once they deploy their 2.5GHz spectrum. They also provide a market-by-market comparison of AT&T and Verizon capacity.  You can see that AT&T has a capacity advantage versus Verizon in all Top 20 markets except Minneapolis-St. Paul.  In addition, you can see the relatively low capacity that T-Mobile is able to offer and the capacity that Dish could provide after they launch a network. 

I was able to construct these graphs by using Allnet Insights and Analytics Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool determine the number of LTE channels that each carrier’s spectrum can support.

 Assuming that each LTE channel had the follow achievable LTE Peak Data Rates:

These rates were applied to each of the carriers LTE channels to create a total peak downlink throughput.  For all EBS/BRS spectrum (Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum), I assumed TDD (Time Division Duplex) LTE operation and each channel’s throughput was reduced to 75% to reflect the 75:25 downlink to uplink ratio for TDD operation. TDD LTE utilizes a single radio channel to both transmit to the mobile device (downlink) and transmit from the mobile device (uplink). In TDD LTE timeslots, similar to the wedges on the Wheel of Fortune, carry either downlink traffic or uplink traffic during that time interval.  Since internet traffic is typically 75% downlink and 25% uplink, US operators dedicate 75% of the wedges to downlink and 25% to uplink.  Most US spectrum bands are configured for FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) LTE, which utilizes two radio channels, one to transmit to the mobile device (downlink), and one to transmit from the mobile device (uplink).


US - Carrier Aggregation Plans February 06, 2015 10:33

In the charts below, we present the current carrier aggregation plans for AT&T, Verizon, USCellular, Dish, T-Mobile, and Sprint.  Green indicates that particular frequency block is used one time in the aggregation scheme.  Yellow indicates that particular frequency block is used twice in the aggregation scheme.  For both the green and yellow highlights, only one carrier can be utilized in each frequency block.  The blue highlights indicate that multiple carriers can be utilized in each frequency block (non contiguous).

AT&T


Verizon

















T-Mobile



Sprint


Dish


 US Cellular





AWS-3 Auction Results - Spectrum Grid February 02, 2015 13:15

AllNet's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has been updated to include all of the AWS-3 auction results in all of its Analysis Modules.  Below in the Spectrum Grid Module, you can see which carrier acquired the spectrum rights for each  of the uplink channels in the Top 5 CMA markets.


The screenshot of the downlink channels also provides a view into where Dish's AWS-4 spectrum fits with their new AWS-3 spectrum.



AWS - 3 Auction Tools October 15, 2014 14:21

In support of the upcoming auctions we have included the available AWS3 channels in our Spectrum Grid worksheet and we have added both a CMA and EA Market Report.  
In the Spectrum Grid you can see the primary spectrum owner for any spectrum band, including the adjacent AWS1 band, at a county level.  The CMA Market Report displays the spectrum holdings for 8 selected carriers utilizing the Cellular Market Area (CMA) geographic boundaries. The EA Market Report displays the spectrum holdings for 8 selected carriers utilizing the Economica Area (EA) geographic boundaries. For both of these reports, AllNet's county-level data is population weighted averaged to either the CMA or EA markets.

Spectrum Grid (AWS3 Portion)
CMA Market Report 
EA Market Report 

Sprint Exits H Block Auction, Why?, timing... November 13, 2013 11:18

Although it surprised the wireless industry a bit, it does make sense that Sprint saw a declining value in the H block spectrum.  Acquiring that spectrum would have allowed Sprint to expand their primary LTE Channel from a 5x5 channel to a 10x10 channel. In terms of Mbps, from 37 Mbps per sector to 73 Mbps per sector.  If this could be added to the network today, it would bring Sprint to about par with the other 3 national carriers.  The problem is timing.  It will be mid-2014 before the spectrum will be awarded to the auction winner, but prior to receiving the spectrum, the high bidder could start the 18-24 month process to get the LTE band classifications changed.  Sprint would either have expanded the frequencies for their band 25 or requested a new band classification that would include all of the old PCS block, the PCS G block, and the PCS H block.  With the standards body work, including carrier aggregation, it would likely by early 2016 before network upgrades would begin.  This coincides with their forecasted completion of Project Spark.  If Sprint completes this project on-time, they will have 38,000 sites that will be enabled with 40MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum, which could be a game changer.  This does seem to signal that Sprint doesn't think their PCS G LTE is particularly strategic.

LTE Band Class Graphical Reference June 27, 2013 09:56

With AT&T's announcement that they are meeting some challenges related to testing operation between LTE Band Class 29 and Band Classes 2 and 4, I figured that many readers would appreciate a reference map for how these band classes relate to the US mobile radio and satellite spectrum bands.

All of these screenshots are from the AllNet Labs Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, where we display and provide analysis tools related to spectrum ownership for all of the US mobile radio and satellite spectrum bands for all 50 states and US territories. AllNet Labs Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool

In the images below, the band classes are color coded Gray for Uplink Spectrum, Yellow for Downlink Spectrum, and Blue for Spectrum supporting Time Division Duplex.

700MHz Spectrum

SMR/Cellular/L-Band Spectrum


AWS/PCS Spectrum - Uplink


PCS/AWS Spectrum - Downlink

WCS/EBS/BRS Spectrum


LTE Carrier Aggregation - What's Going On... February 13, 2013 17:35

Recently I reviewed the 3GPP Standards site to check in on the status of LTE Carrier Aggregation.  I found a gold mine of information.

First a few definitions:  Carrier Aggregation allows a wireless carrier to band together different blocks of their spectrum to form a larger pipe for LTE.  This can be accomplished in two ways:  Inter-band and Intra-band.

Inter-band combines spectrum from two different bands.  The spectrum in each band to be combined must be contiguous within that band.  Intra-band combines spectrum from two non-contiguous areas of the same band.

Here is a link to an article from 3GPP that explains Carrier Aggregation.

Below is a table summarizing the relevant 3GPP working group descriptions for Carrier Aggregation.

First of all, the current network release for all carriers is Release 9.  T-Mobile, Sprint, and Clearwire have announced that they are deploying Release 9 equipment that is software up-gradable to Release 10 (LTE Advance).  From the chart, it does not appear that there are any carrier configurations planned until Release 11.  Release 10 appears to be a late 2013 commercial appearance and Release 11 will likely be very late 2014 or mid-2015.  For Carrier Aggregation to work it must be enabled and configured at the cell site base station and a compatible handset must be available.  The handsets will transmit and receive their LTE data on two different spectrum bands for the Inter-band solution.  All handsets currently only operate in one mode, 700MHz, Cellular, PCS, AWS, or 2.5GHz.

Highlights by Carrier:
Canada:  Rogers Wireless will have support for inter-band aggregation between their AWS spectrum  and the paired blocks of 2.5GHz spectrum.

AT&T: Inter-band support in Release 11 for their Cellular and 700MHz spectrum, inter-band support to combine their AWS and Cellular spectrum, as well as configuration to support combining  their PCS and 700MHz spectrum.  All of the 700MHz band plans only include their 700B/C holdings. No 700MHz inter-operability.

USCellular: Inter-band support in Release 11 for Cellular and 700MHz (A/B/C).  No support for PCS or AWS spectrum combinations

Clearwire: Intra-band support for the entire 2.5GHz band.  China Mobile is also supporting this with an inter-band aggregation between 2.5GHz and their TDD 1.9GHz spectrum.

Sprint:  Support in Release 12 for combining (intra-band)their holding across the PCS spectrum, including their G spectrum but not the un-auctioned H spectrum.  No band support for their iDEN band or the 2.5GHz band.

T-Mobile:  Support in Release 12 for intra-band in the AWS band and inter-band between AWS and PCS.

Verizon:  Ericsson appears to be supporting Verizon's need to combine (inter-band) between AWS and 700MHz C.  Not support for Verizon's Cellular or PCS holdings.

Dish:  Release 12 support to combine their S band (AWS4) spectrum (inter-band) with the 700 MHz E holdings.   This is the only aggregation scenerio for the US that combines FDD operation (AWS4) with TDD operation (700MHz E).

DISH Counter-Offer for Clearwire January 09, 2013 10:34

Dish's counter-offer for Clearwire is intriguing.  I recently completed a presentation detailing the challenges of a spectrum sale in the EBS/BRS spectrum.  Clearwire's press release states that this offer was on the table when Sprint's offer was received but Sprint's offer was deemed better.  Tim Farrar's Blog indicates that the spectrum sale would likely be for Clearwire's BRS spectrum.  This is a realistic assumption.  In my presentation (linked in a previous blog) I highlighted that one of the primary problems with the leased spectrum is that it has limited geographic coverage, covering many of the dense metro areas but not contiguous all the way to a county or BTA border.  There are still a few elements of a BRS spectrum sale that should be understood.


From the image above, the BRS spectrum sale would include the Orange (BRS1/BRS2) channels, the Pink (E channels), Light Blue (F channels) and Brown (H channels). This would equate to one contiguous block of 55.5MHz of spectrum, a 12MHz block of spectrum (E4,F4), and the isolated BRS1 channel.  The 12MHz block could only be used if mid-band video operations have ceased in a market.  Currently, I don't believe that any of the Top 10 markets have completed ceased video operations.  The 55MHz of spectrum can support 2 - 20MHz TDD-LTE channels.  This would virtually eliminate the ability to utilize the EBS/BRS spectrum for any FDD-LTE operations.  It may be possible with a guardband in the H channels to operate the D channels and G channels in a FDD-LTE configuration.

In looking at the LTE Bandplans, the potential Dish spectrum allocation would miss the international TDD-LTE Band 38 which Softbank, China Mobile, and the UK auctions are using.  We will have to watch carefully to see if international devices will include functionality of Band 41.

My last area of concern is whether that will leave enough spectrum for Clearwire to continue to operate their WiMax network as they bring their TDD-LTE network online.  Additionally, with the geographic limitations of the leased channels, there may be a limited number of sites operating on Clearwire's network today, that won't have available spectrum without the owned channel spectrum.

Sprint Purchase of Clearwire December 18, 2012 10:00

Inevitable.  If you have followed the Sprint/Clearwire saga since they were joined with Google, Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, and Intel; it was obvious that Clearwire had a hard road ahead.  In yesterday's announcement Erik Prusch indicated the depth of the internal concern; Clearwire had retained an advisor to provide options for restructuring.

Once the carrier consolidation of 2012 occurred, the only path forward I saw for Clearwire was funding minimal operations into the 2014 time frame, with a hope that the other 3 national players would finally need the wholesale access to Clearwire's spectrum. With each of the national players, except Sprint, lining up their LTE capacity growth spectrum, the need for wholesale access to Clearwire's WiMax or planned TDD-LTE network was unnecessary.  Clearly Sprint needed Clearwire for its LTE growth spectrum and at $0.21/MHzPOP I believe we will look back 5 years from now and view this was steal.  Not only has Sprint put in concrete their LTE capacity growth, but they have cornered the market available spectrum for years to come.  When you consider that Clearwire controlled 160MHz of spectrum which could be expanded to nearly 200MHz in most metro areas with additional spectrum leasing and spectrum purchases, Sprint has the only meaninful swatch of "new" spectrum that will come to market in the next 5 years.

I don't see the Broadband Incentive auction, the Dish spectrum, or the recent 3.5GHz spectrum as meaningful for efficient macro network coverage.  Those subjects are covered in other blogs.

The purchase of Clearwire does not guarantee smooth sailing for Sprint.  Sprint still has very significant short term issues.  Their LTE network is 5X5 which is the smallest of any of the national carriers.  In addition, their customers with WiMax devices will continue to transition over to this network as they upgrade their devices.  Clearwire's TDD-LTE hotspot network is only at the construction start stage, with likely very limited coverage throughout 2013. Clearwire has talked historically about devices arriving for this network 2Q or 3Q 2013.  Thus, there won't be any material movement of traffic from Sprint 3G or LTE network until early 2014.  From what I experience on my Sprint Samsung S3, the 3G network is already challenged and LTE is not available in my market (Seattle).  It will get worse before it gets better.

Clearwire and Dish: Spectrum Hosting December 11, 2012 16:50

The idea of Clearwire hosting Dish's AWS2 spectrum seems to be bouncing around the news pages today.  Clearly (no pun intended), Clearwire operates a 4G network that is very similar to Sprint Network Vision concept.  With the necessary zoning and permitting, Clearwire could add this spectrum band with a new set of antennas and tower top base stations.  So, this would get Dish to market after they pass the standard's body requirements for defining the new band, but what does it provide Clearwire.  Different than Sprint, they don't need the spectrum, they need capital to increase the TDD-LTE build out.  I believe that Clearwire would much rather Dish sign up for their wholesale mobile broadband service with an infusion of capital.  My next blog will look at one of the other drawbacks for potential wholesale partners like Dish with Clearwire's TDD-LTE plan.  Check back later in the week.

Dish and Sprint: Spectrum Hosting December 10, 2012 15:52

On the surface, a deal to host Dish's spectrum on Sprint's Network Vision platform would make alot of sense.  The chart below highlights that part of Dish's (DI) spectrum is adjacent to the AWS-2 spectrum that recently has been referred to as the PCS H spectrum.  Sprint is interested in acquiring this spectrum to increase their LTE channel size from 5x5 FDD-LTE to 10x10 FDD-LTE. Unfortunately, the Dish spectrum is configured where the uplink (from the handset to the cell site) would be adjacent to Sprint's LTE downlink (cell site to handset).  This will be problematic for Dish. Cell sites transmit at much higher power than handset signals are received.  Expensive filters on the separate Dish antennas may not be enough to allow the Dish antennas to be installed in the same plane (level) as the Sprint antennas.

You can look at this as being similar to the Lightsquared deal, except Lightsquared was planned into the deployment through the zoning and permitting process.  With the standards body processes that are in front of Dish, it would still be years before equipment is installed and a network operating on Sprint's towers.    A Dish MVNO to operate on Sprint's 3G Voice and LTE network would allow Dish to get a wireless product to market quickly.