News

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.

 


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.
 

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. 

 

 

 


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

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

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.


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

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

Sunshine LMDS:

Sunshine LMDS - County Detail:

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

Virginia Tech Foundation:

Virginia Tech Foundation - County Detail:


2.5 GHz Auction - Great for Rural Markets, Limited for Urban August 1, 2019 17:48

In July, the FCC released their report and order for their plans to auction the white space 2.5 GHz spectrum.  Using our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we have created a couple of images to illustrated the auction of the spectrum in a rural county and the auction of spectrum in a urban county.

Our rural example focuses on Wayne County, Iowa.  Wayne County has a population of nearly 6,500.

In the image above, we indicate the primary spectrum ownership for each channel in Wayne, IA.  Sprint is the spectrum owner for all of the BRS (Broadband Radio Service) channels and the FCC is the spectrum owner for all of the EBS (Educational Broadcast Service) channels.  We have highlighted in the Bandwidth row, the different channels the FCC has defined for auction.  The red highlights are for the 49.5MHz channel, the green highlights indicate the channels included in the 50.5MHz channel and the blue highlights indicate the channels included in 17.5MHz channel.  The 17.5MHz channel consists of 3 x 5.5MHz contiguous channels and 3 x 0.33MHz guard band channels.

In the area below each channel we indicate in green, the available population that can be licensed for each channel as a percentage.  Clearly, purchasing any of the 3 channels (49.5, 50.5, 17.5) at auction would provide a carrier with the ability to service 100% of the population with each of the component 2.5GHz channels.

Our urban example focuses on McHenry County, IL.  McHenry County has a population of nearly 310,000.  McHenry County is one of the 6 counties that constitute the Chicago CMA Market.

In the urban example, the carrier that purchases the red (49.5MHz) channel would be able build a network reaching 20% of the population with the A1, A2, and A3 channels (16.5MHz), they would be able to reach 80% of the population with the B1, B2, B3, and C3 channels, and they can reach the entire population with the C1 and C2 channels.  The auction winning carrier will have to coordinate their operations for all but the C1 and C2 channels around the geographic license areas that Sprint already controls.


Millimeter Wave Auction Results and Charts June 3, 2019 21:20

Today, the FCC released results for Auction 101 (28 GHz) and Auction 102 (24 GHz).  These results are now posted in our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  The Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool provides 19 analysis modules to analyze each carrier's ownership in each of the millimeter wave bands.  These modules include a spectrum ownership grid (below), seven different spectrum depth analysis modules, a MHz-POPs analysis module, and 3 licensed POPs analysis modules.

To summarize some of the auction results, we updated pie charts that were originally published in partnership with Fierce Wireless.  These charts represent each carrier's MHz-POPs in terms of the country total.

24GHz:

28GHz;

 

   

39GHz:

     


Background on Unavailable Spectrum - 24GHz (Auction 102) April 9, 2019 22:06

As Auction 102 completes its 64th round today, I thought it would be a good time to share a map indicating the markets (PEA) where existing licensees already control spectrum prior to the start of the Auction 102.  As you can see below, the FCC doesn't control 100MHz of the 24GHz spectrum in Reno (PEA076), Las Vegas (PEA026), and Phoenix (PEA015).  The FCC also doesn't control 25MHz of spectrum in Albuquerque (PEA075).  All of these licenses originally were controlled by M&M Brothers LLC and they track back to the original 40x40MHz channelization of the 24GHz band.  M&M Brothers agreed to trade in their Casa Grande (PEA126), Saint George (PEA229), Gallup (PEA285), Socorro (PEA323), and Deming (PEA375) licenses for 100MHz licenses in the 3 yellow PEAs and a 25MHz license in the blue.  Skyriver Spectrum & Technology now controls M&M Brothers licenses.

While the national map indicates the available spectrum depth on a PEA basis, our Spectrum Grid Analysis Module details the specific channels and counties that make up each of the PEA license assignments.  In the Spectrum Grid, you can see complete ownership of channel 7 for all of the counties in PEA 15, 26, and 76; with on 25MHz in the two New Mexico counties.


39GHz - Auction 103 Reconfiguration Analysis - Number Blocks March 26, 2019 22:30

On March 21st, the FCC released a Notice of Procedures describing how existing 39GHz spectrum ownership below will be remapped to the new 39GHz configuration.  We thought it would be beneficial to see how the FCC arrived at their results.

Current Configuration:

Future Configuration:

The procedures the FCC announced will provide a route for the existing 39GHz owners to essentially trade-in their spectrum for vouchers that can be used in Auction 103.  The FCC published a summary of the aggregated holdings data for each of the 39GHz licensees so we decided to use the data from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to show the underlying calculations.

We are able to use the data from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to determine the aggregate MHz-POPs value for PEA003 (Chicago).  To find the aggregate MHz-POPs we must first find the MHz-POPs contribution for each of AT&T's licenses (call signs) in the Chicago market.  Below are each of the county MHz-POPs components for each call sign.  We have indicated whether the license covers the entire county or whether it is a partial license in the Full/Partial County column.  The county MHz-POPs component is found by multiplying the bandwidth for each call sign by the county population.  The total aggregate MHz-POPs is the sum of the county MHz-POPs for all of AT&T's licenses.  Using this process, we have found AT&T's aggregate MHz-POPs to by 2,817,188,800 compared to the FCC's results of 2,815,434,000.

Market CallSign Channel Block Full/Partial County State County Bandwidth County Population MHz-POPs
PEA003 WRBI252 1A Full IL Cook County 50 5,194,675 259,733,750
Chicago DuPage County 50 916,924 45,846,200
Grundy County 50 50,063 2,503,150
Kane County 50 515,269 25,763,450
Kankakee County 50 113,449 5,672,450
Kendall County 50 114,736 5,736,800
Lake County 50 703,462 35,173,100
McHenry County 50 308,760 15,438,000
Will County 50 677,560 33,878,000
IN Lake County 50 496,005 24,800,250
LaPorte County 50 111,467 5,573,350
Porter County 50 164,343 8,217,150
WRBI253 1B Full IL Cook County 50 5,194,675 259,733,750
DuPage County 50 916,924 45,846,200
Grundy County 50 50,063 2,503,150
Kane County 50 515,269 25,763,450
Kankakee County 50 113,449 5,672,450
Kendall County 50 114,736 5,736,800
Lake County 50 703,462 35,173,100
McHenry County 50 308,760 15,438,000
Will County 50 677,560 33,878,000
IN Lake County 50 496,005 24,800,250
LaPorte County 50 111,467 5,573,350
Porter County 50 164,343 8,217,150
WRBI590 4A Full IL Cook County 50 5,194,675 259,733,750
DuPage County 50 916,924 45,846,200
Grundy County 50 50,063 2,503,150
Kane County 50 515,269 25,763,450
Kankakee County 50 113,449 5,672,450
Kendall County 50 114,736 5,736,800
Lake County 50 703,462 35,173,100
McHenry County 50 308,760 15,438,000
Will County 50 677,560 33,878,000
IN Lake County 50 496,005 24,800,250
LaPorte County 50 111,467 5,573,350
Porter County 50 164,343 8,217,150
WRBI591 4B Full IL Cook County 50 5,194,675 259,733,750
DuPage County 50 916,924 45,846,200
Grundy County 50 50,063 2,503,150
Kane County 50 515,269 25,763,450
Kankakee County 50 113,449 5,672,450
Kendall County 50 114,736 5,736,800
Lake County 50 703,462 35,173,100
McHenry County 50 308,760 15,438,000
Will County 50 677,560 33,878,000
IN Lake County 50 496,005 24,800,250
LaPorte County 50 111,467 5,573,350
Porter County 50 164,343 8,217,150
WRBJ298 8A Full IL Cook County 50 5,194,675 259,733,750
DuPage County 50 916,924 45,846,200
Grundy County 50 50,063 2,503,150
Kane County 50 515,269 25,763,450
Kankakee County 50 113,449 5,672,450
Kendall County 50 114,736 5,736,800
Lake County 50 703,462 35,173,100
McHenry County 50 308,760 15,438,000
Will County 50 677,560 33,878,000
IN Lake County 50 496,005 24,800,250
LaPorte County 50 111,467 5,573,350
Porter County 50 164,343 8,217,150
WRBJ299 8B Full IL Cook County 50 5,194,675 259,733,750
DuPage County 50 916,924 45,846,200
Grundy County 50 50,063 2,503,150
Kane County 50 515,269 25,763,450
Kankakee County 50 113,449 5,672,450
Kendall County 50 114,736 5,736,800
Lake County 50 703,462 35,173,100
McHenry County 50 308,760 15,438,000
Will County 50 677,560 33,878,000
IN Lake County 50 496,005 24,800,250
LaPorte County 50 111,467 5,573,350
Porter County 50 164,343 8,217,150
WRBK275 13A Partial IL Kane County 50 21,235 1,061,750
Kendall County 50 13,076 653,800
McHenry County 50 37,438 1,871,900
13B Partial IL Kane County 50 21,235 1,061,750
Kendall County 50 13,076 653,800
McHenry County 50 37,438 1,871,900
2,817,188,800

 

The Market MHz-POPs value is found by multiplying the new 39GHz channel size (100MHz) by the total population of the Chicago PEA.  

Market Bandwidth PEA Population Market MHz-POPs
PEA003 (Chicago) 100 9,366,713 936,671,300

 

The next calculation provides the number of blocks that AT&T is authorized to receive in the 39GHz auction by relinquishing their current licenses.  Our analysis indicates that AT&T will start with slightly more than 3 - 100MHz channel blocks in Chicago before the auction starts.

Market Aggregate MHz-POPs Market MHz-POPs Channel Blocks
PEA003 (Chicago) 2,817,188,800 936,671,300 3.00766

 

 


Millimeter Wave spectrum under FCC control, by band? May 8, 2018 16:38

To determine how much Millimeter Wave spectrum is controlled by the FCC, we utilize the National & State Market Analysis module from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  The values below are calculated as population weighted averages of the FCC's controlled spectrum at the county-level.  On average, the FCC has nearly 3500 MHz of spectrum available. Most of that spectrum (2700 MHz) is coming from the newly identified spectrum bands (37GHz and 47GHz) along with the reconfigured and expanded 24GHz.


Transforming the 2.5 GHz Band April 24, 2018 13:57

On April 19th, the FCC opened a docket to collect comments related to "Transforming the 2.5 GHz Band".  As background, the US 2.5GHz spectrum band encompasses 33 channels.  20 channels (A, B, C, D, and G groups) are designated for Educational Broadcast Service (EBS) and 13 (BRS1/2, E, F, and H) are designated for Broadband Radio Service (BRS).  

License Area:

Sprint owns a vast majority of the BRS licenses and leases a vast majority of the EBS licenses.  The licensing limitations for this spectrum are drawn from its origins providing broadcast video services.  The original licenses were formed as 35 mile radius circles centered on the video transmitting site.  When two licenses overlapped, a football shaped area would be formed.  A line would be drawn through the end points of the "football" splitting the overlapping license area between the two licensees.  BRS licenses include both 35 mile radius licenses, geographic area licenses (entire BTA) and Entire BTA license with cutouts for existing 35 mile radius licenses.

In 2009, a Broadband Radio Service auction (Auction 86) included the remaining unlicensed areas within each BTA for the BRS channels, but the unlicensed area in each BTA for the EBS channels was not auctioned.

Channel Plan Transition:

Prior to this point, Clearwire was launching pre-WiMax networks on the EBS/BRS pre-transition band plan which was designed around video operation.  As you can see in the Pre-Transition chart below, the A channels (A1, A2, A3, and A4) are separated by the B channels (B1, B2, B3, and B4).  This allowed all of the A channels to be broadcast at a video site without interference.  Clearwire would need to control both sets of the "interleaved" channels to have enough contiguous spectrum to launch their RAN network in a market.

To facilitate data network deployments and to protect the remaining video operations the FCC provided a way to transistion licenses to the Post-Transition band plan on a BTA market basis.  If there was a significant commercial video operation in a market, that BTA market was able waived from transition and it stayed with the Pre-Transition band plan.  The Post-Transition band plan put the remaining video operators into the mid-band segment (A4, B4, C4, D4, G4, F4, and E4) and provides contiguous spectrum (16.5MHz) for the rest of the channel group (e.g. A1, A2, and A3)

FCC Request for Comments:

License Area:

The FCC has expressed a desire to make the EBS unlicensed area available for use.  The FCC has asked whether the expansion of the licenses should include the entirety of the census tracks that license (35 mile) intersects or the entire county that the license intersects.  The map below from the National EBS Association (NEBSA) illustrates the counties that would be added to each intersecting EBS license for the A1 channel.  For the carriers that already lease these licenses, they would have the opportunity to deploy sites on the larger license area and would likely also pay the licensee a higher monthly payment due to the increase in licensed population.   As you can also note below, this approach still leaves all of the white counties unlicensed.

 The FCC would like to license the white counties in a 4 step manner:

  1. Existing licenses could extend their license areas to the borders of the counties they currently intersect but there may be requirements on how much of each county you must already cover.
  2. Rural tribal nations can apply for licenses covering their local area.  License areas could be census tracks or counties.
  3. Accredited schools or governmental entities can apply for their local area licenses.  License areas could be census tracks or counties.
  4. Auction remaining unlicensed area with competitive bidding.

Service Rules:

The FCC is also proposing to change the service rules for the EBS spectrum to allow the spectrum to be sold to commercial operators rather than requiring leases.

Remaining Pre-transition Markets:

The FCC is also proposing to complete transitioning the remaining pre-transition markets so a consistent band plan would be in use nationwide.  A few wireless cable operators had received waivers but most of those operators have ceased operations.  This will clear interference issues between markets and facilitate the deployment of data in the Lower Band Segment (A,B,C, and D groups) and the Upper Band Segment (E,F,G, and H groups).  Video operations will continue in the Mid Band Segment (A4, B4, C4, D4,G4,F4, and E4) in the markets where they operate today.


New Millimeter Wave Spectrum Bands April 5, 2018 00:00

In our last post we were discussing  the next steps for the US millimeter wave spectrum after FiberTower and the FCC settled FiberTower's licensing issues.  As we prepare for a 28GHz auction in November, and a 24GHz auction early next year, let's take a look at how each of the new millimeter wave frequency bands are configured.  Each of these images is taken from our updated Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool which is now reflecting the new channel band plans for 24GHz, 37GHz, and 47GHz.

24 GHz Spectrum:

In this view we show both the expanded 24GHz band configuration and the old 24GHz configuration. All of the spectrum depth values are calculated from the New 24GHz data. We have left the old 24GHz configuration, so you can continue to see the remaining 24GHz spectrum licenses which will need to be moved over to the New 24GHz by the FCC. The current licenses are licensed for a 40MHz uplink and 40MHz downlink which won't map properly to the new band plan.

37GHz Spectrum:

For the 37/39GHz bands we show the new 37GHz band alongside the reconfigured 39GHz band.  The new 39GHz columns are not populated because the existing spectrum holders will need to be transitioned to the larger/unpaired channels in the new 39GHz plan.  We are providing spectrum depth values for the new 37GHz spectrum and the old 39GHz spectrum.

47GHz Spectrum:

We have added the new 47GHz band configurations to the Spectrum Grid and each of the spectrum depth modules.

PEA Market Analysis:

Our last addition, is a PEA Market Analysis module.  This module displays spectrum depths for each selected carrier using the new FCC Auction market structure.  For the 28GHz auction, you can see the amount of spectrum that will be available in each of the PEAs in the LMDS A (FCC) column on the far right of the chart.

 

 


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 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):


FCC Spectrum Transactions - January 2017 February 5, 2017 07:30

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


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):

 


Sprint Available LTE Spectrum in the 2.5 GHz Mid-band Segment (Follow Up) November 15, 2016 22:47

In an earlier post, I discussed the ability for Sprint to utilize the Mid-Band Segment of their 2.5GHz spectrum band for LTE.  Previously, I had compiled from FCC filings, the BTA markets where video (the original service licensed in the 2.5 GHz band) is still operating.  Since the April 2016 post, Allnet Insights' has investigated below the BTA market level to determine the specific licenses that are still broadcasting video.  This can be seen in Allnet Insights' Web Spectrum Viewer, in the Spectrum Grid menu.

In the Web Spectrum Viewer, we use the MVU code instead of a typical carrier code (e.g. VZW, SPR, TMO, or ATT) to designate the licenses that are still broadcasting video.  In the Los Angeles CMA market, video is operating on all of the mid-band channels (A4, B4, C4, D4, F4, and E4) for both Los Angeles county, and Orange county.  Sprint can utilize the entire MBS for LTE in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Los Angeles CMA:

In the Chicago CMA the G4 channel is used in all 6 counties and the E4 channel is used for video in 3 counties.

Chicago CMA:

In the New York CMA, the D4 channel and G4 channel are available for LTE deployment across all but one county in the New York CMA, but the other channels are largely unavailable in the New York CMA.

New York CMA:

What is important to Sprint is the size of the LTE channel or channels that they can create using the Mid-band channels.  Using the data from Allnet Insights' Spectrum Grid, we total the number of contiguous channels, rounding to the 3GPP LTE channel sizes of 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz.  The map below displays the total MHz of the LTE channels that Sprint can create in the Mid-band for each county.


How Does Our Data Compare? Sprint Spectrum Chart September 8, 2016 08:30

For this edition of "How Does Our Data Compare?" we are illustrating how our data compares to a Spectrum Chart that Sprint shared with Fierce Wireless at CTIA 2016.  What Sprint is illustrating each of the national carriers average spectrum holdings in each in each frequency band.  

We arrive at the Nationwide average by applying a population-weighted average to our spectrum data that is aggregated at a county-level.  As you can see, we hit each carriers spectrum depth exactly except for Sprint's EBS/BRS data which we only miss by 2 MHz.   With our October 2016 Version of our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we are including the ability to chart eight carriers, detailing the average spectrum holdings either by Frequency Band or Band Classification.  You can conduct side by side analysis for nearly 1900 US Wireless Carriers.  In the chart below you can see the National Averages for spectrum held by the FCC.  This total details the AWS-3 and 600 MHz spectrum that will be auctioned by the FCC.

Our National Spectrum by Band Classification chart combines the values for each of the frequency bands into the Low, Mid, or High Band Classifications.

In addition to the National Spectrum values and charts, Allnet's Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool provides market-level (CMA, EA, PEA), state-level, and county-level reports for 8 carriers side by side.


FCC Spectrum Transactions - August 2016 September 6, 2016 08:30

Today we have released Allnet's September 2016 Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Below are the transactions that have been updated by the FCC from August 1st to August 31st and are included in our update.

During August the following noteworthy transactions were completed:

  • T-Mobile's 2Q16 700MHz A-Block acquisitions
    • Continuum
    • US Cellular
    • Cavalier
    • C Spire
  • T-Mobile and US Cellular's AWS-3 spectrum trade
  • Verizon's lease of XO's 5G spectrum (Next Link)

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):


How does our data compare? T-Mobile’s Magenta Herring – Posted by Joan Marsh, AT&T August 13, 2015 11:00

 

For this issue of “How does our data compare?” we will look at the following statement from Joan Marsh’s blog.  Joan is AT&T's Vice President of Federal Regulatory. 

"For AT&T, the restrictions will predominantly impact our ability to compete for spectrum in urban areas.  Indeed, our preliminary analysis suggests that we will be restricted in all Top 50 markets except six (Cleveland, Phoenix, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh and Greenville to be exact).  The restrictions will therefore directly impact our ability to serve customers in the most data hungry markets like NY, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore-DC, Philadelphia, Boston and Dallas."

T-Mobile’s Magenta Herring – Posted by Joan Marsh (AT&T)

Using Allnet Insights’ Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we are able to evaluate AT&T’s low band spectrum ownership for all US Partial Economic Area (PEA) market.  For this evaluation, we want to see the markets where AT&T’s low band spectrum ownership is less than 45MHz.  This would be a PEA market where AT&T would not expect restrictions in the Broadband Incentive Auction (600MHz).

For the Top 50 markets we have the same markets that Joan Marsh indicated in her blog.   Also included in the screenshot is amount of low band spectrum that AT&T controls as well as its competitor’s spectrum holdings in the same markets.  It is interesting to note that Verizon would be restricted in each of these 6 markets, and T-Mobile only has low band spectrum in 1 of these markets.  In addition, we detail how the low band spectrum is divided between cellular spectrum and 700 MHz spectrum.

As we have demonstrated, our data provides similar results to AT&T’s analysis, but it also allows the other national wireless carriers (and over 600 smaller carriers) to be evaluated in the same manner. 

Allnet Insights’ Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool provides county-level spectrum depth and LTE channel configurations, as well as Partial Economic Area (PEA), Economic Area (EA), and Cellular Market Area (CMA) market level spectrum depth evaluations.

 


R.I.P. FCC Dashboard August 6, 2015 06:00

Many have grown accustomed to using the FCC Spectrum Dashboard for quick and relatively simple access to spectrum ownership data.  This was never a complete solution for spectrum ownership analysis because many frequency blocks (AWS-H, AWS-3, and AWS-4) were never available for query. There have been several blocks of data that have entirely disappeared (700MHz – D block) or been so reduced in quantity that what is left is highly questionable.

Recently, I went to the FCC Spectrum Dashboard to download a large block of spectrum data for analysis.  To receive a large data file, the FCC has historically sent a link to a user input email address where the data can be downloaded.  After 3 unsuccessful attempts, to receive the email links, I called the FCC support line and was informed that feature was indeed broken and would not be fixed.  The customer support representative also indicated that the data available on the site had not been updated since 7/7/2014, over a year ago.

I think we can declare the FCC Spectrum Dashboard dead as a spectrum ownership tool.  Since Allnet Insights tracks all spectrum transactions related to the mobile carrier frequencies, we know that since July 9, 2014 over 350 applications have been submitted changing the ownership or leasing on nearly 700 call signs.  These numbers don’t include any of new AWS-3 call signs which include an additional 1,614 call signs.   In all, the FCC Spectrum Dashboard has incorrect data for nearly 2000 call signs.

Fortunately, AllNet Insights’ Spectrum Owners Analysis Tool and its National Carrier reports continue to provide the industry leading information on spectrum ownership through our carefully managed spectrum ownership database This database maintains the current licensee, lease, and future licensee for every block of US wireless carrier spectrum.

FCC Requests Comments on Commencing Operations in the 600MHz Band March 31, 2015 10:25

Defining the Commencement of Operations in the 600MHz Band

Click the link above to review the FCC's initial proposal for the shutdown of low power and unlicensed operations in the 600MHz band.