Google's Experimental Network - Mountain View, CA January 24, 2013 09:44There is a little buzz this morning about an application from Google to construct a experimental network on 2.5GHz frequencies on the Mountain View, CA campus. Here is a link to the application. The application states that they will be using spectrum between 2.524 and 2.546GHz and between 2.567 and 2.625GHz. The top issues with this application is that Clearwire operates their WiMax network within this market and has states on their earnings calls that they typically deploy using between 30MHz and 60MHz of spectrum. Google would need to guarantee that there would be no harmful effect to this commercial network. Now lets look at the specific spectrum allocations.
In the above image from my Spectrum Ownership Landscape Report, you can see that the lower band matches correctly to the B2, B3, C1, and C2 channels. The upper band matches the LTE Band 38 so there would appear to be a desire to test TDD-LTE equipment in that portion of the band.
Can Google do this without Clearwire's agreement and assistance? I don't think so. The B2,B3 channels are owned by The Santa Clara Board of Education (Call Sign WHG338) and don't appear to be leased to Clearwire so they are ok. C1,C2 (Call Sign WHR466) are owned by The Assocation for Continuing Education and they appear to be leased to Clearwire. The spectrum in Band 38 is particularly interesting. First of all, it is the portion of the spectrum that is currently dedicated to video operation, so Google would need to work with each of the broadcasters and convince them that their operation in Mountain View would not interfer with the ability of the broadcaster's clients to receive their desire video broadcast. In addition, the presence of this high powered video interference would make Google's tests much more challenging, especially outdoors. On the far right of the spectrum allocation Google has requested is the BRS2 channel that is clearly owned by Clearwire.
For the video spectrum, Clearwire still holds the leases for the A4, C4, D4, E4, and F4 channels. I anticipate that Clearwire is not supportive of this testing without their involvement and they will protest the experimental authorization. In my history with with wireless carriers, it was not unusual to see a experimental application for my carrier's spectrum without being contacted directly for the use of my carrier's spectrum.