News

AT&T / Plateau FCC Competitive Market Review May 11, 2015 09:28

The FCC just completed their market review of the AT&T purchase of Plateau/ENMR wireless spectrum and customers. Linked below is the review which includes an overview of the spectrum holdings of major carriers in each market, the available spectrum in each market, and the amount of spectrum that AT&T would hold post transition. This is a great example of the new enhanced review.

Applications of AT&T Inc., E.N.M.R. TelephoneCooperative, Plateau Telecommunications, Inc.,New Mexico RSA 4 East Limited Partnership, andTexas RSA 3 Limited Partnership 




T-Mobile's Promoting Innovation in the 3.5 GHz Band Presentation to the FCC March 19, 2015 10:22

Promoting Innovation in the 3.5 GHz Band

Click the above link to access T-Mobile's filed presentation with the FCC.  When the presentation is opened in Adobe, right click to rotate the presentation clockwise for easier reading.

Verizon Wireless AWS Spectrum Holdings by Market February 17, 2015 11:51


With the conclusion of Verizon's investor call, I thought it would be worthwhile putting together some facts behind Verizon's statement that they have accumlulated 40MHz or more AWS spectrum in 92 of the Top 100 markets.  Unfortunately, they don't define the markets, but from AllNet's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have compiled Verizon's AWS spectrum holdings based upon CMA markets.  The markets below 40 MHz include:  San Juan, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Oklahoma City, McAllen, Springfield, and the New Jersey 2 market.  This matches Verizon's statement of 40MHz of AWS spectrum in 92 of the Top 100 markets.


Increased Spectrum Depth - Top 100 Markets February 10, 2015 14:38

For the next four days we will be posting a map each day for one of the national spectrum holders that indicates the amount of spectrum they are adding to their spectrum holdings in the Top 100 Cellular Market Areas.  The primary source of the additions on these maps are the AWS-3 spectrum licenses although other proposed (FCC filed) transactions are included.  For T-Mobile below, the additional spectrum depth in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland relates to a 700MHz A-block acquisition from Vulcan while the Pittsburgh market reflects both a 700MHz A-block acquisition (from McBride) and a AWS-3 H block acquisition via the auction.





AWS-3 Auction Results - Spectrum Grid February 2, 2015 13:15

AllNet's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has been updated to include all of the AWS-3 auction results in all of its Analysis Modules.  Below in the Spectrum Grid Module, you can see which carrier acquired the spectrum rights for each  of the uplink channels in the Top 5 CMA markets.


The screenshot of the downlink channels also provides a view into where Dish's AWS-4 spectrum fits with their new AWS-3 spectrum.



Clearing Channel 51 - Dayton, OH December 23, 2014 10:15

Yesterday, the FCC approved a Channel 51 transition in Dayton, OH.  The movement of this TV station from Channel 51  to Channel 18, will eliminate the adjacent channel interference risk to T-Mobile's 700MHz A-Block spectrum in Denver.  Below is a listing of the currently filed Channel 51 transitions.  The Dayton, OH transition is linked to the FCC filings.  The previous filings are linked in previous postings.  Previous postings can be accessed the the Channel 51 label.


Final Daily           Digest Initial Daily          Digest           Market Call Sign Current
Channel
Proposed
Channel
12/13/2013 Oklahoma City, OK KSBI(TV)     51     23
9/4/2014 Rome, GA WPXA(TV)     51     31
9/4/2014 Kansas City, MO KPXE-TV     51     30
12/23/2014 9/18/2014 Dayton, OH WKEF(TV)     51     18
12/16/2014 10/17/2014 Denver, CO KCEC(TV)     51     26
12/8/2014 Longview, TX KCEB     51     26

Our Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has incorporated the Channel 51 interference issue into our Spectrum Grid module.  From this module, you can see the 700MHz A-Block owner and an indication of whether Channel 51 is licensed in that particular county.  Green highlights over the Channel 51 callsign indicate that a transition plan has been approved, yellow highlights indicate that a transition plan has been filed, and red highlights indicate the markets where interference issues will persist.


700MHz A-Block - Clearing Channel 51 December 17, 2014 10:40

Yesterday, the FCC approved a Channel 51 transition in Denver, CO.  The movement of this TV station from Channel 51  to Channel 26, will eliminate the adjacent channel interference risk to T-Mobile's 700MHz A-Block spectrum in Denver.  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
12/13/2013 Oklahoma City, OK KSBI(TV)     51     23
9/4/2014 Rome, GA WPXA(TV)     51     31
9/4/2014 Kansas City, MO KPXE-TV     51     30
9/18/2014 Dayton, OH WKEF(TV)     51     18
12/16/2014 10/17/2014 Denver, CO KCEC(TV)     51     26
12/8/2014 Longview, TX KCEB     51     26

Our Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has incorporated the Channel 51 interference issue into our Spectrum Grid module.  From this module, you can see the 700MHz A-Block owner and an indication of whether Channel 51 is licensed in that particular county.  Green highlights over the Channel 51 callsign indicate that a transition plan has been approved, yellow highlights indicate that a transition plan has been filed, and red highlights indicate the markets where interference issues will persist.



Enhanced Market Level Reports November 4, 2014 11:08

The November 2014 Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool includes several enhancements to the Market Level Reports.  Market Level Reports are available for Cellular Market Areas (CMA) and Economic Areas (EA).  Initially these market level reports only included spectrum depth values for each carrier by spectrum band.  With this update, you can see each selected carrier's total spectrum holdings, their spectrum holdings in each of the primary band classes (Low Band, Mid Band, and High Band), and their spectrum holdings in each spectrum band.

The band classes are defined as follows:

  • Low Band
    • 700MHz
    • Cellular/SMR
  • Mid Band
    • L Band/S Band (AWS-4)
    • AWS-1
    • PCS
    • AWS -3 (when the auction is complete)
  • High Band
    • WCS
    • EBS/BRS
The user can select 8 carriers to be displayed in these reports from the 580 carriers available in the Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  For the examples below, we have included most of the national wireless carriers as well as a few regional carriers.

The spectrum depth values for each of these reports are determined from the county-level spectrum ownership information in the Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool using a population-weighted average.  This means that each of the county-level spectrum depth values is multiplied by a ratio of the county's population divided by the market population.  This provides for a higher weighting for spectrum depth in higher population counties.

CMA Market Report - Total Spectrum Depth and Spectrum Depth by Band Class


CMA Market Report - Spectrum Depth by Frequency Band


AWS - 3 Auction Tools October 15, 2014 14:21

In support of the upcoming auctions we have included the available AWS3 channels in our Spectrum Grid worksheet and we have added both a CMA and EA Market Report.  
In the Spectrum Grid you can see the primary spectrum owner for any spectrum band, including the adjacent AWS1 band, at a county level.  The CMA Market Report displays the spectrum holdings for 8 selected carriers utilizing the Cellular Market Area (CMA) geographic boundaries. The EA Market Report displays the spectrum holdings for 8 selected carriers utilizing the Economica Area (EA) geographic boundaries. For both of these reports, AllNet's county-level data is population weighted averaged to either the CMA or EA markets.

Spectrum Grid (AWS3 Portion)
CMA Market Report 
EA Market Report 

T-Mobile 700MHz A Block Research Report August 18, 2014 14:38

AllNet Labs is now producing research reports on topics that have a broad interest with customers through out wireless industry.  These reports will typical contain maps to provide a geographical view on an issues as well as tabular analysis data.  Our first report focuses on the 700MHz A Block spectrum owners.  Later this week we will release a report on the Band 17 and 29 spectrum (700MHz B,C,D, and E Blocks) which AT&T has in their deployment plans.

T-Mobile 700MHz A Block - Research Report

This research report evaluates T-Mobile's ownership of the 700MHz A-Block.  T-Mobile is the primary owner of the licenses for this band for a majority of the US population.  This report provides a map detailing the geographies where T-Mobile is licensed as well as the geographies licensed to other carriers.  This report also details the spectrum depth (MHz) and MHz-POPS (relative spectrum valuation) for each of the 700MHz A-Block licensees.  Last, the Top 50 markets are evaluated to determine which licensee controls each of these critical markets.

The report includes:
Licensee Geographic Map

Licensee Holdings Summary Table


Top 50 Markets by Licensee



Sprint and T-Mobile, A Deeper Look June 17, 2014 13:30

The first place to start on the rumored Sprint / T-Mobile merger/acquisition is to look at the merged entity's total spectrum holdings. AllNet Lab's Spectrum Analysis Tool with June 2014 FCC data was used for this analysis.  The Spectrum Analysis Tool is available at www.allnetlabs.com along with National Carrier Spectrum Holding and LTE Channel reports.  In the map below, you can see the counties where the the spectrum held will exceed the spectrum screen (Orange) or will greatly exceed the spectrum screen (Red).  In addition, you can see that in some counties the merged entity will have up to 374MHz of spectrum.
To see how this spectrum depth relates to the population that the licenses cover, we created a histogram evaluating the population covered by different spectrum depths.  The red line below indicates the sum of population in areas with similar spectrum depth.  For example, there are 10 million people in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile has 200MHz of spectrum and 79 million people in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile have 280MHz of spectrum.

The green line indicates the sum of the population as you increase the range from left to right.  For example, there are 1 million people in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile have 20MHz or less spectrum.  Considering a 195MHz spectrum screen, you can see that only 47 million people live in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile will be below the spectrum screen, thus Sprint/T-Mobile exceeds the spectrum screen over 85% of the US population.


Our last analysis summarizes the MHz-POPs for Sprint/T-Mobile by spectrum band.  WCS spectrum is listed but it is being transferred to AT&T.  Sprint's EBS/BRS spectrum still accounts for 55% of the combined entities MHz-POPs although the combined AWS and PCS spectrum represents 36%.  Using the MHz-POPs values, we can develop a National Average of Sprint/T-Mobile's spectrum holdings.  Looking again at the AWS and PCS spectrum holdings, Sprint/T-Mobile would average 38MHz of AWS spectrum and 65MHz of PCS spectrum across the country.


AllNet Lab's Spectrum Analysis Tool is an Excel based product which allows users to visualize and analyze the current spectrum ownership for all of the mobile carrier and satellite frequency bands at a county level for all 50 states and US territories.  The Spectrum Analysis Tool includes 15 color-coded spectrum holders and over 600 additional identified carriers.

National Carrier LTE Channels - Top 100 CMA Markets March 3, 2014 22:32

AllNet Labs is now offering a monthly spectrum report summarizing the LTE Channels for the National Carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).  To develop this report, AllNet Labs takes the spectrum outputs at a county level from its Spectrum Analysis Tool and applies a county population weighting before averaging all of the counties within a Cellular Market Area (CMA).  Data is available for all 733 CMA markets, but the standard report is formatted for the 100 most populated CMA markets.  This report is delivered as an Excel spreadsheet, with both summary and detailed views.  In the summary view (Figure 1), only the size and quantity of LTE channels for each carrier are displayed. This report evaluates each carrier’s complete spectrum holdings to determine the size and quantity of available LTE channels.  The report also assumes that the largest channel would be utilized rather than multiple smaller channels (e.g. a 20MHz channel is assumed rather than 2 – 10MHz channels).
Figure 1
By selecting the [+] in the upper margin to the right of AT&T’s 10x10 column we can reveal t AT&T’s LTE channel distribution by band.  This expanded view is seen below as Figure 2. 

Figure 2
AllNet Labs has added a proposed transaction data set to the Spectrum Analysis Tool.  With this data set, we are able to simplify hundreds of license transfers at the FCC into the net effect for wireless operators.  All of the transactions are captured from the FCC Daily Digest and each license is updated at the callsign, county, and frequency levels.  Using this proposed transaction data; a matrix of each carrier’s future LTE Channels is created (Figure 3). 

Figure 3
By selecting the [+] signs in the upper margin, a carrier’s spectrum holdings by band can be detailed.   (Figure 4).

Figure 4
The last matrix in this report summarizes the differences between the proposed LTE Channels and the current LTE Channels.  This highlights areas that are affected by proposed transactions.  The example shown uses data from the December 2013 Spectrum Analysis Tool.    The proposed transactions for December 2013 were transactions announced prior to 12/1 which included AT&T’s purchase of Leap as well as many other minor transactions.  The effect of that transaction as well as other more minor transactions is easily seen in Figure 5, with AT&T increasing their LTE channel size from 5x5 to 10x10 in Chicago.

Figure 5
To see the changes at the spectrum band level of detail, select the [+] in the upper margin as described before.  As seen in Figure 6, AT&T’s increase in 10x10 channels in Chicago was the result of an increase in the PCS spectrum band.

Figure 6
AllNet Lab's Spectrum Analysis Tool is an Excel based product which allows users to visualize and analyze the current spectrum ownership for all of the mobile carrier and satellite frequency bands at a county level for all 50 states and US territories.  The Spectrum Analysis Tool includes 15 color-coded spectrum holders and over 600 additional identified carriers.  More information can be found at www.allnetlabs.com.


Verizon's AWS Deployments October 16, 2013 11:00

With the news that Verizon is beginning to turn up some of their AWS spectrum with LTE, I will examine the spectrum available for those LTE deployments in the Top 5 CMAs with the Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.

New York:

Verizon clearly holds 40 MHz of AWS spectrum.  To see how this spectrum will affect their total LTE capacity I have evaluated the LTE channels that Verizon can deploy based on their stated direction.  Based upon Verizon's stated direction I have eliminated any 700 MHz 5x5 LTE channels, any cellular LTE channels, and any PCS LTE channels.


With this analysis, it is evident that Verizon will top out at 223 Mbps across all of the counties in the New York CMA.

Los Angeles:



 In Los Angeles, I would expect Verizon to be deploying a 10 MHz LTE channel until AT&T has shifted its LTE usage of this AWS channel to it "new" 700MHz B band holding.


 At this point Verizon is limited to 2 - 10x10 channels or 146 Mbps throughout the Los Angeles CMA.

Chicago:


In Chicago, Verizon holds a 20x20 AWS channel.


This combined with Verizon's 700 MHz C-band (10x10) channel will provide 223 Mbps throughout the Chicago CMA.

Philadelphia:



In Philadelphia, the largest channel Verizon can form is a 10x10 channel.  When AT&T gets control of the Leap spectrum assets, I would expect a three-way spectrum trade to allow Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T to rationalize their AWS spectrum positions.


For the throughput analysis, the additional 5x5 channel that Verizon can form in the AWS frequency band is included with the 2 - 10x10 channels (AWS and 700) for a total metro throughput of 183 Mbps.

Detroit:


In Detroit, Verizon can again form a 20x20 AWS channel.


In the Detroit CMA, Verizon can achieve a metro through put of 223 Mbps.

Verizon Re-farming PCS Spectrum Band June 28, 2013 12:14

Verizon announced yesterday that they will be making their PCS spectrum available for LTE in 2015.  If you are looking at a planning horizon, you could call this LTE Channel #3 for Verizon.  Channel #1 is the 700MHz C Block Channel, Channel #2 is their AWS spectrum holding, and Channel #3 is now their PCS spectrum asset.  Previously Verizon had indicated interest in Clearwire EBS/BRS spectrum which was their Channel #3 at that time, which has passed.

So what does this mean to Verizon and its customers?  First, there are a limited number of markets where Verizon lacks cellular spectrum, so the PCS spectrum carries their voice traffic.  See the Tulsa, OK, Spectrum Grid below:


 In Tulsa, USCellular owns the B-band Cellular spectrum, highlighting a potential acquisition opportunity.  Verizon holds 5MHz of spectrum in the PCS block for their voice services, along with 10MHz of AWS spectrum.

Looking at the contiguous spectrum that Verizon holds in each of the cellular market areas we see that the only market where they can create a 20x20 LTE channel with their PCS spectrum holding is in New York, NY.  For the New York market, Verizon's PCS spectrum holding would permit 4 - 5x5 LTE Channels, or 2 - 10x10 LTE Channels, or 1 20x20 LTE Channel.  Below are the results for Verizon's PCS Spectrum in Cellular markets 1-25.  The fractional LTE channels (e.g. 2.1 - 5x5 LTE in Minneapolis) are caused by summarizing the number LTE channels in each market by averaging the LTE channel count for each county in that cellular market area (CMA).

Below are the results for Verizon's PCS Spectrum in Cellular markets 25-50.  Clearly, deployment of Verizon's PCS spectrum with LTE will not provide as much additional capacity as their Channel #1 and Channel #2 plans, thus Verizon is still spectrum shopping for their 2015 LTE capacity.



Top 20 Markets where T-Mobile has less than 20x20 Spectrum for LTE June 28, 2013 10:55

Chicago:



Philadelphia:


Denver:




Webcast: Clearwire's Spectrum Explained January 8, 2013 13:27


Below is a link to an Investor's Presentation provided by AllNet Labs detailing the licensing, geographic, and leased versus owned challenges of Clearwire's Spectrum.

Audio and Slide Presentation

Presentation Outline

Agenda

  • History of the EBS/BRS Spectrum
  • Owned versus Leased Spectrum
  • LTE Band Configuration
  • Recent Auctions
  • Substantial Service
  • Issues before the FCC
  • Spectrum Sale Challenges

Small Cells Rulemaking: 3550-3650MHz - Citizens Broadband Service (CBS) January 4, 2013 14:57

Interesting facts from the Small Cell Rulemaking.  A signal at 3.5GHz would have 29% reduced range compared to BRS/EBS (2.5GHz), 45% compared to PCS (1.9GHz) and 75% compared to the Cellular (850MHz) bands.

Half of this band is currently used for receive frequencies for earth/satellite stations in 37 cites and adjacent radar systems exist from 3650-3700MHz.

There will be large exclusion zones due to incumbent use of the spectrum.  West Coast, East Coast, Gulf Coast, Hawaii, and Guam. Approximately 190 million people or 60% of the US population would not have access to small cell technology in the 3.5GHz band.  From the map below, the only Top 10 markets that could use this frequency band would be Chicago and Detroit with Detroit being a question mark due to issues with Canada.

FCC 12-148A1 - Figure 2


FCC Small Cell Definition
Small cells are low-powered wireless base stations intended to cover small indoor or outdoor areas ranging in size from homes and offices to stadiums, shopping malls, and metropolitan outdoor spaces. Small cells are typically used to extend wireless coverage to areas where macro cell signals are weak or to provide additional data capacity in areas where existing macro cells are overloaded. Small cells are also characterized by their inclusion of novel sensing technologies such as environmental recognition and auto-configuration. (Paragraph 30, FCC 12-148A1)

The FCC has proposed a multi-tier licensing framework:
  • Incumbent Access - federal and grandfathered Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) providers
  • Priority Access - critical services including hospitals, utilities, state, and local governments
  • General Authorized Access (GAA) - commercial, opportunistic users as well as business and homeowners.  GAA users would be required to register in the SAS.
A Spectrum Access System (SAS) similar to the Television Whitespace Database used to coordinate unlicensed usage of the UHF broadcast TV whitespace. SAS would manage CBS access and ensure that lower tiered users will not harm federal and FSS users.


Clearwire and Dish: Spectrum Hosting December 11, 2012 16:50

The idea of Clearwire hosting Dish's AWS2 spectrum seems to be bouncing around the news pages today.  Clearly (no pun intended), Clearwire operates a 4G network that is very similar to Sprint Network Vision concept.  With the necessary zoning and permitting, Clearwire could add this spectrum band with a new set of antennas and tower top base stations.  So, this would get Dish to market after they pass the standard's body requirements for defining the new band, but what does it provide Clearwire.  Different than Sprint, they don't need the spectrum, they need capital to increase the TDD-LTE build out.  I believe that Clearwire would much rather Dish sign up for their wholesale mobile broadband service with an infusion of capital.  My next blog will look at one of the other drawbacks for potential wholesale partners like Dish with Clearwire's TDD-LTE plan.  Check back later in the week.