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Licensed Spectrum Survey for DAS and Small Cell Implementation November 05, 2018 07:00

Two questions for all of the wireless network installers and drive testers:

1)  Where can you get the spectrum assignments for all of the mobile carrier bands with in a county?

2)  How can you determine if the licensed spectrum assignment will change in the near future?

Allnet Insights' Web Spectrum Viewer now includes a Wireless Survey which details the wireless carrier that currently controls each block of Mobile Carrier spectrum (600MHz-2.5GHz) for a selected US county.  In addition, the Wireless Survey indicates whether there are any filed transaction that will move that spectrum to another wireless carrier, as indicated in the Future column.

The output table details the spectrum assignments,licensees, and bandwidth for each block and is sorted from lowest frequency to highest frequency.  This output table can be exported as a .csv file.  


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.

 

 


FiberTower 24 GHz and 39 GHz Licenses (Active and Terminated) May 16, 2017 06:30

Allnet Insights' spectrum tools have historically only focused on spectrum licenses that are active or pending.  As we compared the size of the FiberTower/AT&T transaction using our active license data, it was clear that FiberTower's terminated licenses make up a large percentage of the transaction.  To allow our customers to evaluate the FiberTower transaction in terms of the nationwide scope and market by market effect, we have added the FiberTower terminated licenses to our FCC data set.  Since it is not clear how many of the terminated licenses will actually be reinstated, we have not included the terminated licenses in our current or future holdings data until they are formally restored by the FCC.  

Below we show FiberTower's active licenses compared to their terminated licenses in our Spectrum Grid for the 24 GHz band.  FiberTower's active licenses use the FBT carrier code while the terminated licenses use the FTT carrier code.  In this view FiberTower's active licenses only include the Chicago CMA counties while the terminated licenses cover Los Angeles county and all of the Philadelphia counties.

Looking at the 39GHz spectrum blocks, FiberTower's terminated licenses cover the A block channel for all of the New York counties and the H block for all of the New York counties that AT&T doesn't currently control.


AT&T | FiberTower | Straight Path 39GHz - Rectangular Area Licenses May 09, 2017 06:30

 One of the important aspect to understand about the millimeter band spectrum is the different types of licenses that compromise the 39 GHz Band.  One block of licenses were auctioned with Economic Area boundaries (similar to the AWS-3 Auction for H, I, and J licenses).  The second block of licenses are referred to as "Rectangular Licenses".  The rectangular licenses are defined by 4 latitude/longitude points making a rectangle.  These licenses include 1 or more of the 39 GHz channels and the rectangles encroach on the Economic Area licenses in quite a few of the US major metro areas.  Essentially the rectangular area licenses subtract license area and population from the Economic Area licenses.

Below is a map which reflects the active and terminated rectangular area licenses.  The terminated licenses (in red) represent some of the licenses that AT&T and FiberTower are attempting to restore.  The are also trying to restore a most of the 24 GHz licenses that FiberTowerhad terminated by the FCC.  Straight Path's consent agreement with the FCC required them to cancel all of their rectangular licenses so those are not included in the map.

Cancelling the Straight Path licenses accomplished two purposes.  First, it penalized Straight Path for lax controls on their construction and substantial service process.  Second, it cleaned up the licensing boundaries for the spectrum the FCC still controls enabling the FCC to auction complete counties for more 39 GHz channels.


T-Mobile Low Band Spectrum LTE versus 5G April 28, 2017 07:30

For this blog post, I am going to use Allnet Insights' Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to estimate the 600 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile will use to deploy LTE and what will remain available to deploy 5G. 

To start this analysis, I will get T-Mobile 600 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum holdings at a county-level from the Company Analysis Module.

Using this data, we assign 10 MHz of 600 MHz spectrum to all counties where T-Mobile doesn't control 700 MHz spectrum.  This spectrum assignment would provide T-Mobile with similar LTE capacity across the United States. Note that there are a few counties where T-Mobile controls enough 700 MHz spectrum to enable a 10x10 LTE channel.

The remaining 600 MHz spectrum is expected to be deployed as a 5G technology.  For the map below, i have indicated 5G channel sizes that are similar to LTE channel sizes except for a 25 MHz channel size which doesn't exist in the LTE framework.  This is in markets where T-Mobile controls 50 MHz of spectrum above the 5 MHz channel LTE network.


FCC Spectrum Transactions - January 2017 February 05, 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 05, 2017 18:30

Today, we have released Allnet's Insights' January 2017 Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Below are the transactions that have been updated by the FCC from December 1 to December 31 and are included in our update. 

The details for all of the below transactions are available by subscribing to Allnet Insights' Web Tool - Basic Module.  Our Web Tool provides spectrum transaction detail, a spectrum grid of spectrum owners at a county level, and spectrum database covering all mobile carrier frequencies from 700MHz to 2.5 GHz.

Granted Assignments (Assigning Ownership from Assignor to Assignee):

Granted Leases (Leased to Assignee from Assignor):

New Pending Assignments (Assigning Ownership from Assignor to Assignee):

Pending Leases (Leased to Assignee from Assignor):

 


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.


A Look At T-Mobile's AWS-3 Spectrum October 25, 2016 08:30

With Fierce Wireless' recent article highlighting T-Mobile's inclusion of LTE Band Class 66 in their LG V20 handset, we decided to dig into the markets where T-Mobile has AWS-3 spectrum and try to understand how it will be deployed for LTE.   The Spectrum Blocks map below indicates the counties where T-Mobile controls AWS-3 spectrum along with the specific blocks they control.  The magenta areas indicate that T-Mobile controls the G, H, and I blocks of AWS-3 spectrum.

Below is band configuration guide from the FCC which indicates the layout of the individual channels.  The AWS-3 G channel is adjacent to the AWS-1 F channel.

 

 The channel size map below indicates the largest LTE channel size (5x5, 10x10, or 15x15) that could be deployed using only T-Mobile's AWS-3 spectrum.

 The last map depicts the counties where T-Mobile's AWS-3 spectrum is contiguous with their existing LTE deployed in the AWS-1 spectrum.  These are areas where T-Mobile could increase the LTE channel size if they haven't already their desire wide band LTE values of 15 or 20MHz channel

 

To develop these maps, we utilized several analysis modules within Allnet Insights' Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  First we utilized the Spectrum Grid Analysis Module to confirm the channel alignment for both the AWS-1 and AWS-3 frequency bands.  For the AWS-1 and AWS-3 spectrum blocks the channels are lettered consistently from A to J (lowest frequency to highest frequency).  This is critical to understand what channels are adjacent to each other.  The lettering of channels in most of the mobile carrier frequency bands does not straightforward like the AWS-1 and AWS-2 frequency blocks.

Below is a portion of our Spectrum Grid for the New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA counties.

Once we confirmed that what channels are adjacent to the AWS-1 block, we utilized the Channel Blocks Analysis Module to determine on a county by county basis, whether T-Mobile owned the spectrum adjacent to the AWS-3 frequencies (AWS-1 F Block) and whether they also owned contiguous spectrum adjacent to the AWS-1 F Block (either G, G and H, or G, H, and I).  The markets where T-Mobile controls the J channel, they don't control the I channel so the J channel won't be contiguous to any of their existing spectrum.

In the example below, I have highlighted 3 counties in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX CMA where the addition of the AWS-3 G channel will allow T-Mobile to expand their LTE channel from 15MHz to 20MHz.  The values in each of the Channel Blocks columns represent the spectrum depth for each of those channels held by T-Mobile.  Each of these spectrum depth values need to be cut in half to represent the LTE channel size.  This is because 1/2 of each channel's spectrum is used for the cell site's transmitting (downlink) LTE channel and the other 1/2 is used for the cell site's receiving (uplink) LTE channel.


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.


How Does Our Data Compare? Sprint Spectrum Chart September 08, 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 06, 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):


The Anatomy of a Spectrum Deal: AT&T and T-Mobile July 12, 2016 08:30

With this blog post, I want to uncover the details behind a specific set of spectrum transactions that AT&T and T-Mobile filed in October 2015.  These transactions were finalized on April 2, 2016.  The purpose of these spectrum transactions was to allow each carrier to increase the size of their LTE channels either in the PCS frequency band or the AWS frequency band.  This is typically accomplished by either swapping the operating frequency blocks within a market or by acquiring additional spectrum in a market by providing needed spectrum to the other carrier in a different market.  

This analysis is extracted from Allnet Insights Web Tool's Transaction Summary which is used to update the current spectrum operator and future spectrum operator in Allnet's Spectrum Database and Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.

First we will look at the spectrum transaction where T-Mobile is assigning spectrum to AT&T.

Complete Call Signs:

This is a list of the call signs including frequency blocks, and channel blocks that T-Mobile is assigning completely to AT&T.  It should be noted that although a market is indicated, you cannot assume that the call sign included all of the counties in that market area.  

Spectrum Dis-aggregated from Complete Call Signs by Frequency:

This list represents call signs where T-Mobile is only assigning a portion of the call sign's spectrum to AT&T.  In this case, T-Mobile is assigning only the upper 5 MHz of the AWS A channel block to AT&T. They will retain ownership of the lower 5 MHz.

Spectrum Dis-aggregated by County:

This list represents call signs where T-Mobile is only assigning a portion of the call sign's spectrum to AT&T.  In this case, T-Mobile is assigning only the listed counties from the call sign to AT&T.

Spectrum Dis-aggregated by County and by Frequency:

This list represents call signs where T-Mobile is only assigning a portion of the call sign's spectrum to AT&T.  In this case, T-Mobile is assigning only a portion of the spectrum in the identified counties to AT&T.

Now, we will look at the spectrum transaction where AT&T is assigning spectrum to T-Mobile:

Complete Call Signs:

This is a list of the call signs including frequency blocks, and channel blocks that AT&T is assigning completely to T-Mobile.  It should be noted that although a market is indicated, you cannot assume that the call sign included all of the counties in that market area.  

Spectrum Dis-aggregated by County:

This list represents call signs where AT&T is only assigning a portion of the call sign's spectrum to T-Mobile.  In this case, AT&T is assigning only the listed counties from the call sign to T-Mobile.

Spectrum Dis-aggregated by County and by Frequency:

 This list represents call signs where AT&T is only assigning a portion of the call sign's spectrum to T-Mobile.  In this case, AT&T is assigning only a portion of the spectrum in the identified counties to T-Mobile.


AT&T's Low Band LTE: 700 MHz B and C Block Ownership February 22, 2016 08:30

email us at: info@allnetinsights.com to request a copy of the above map

Our most recent posts have looked at the low band spectrum that T-Mobile is accumulating, the 700 MHz A-Block.  To see the low band spectrum that AT&T has typically deployed for LTE, we need to look at the 700 MHz B-block and 700 MHz C-block.  With the B-block spectrum, it is clear that AT&T is visually the dominant spectrum holder.  When looking at the licensed population data, this is true as well.

AT&T dominates the licensed population (POPS) numbers as well, accounting for 274 million of the 312 million US States and Territories population.  These population numbers relate to the 2010 Census.  C Spire with 1.4 million licensed POPS and US Cellular (23 million) both have significant spectrum in their regional operations area with the 700 MHz B Block spectrum.

 email us at: info@allnetinsights.com to request a copy of the above map

With the C-block spectrum, AT&T dominates the west coast and southeast but gives way to USCellular and other regional operators in the midwest.

Looking at the licensed population numbers, AT&T has about 15 million more licensed POPS with their C block spectrum than their B block spectrum.  While USCellular has significantly less C block spectrum (6.8 million POPS compared to 22 million POPS).  It is also apparent that T-Mobile has very limited ownership of B-block spectrum (262,000 POPS) and C-block spectrum (119,000 POPS).  Clearly AT&T has the ability to combine their B and C block channels in many markets to create a 10x10 LTE channel.  We will include a map in a future blog detailing AT&T's total 700 MHz (A/B/C) spectrum holdings as well as USCellular's total 700 MHz (A/B/C) spectrum holdings.


Spectrum Depth or LTE Channels: Which is the best way to compare carriers? February 08, 2016 11:30

Most wireless carrier assessments are focused on the spectrum depth that each carrier controls.  This is typically indicated by the number of MHz that a carrier controls (owns) either in a county or a market.  Many evaluations are focused on the total MHz that a carrier owns although our Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool and National Carrier reports break the spectrum depth down by both frequency band (700, Cellular, PCS, AWS, WCS, and EBS/BRS) as well as low-band, mid-band, and high-band.  The band breakdowns are important because different bands have better or worse performance for coverage or in-building penetration.  Understanding each carriers strengths or weakness for that criteria is important.  In addition, since each carrier's LTE deployments have been targeted in specific frequency bands, the frequency band spectrum depth is an important metric to indicate the potential LTE channel size.  

LTE Effective Spectrum is a much better indication of a carrier's usable spectrum depth than straight spectrum depth.  LTE Effective Spectrum is the sum of the spectrum used by all of a carrier's potential LTE channels.  We calculate each carrier's available LTE channels in our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool by evaluating the contiguous spectrum that each carrier has in each frequency band..  In the tool, we detail the available LTE channels within each frequency band, but below we simplify the analysis here by listing only the quantity each channel size (5x5, 10x10,...).  These LTE channel counts are provided at a CMA market level.  To calculate the Effective LTE Spectrum value each of the channel widths (MHz) are summed.  For Verizon in the Los Angeles CMA, four 10x10 channels and one 20x20 channel works out to:  4 x 10 + 4 x 10 + 1 x 20 + 1 x 20 = 120 MHz.  Each channel is listed twice to reflect both transmit and receive (FDD) spectrum.

 As you compare Verizon's Total Spectrum with their Effective LTE Spectrum at a market level, it is apparent that roughly 6% of Verizon's spectrum is not deployable for LTE.  For Verizon, this lost spectrum relates to 2.5 MHz slices of cellular spectrum and 1 MHz slices of 700 MHz spectrum.

 As you compare AT&T's Total Spectrum with their Effective LTE Spectrum at a market level, it is apparent that a much larger portion of AT&T's spectrum is not deployable for LTE.  AT&T loses between 15% and 22% of there Total Spectrum on a market basis.  This lost spectrum primarily relates the WCS spectrum (10MHz) AT&T dedicated as a guard band for satellite audio, along with 2.5 MHz slices of cellular spectrum and 1 MHz slices of 700 MHz spectrum.

As you compare T-Mobile's Total Spectrum with their Effective LTE Spectrum at a market level, it is apparent that very little of T-Mobile's spectrum is not deployable for LTE.  T-Mobile typically loses 2% of their Total Spectrum on a market basis.  This lost spectrum relates to the 6 MHz channels of 700 MHz spectrum only being used for 5x5 LTE.  There are specific markets (San Diego @ 9%) where T-Mobile controls a 12.5 MHz channel which can only be deployed as a 10x10 LTE channel effectively losing ability to use the remaining 2.5 MHz unless a new acquisition would add adjacent spectrum.

 We have left the analysis of Sprint's Lost Spectrum for another time because Sprint's combination of TDD and FDD spectrum makes their analysis significantly more complicated.

These charts reflect the Future data set from Allnet Insight's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (February 2016 Version).


700 MHz A-Block Spectrum Owners January 19, 2016 11:30

email us at: info@allnetinsights.com to request a copy of the above map
T-Mobile has increased their ownership of low band spectrum licenses to cover over 200 million POPs (population).  The map above depicts the 700MHz A-Block spectrum owner for each US county.  From the map you can see that significant portions of the 700 MHz A-Block spectrum are controlled by parties that are not likely to sell, like US Cellular and C Spire.  Cavalier and Charter are signficant (land mass) spectrum holders that would be likely sellers to T-Mobile.
Below you can see the population counts for each of the owners.  After T-Mobile's 201 million, Cavalier covers 26 million POPs, US Cellular 35 million POPs, C Spire 14 million POPs, Continuum 14 million POPs, and Laser has 10 million POPs in Chicago.
This map and these licensed population evaluations reflect the Future data set from Allnet Insight's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (January 2016 Version).

T-Mobile Low Band Spectrum Depth January 12, 2016 11:00

email us at: info@allnetinsights.com to request a copy of the above map

T-Mobile was quite active during the last quarter of 2015 closing deals to acquire low band (700 MHz A and B Block) spectrum.  Green areas in the map above reflect areas where T-Mobile controls 12 MHz of spectrum providing for a 5x5 LTE channel.  The Blue areas in North Dakota reflect T-Mobile ownership of both the A and B block, enabling the deployment of a 10x10 LTE channel. Below are the transactions that were announced during this time period:

It should be noted that during this same time period, T-Mobile assigned their 700 MHz A-Block spectrum in Alaska to Alaska Wireless Networks.  T-Mobile had acquired this spectrum from Triad 700 in late 2014.

Using the 2010 Census Population for each of the US Counties, it can be seen that T-Mobile has over 200 million licensed pops (Population) where they have enough spectrum for a 5x5 low band channel, and 10 thousand pops where they have enough spectrum for a 10x10 low band channel.  The 2010 Census set the total US population (states, districts, and territories) at 312 million.

This map and these transactions reflect the Future data set from Allnet Insight's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (January 2016 Version).


Questions I would ask Verizon October 16, 2015 09:10

 

How much backhaul capacity do you provide to each cell site for each 10MHz of LTE spectrum?

225 Mbps should be provided for each 10MHz of spectrum (75Mbps per sector)to prevent backhaul from creating a bottleneck.

What percentage of your sites utilize Verizon facilities for backhaul versus alternative backhaul providers?

Verizon has a significant cost advantage in the markets where they provide local telephone service by using internal resources for cell site backhaul.

What is your average monthly backhaul cost per cell site ($/Mbps) for the site using an alternative backhaul provider?

Locations where Verizon utilizes an alternative backhaul provider, the site expense for backhaul will begin to dominate the network cost of service.  With the move to data, the site lease (average $1500/mo) is dominated by the backhaul lease ($8000/mo).  This becomes more painful as you consider the need for doubling data capacity which could then double your site backhaul expense.

How do you account for the backhaul assets that are provided from your wireline subsidiaries to your wireless business? Are there any charge backs or internal bills based upon usage or capacity?

Now that Verizon has purchased Vodofone’s interest, this is less of an issue. However, concerns still arise that wireline assets are not properly valued for the benefit they provide the wireless business.

Are you deploying RRH (Remote Radio Head) technology? To what percentage of your sites?

Verizon has been the quietest of the national carriers on their plans to deploy RRH technology.  It would make sense for Verizon to deploy RRH technology for their AWS and PCS LTE sectors so those sectors can have more similar coverage to their low band (700 MHz) sectors.  In markets where Verizon is building an extensive small cell network uses their AWS and PCS frequencies, they will likely not use the RRH technology within the small cell network area.


Questions I would ask AT&T October 01, 2015 11:04

 

What percentage of your sites are you converting to RRH (remote radio head) technology? 

RRH technology takes radios that typically have been at ground level and places them on the towers behind the antennas.  The RRH technology is useful in providing better coverage for the higher frequency spectrum.  For AT&T, RRH technology would help mitigate the coverage differential between 700MHz and PCS, 700MHz and AWS, and 700MHz and WCS.  If low band coverage (700MHz) were represented by a quarter, and mid band coverage (PCS) by a dime; moving the PCS channel to RRH technology would make the PCS coverage grow to the size of a nickel.   This would allow AT&T to have similar capacity across a larger amount of their coverage.

                                                           

Are you using RRH technology only for your high band spectrum or all spectrum except low band?

Applying RRH technology to low band spectrum in rural areas would fill in coverage holes but increasing coverage in urban areas with RRH technology would increase interference.

What percentage of your customers have a device that will operate on 700 MHz (band 17), AWS (band 4), and WCS (band 30)?

The iPhone 6s has an available version that supports the WCS band, but since not all of AT&T’s customers have a phone that supports their entire LTE spectrum, network coverage and capacity enhancements will not be experienced by the entire user base.

How much back haul capacity do you provide to each cell site for each 10 MHz of LTE spectrum?

To prevent back haul from being a bottleneck, 225 Mbps should be provided for each 10 MHz of spectrum (75Mbps per sector).

What is your average monthly back haul cost per cell site ($/Mbps)?

Site back haul costs would surprise many in the analyst community.  When sites only supported voice calls, site leases (land and tower) dominated the operations expense.  With the move to data, the site lease (average $1500/mo) is dominated by the back haul lease ($8000/mo).  This becomes more painful as you consider the need for doubling data capacity which could then double your site back haul expense.


August 2015 Spectrum Transactions and September 2015 Ownership Analysis September 07, 2015 09:08

We are proud to announce the release of our September 2015 Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  In this release we have updated our data set to include the following August spectrum transactions among others:

  • Assignments from Plateau Telecommunications to Verizon
  • Leases from Verizon to AT&T
  • Leases from AT&T to Sagebrush Cellular
  • Leases from Verizon to Cross Wireless
  • Leases from Hamilton County Wireless and Webster-Calhoun to Iowa Wireless
  • Assignments from Agri-Valley Communication to AT&T
  • AWS-3 Spectrum awards to Orion Wireless and Geneseo Communications

Additionally with the September 2015 Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have added the Channel Block analysis module.  This module will detail spectrum holdings for an individual carrier by individual channels.  Previously, we have provided analysis modules which detail spectrum holdings by frequency band (700MHz, SMR/Cellular, PCS, AWS, WCS, and BRS/EBS), by band class (Low Band, Mid Band, and High Band), and by LTE band (Band 12, Band 17, Band 5)  The new Channel Block analysis module provides the reader with a clear understand of what spectrum is held in a county.  This is organized by specific colored channel block.


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

 

                   

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

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

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

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


How does our data compare? AT&T Plays a Broken Record of Broken Promises – Posted by Andy Levin, T-Mobile August 24, 2015 11:08

For this issue of “How does our data compare?” we will look at the following statement from Andy Levin’s blog.  Andy is T-Moble’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.

"AT&T’s practice of making promises it cannot keep is matched only by its ability to make claims that cannot withstand scrutiny. In the run-up to the 600 MHz auction, for instance, AT&T has derided the spectrum reserve as a “set aside” that “picks winners and losers.” 
 
The claim is laughable: if the reserve is a set-aside, it is a set-aside that AT&T or Verizon can claim in nearly three-quarters of the country.  The map below shows the markets where AT&T or Verizon can purchase all the spectrum blocks available in the upcoming 600 MHz auction."

AT&T Plays a Broken Record of Broken Promises – Andy Levin, T-Mobile, Sr VP, Government Affairs

Using Allnet Insights’ Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we are able to evaluate AT&T and Verizon’s low band spectrum ownership for all US Partial Economic Area (PEA) markets.  We then created a geographic map. This map graphed 4 categories: 

  • Markets where Verizon exceeds 44MHz of spectrum (Red)
  • Markets where AT&T exceeds 44MHz of spectrum (Blue)
  • Markets where both AT&T and Verizon exceed 44MHz of spectrum (Purple)
  • Markets where neither AT&T or Verizon exceed 44MHz of spectrum (White)

The purple areas from Allnet Insights’ map match the white areas from T-Mobile’s map with the exception of a rural PEA in northern Montana.  These areas represent the PEA markets that both AT&T and Verizon will be limited in the ability to acquire addition low band spectrum.  Clearly from Allnet Insights’ map you can see that there are many additional markets where either AT&T or Verizon is limited, but not both.


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.

 


Channel 51 - Bend, OR Update May 14, 2015 15:59

Today, the FCC approved a Channel 51 transition in Bend, OR.  The movement of this TV station from Channel 51  to Channel 18, will eliminate the adjacent channel interference risk to USCellular's 700MHz A-Block spectrum in Eugene, OR and T-Mobile's A-Block spectrum in Linn, Deschutes, and Lake counties.  It eliminates interference concerns across a total of 7 counties with a total population of 709,258.    Below is a listing of the currently filed Channel 51 transitions.  Each of the Daily Digest dates is linked to the filed information.


Final Daily Digest
Initial Daily Digest
Market
Call Sign
Current Channel
Proposed Channel
Oklahoma City, OK
KSBI(TV)
51
23
Rome, GA
WPXA(TV)
51
31
Kansas City, MO
KPXE-TV
51
30
Dayton, OH
WKEF(TV)
51
18
Denver, CO
KCEC(TV)
51
26
Longview, TX
KCEB
51
26
Lansing, MI
WLAJ-TV
51
25
Bend, OR
KOHD
51
18
Providence, RI
WJAR(TV)
51
50