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Rogers (CAN) 5G Spectrum and Roll out January 16, 2020 00:00

Today, Fierce Wireless had an article examining Rogers 5G roll out announcement.  The article states that Rogers will initially deploy using 2.5 GHz spectrum followed by 600 MHz and 3.5 GHz.  Although we are familiar with these bands from a US spectrum allocation, it is important to understand several of the differences between the Canadian allocations and the US allocations.  

First, we are going to look at the 2.5 GHz band using the Spectrum Grid from our Canadian Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Canada's 2.5 GHz spectrum is configured to the international standard with paired (FDD) LTE Band 7 and TDD band 38/41.  In each of the 4 deployment cities, Rogers controls FDD and TDD spectrum.  I believe that Rogers will be deploying the TDD/Band 41 spectrum blocks due to its compatibility with Sprint's 5G deployment and the Band 41 ecosystem.  Rogers has 20 MHz of spectrum available in each of their roll out markets which should deliver about 30% of the speed performance that Sprint is achieving on their 5G launches.

Second, Rogers will roll out 5G using their 600 MHz low band spectrum.  This spectrum is configured identically to the US allocation with 7 x 10 MHz FDD channels in LTE Band 71.  Rogers has 10 MHz channels available in all of their roll out markets except Toronto where they have a 20 MHz channel available.

Third, Rogers will roll out 5G in Canada's 3.5 GHz band.  In the US, this spectrum is primarily allocated as CBRS spectrum requiring the use of a Spectrum Access System (SAS) with multiple users.  The entire CBRS band is 150 MHz while the Canadian 3.5 GHz band is 200 MHz broken up into 20 - 10 MHz (TDD) channels.  Canada will be licensing all of this spectrum to carriers, while the US model is shared spectrum.  Since the 3.5 GHz auction has not occurred, Rogers spectrum ownership in these markets is unknown.  The 3.5 GHz auction will occur sometime in 2020.


Canadian 600MHz Spectrum Auction Results and Analysis April 22, 2019 13:44

The map below shows the amount of 600MHz spectrum that Rogers added as a result of the auction which closed on 4/4.  Twelve companies competed in the auction which ran from March 12, 2019 to April 4, 2019.  The auction raised $3.47 billion.  We have reflected the results from this auction in our May 2019 - Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN).

The Low Band Population Weighted Average spectrum depth chart below illustrates the average amount of 600MHz, 700MHz, and Cellular spectrum controlled by the major Canadian carriers.  Rogers is clearly outpacing the other carriers in low band spectrum, providing them a path to 5G similar to T-Mobile's US strategy; broad coverage and better capacity than LTE.

The licensed POPs chart illustrates how much of the Canadian population, Roger's can reach with each of their available low band frequencies.  They have near nationwide (35M POPs) reach with both 600MHz and Cellular frequencies, but they can only reach about 22M POPs with their 700MHz spectrum.  Roger's can use the 700MHz A and B channels to potentially reach 62% of the Canadian Population and they can use the 700MHz C channel to reach an additional 9% of the Canadian population.  In the US, 700MHz A is predominantly used by T-Mobile reaching up to 85% of the US population, while AT&T primarily uses the 700MHz B and C channels reaching up to 90% and 95% of the US population respectively. 


Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool Release for CANADA March 4, 2019 06:30

Allnet Insights & Analytics is excited to announce an expansion of our industry leading spectrum ownership analysis products to cover the Mobile Carrier (600MHz to 3.7GHz) frequency bands for Canada. We are releasing not only a March 2019 new release, but historical monthly releases going back to December 2017.  The Mobile Carrier Tool not only provides the spectrum allocation details for all of the Canadian Mobile Carrier spectrum but it provides 21 different analysis modules and charts to analyze and compare each wireless carrier's spectrum assets by channel, market, frequency band, band classification, and LTE band class.

The Canadian Spectrum Grid details the spectrum ownership and subordinate licensing (leases) for each service area (Tier 4).  The service areas can be seen on the example map below which indicates the spectrum owners for the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) A1 channel.  

Below is the Canadian Spectrum Grid for the Mobile Carrier low band spectrum.  All of the 600MHz spectrum is currently controlled by ISED Canada (ISD) leading up to the March 12, 2019 auction start.  Purchases of the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN) during March 2019 will receive a complementary release after ISED Canada announces the auction results.

For more information on the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN) please email us at info@allnetinsights.com.


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).