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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
Cass Cable Licenses:
Telus Expands Band 66 Capacity in Canada August 13, 2019 14:47
Last month, Telus applied and was approved to lease part of the AWS-4 spectrum band in Canada from Terrestar. Terrestar owns both parts (uplink and downlink) of the AWS-4 band for all of Canada. In Canada, the AWS-4 band is still configured for duplex (FDD) operation where in the US, Dish received approval to operate all of the spectrum for downlink.
Telus will be leasing the spectrum in the most urban areas of Canada, not including Toronto with typically 20MHz spectrum leases. Telus is leasing this spectrum over a population of 13 million, roughly 38% of Canada's population. Below are geographic maps indicating each of the areas where Telus will be leasing spectrum. In Canada spectrum leases are called subordinations of licenses. We will discuss why this spectrum is important to Telus below with outputs from our Canadian Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.
From the Spectrum Grid below, Telus is acquiring the downlink AWS-4 spectrum which lies within Band 66 which is now widely deployed in the US for both the AWS-1 and AWS-3 bands. This will provide immediate service improvements once the network is constructed because handsets have been supporting Band 66 for several years. The remaining part of the AWS-4 spectrum (for uplink), would fall into Band 23, which has little to no handset support.
We can see a second reason for acquiring this spectrum by looking at the Company Analysis module, detailing Telus's spectrum holdings in each of these Tier 4 service areas.
In many of these Tier 4 service areas (similar to US counties), Telus has limited or no BRS (2.5GHz) spectrum. The BRS spectrum they do control in these markets is paired (FDD) Band 7 rather than the TDD Band 41 that Sprint controls in the US. Overall, this spectrum acquisition provides Telus with an immediate capacity improvement since they can expand their Band 66 downlink capacity by 10 or 20MHz.
Weekly FCC Spectrum Transactions October 22, 2018 06:30
|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 7, 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 5, 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.
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.
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.
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).
FCC Spectrum Transactions - February 2017 March 6, 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 2, 2017 06:30
FCC Spectrum Transactions - December 2016 January 5, 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 1, 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 6, 2015 10:33
AWS-3 Auction Results - Spectrum Grid February 2, 2015 13:15
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
Sprint Exits H Block Auction, Why?, timing... November 13, 2013 11:18Although 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 09:56With 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.
LTE Carrier Aggregation - What's Going On... February 13, 2013 17:35Recently 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 9, 2013 10:34Dish'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 10:00Inevitable. 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 16:50The 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.
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