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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.  


Weekly FCC Spectrum Transactions October 22, 2018 06:30

Since blog postings of our Weekly Spectrum Transaction Summary emails are behind a subscription wall, I am posting last week's summary to show the detailed information that will arrive at your inbox every Friday, covering both the Mobile Carrier (600MHz-2.5GHz) and Millimeter Wave (12.2GHz-47GHz) transactions filed the previous week.
FCC Transactions - October 17, 2018
In this week's FCC transactions we see 4 transaction themes.  First, we see Cimaron Telephone / Cross Cable leasing an AWS3 license from Cross Telephone (a parent company).  Second, we see GE MDS leasing 4 - 700MHz Guard band licenses across the South and Southwest.  Third, we see a large filing from SpeedConnect providing them access to a varying number of channels on 35 call signs across the midwest, primarily in rural or low population areas.  The owned BRS channels are involved in most of these transactions which is surprising because it is Sprint's premium spectrum holding in all of these markets.  Most of these channels cover entire BTA market areas with contiguous spectrum.  Fourth, we see T-Mobile leasing RigNet's 700MHz C band license covering the entire Gulf of Mexico.  This will enable T-Mobile to build their LTE network for the oil platforms in the gulf.
Purpose Assignee Assignor CallSign Map RadioService Market ChannelBlock
New Lease Cimaron Telephone Cross Telephone Company WRBQ838 AWS3 CMA598 - Oklahoma 3 - Grant G
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRR314 700MHz GB MEA025 - Nashville A
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRV427 700MHz GB MEA008 - Atlanta A
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRV430 700MHz GB MEA024 - Birmingham A
New Lease GE MDS LLC Access 700 WPRV439 700MHz GB MEA038 - San Antonio A
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT H1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT H2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B064 Map BRS BTA064 - Butte, MT H3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B144 Map BRS BTA144 - Flagstaff, AZ BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B144 Map BRS BTA144 - Flagstaff, AZ E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B144 Map BRS BTA144 - Flagstaff, AZ F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B167 Map BRS BTA167 - Grand Island-Kearney, NE BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT F1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B171 Map BRS BTA171 - Great Falls, MT F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B202 Map BRS BTA202 - Idaho Falls, ID F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B205 Map BRS BTA205 - Iowa City, IA F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B300 Map BRS BTA300 - Missoula, MT BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B353 Map BRS BTA353 - Pocatello, ID F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B422 Map BRS BTA422 - Sioux Falls, SD F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B451 Map BRS BTA451 - Twin Falls, ID BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B451 Map BRS BTA451 - Twin Falls, ID E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B451 Map BRS BTA451 - Twin Falls, ID F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WFY431 Map BRS P00089 - P35 GSA,40-43-38 N,99-7-41.3 W BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WFY595 Map BRS P03002 - P35 GSA,41-32-48.1 N,90-27-56.5 W BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WGW275 Map BRS P03471 - P35 GSA,43-28-24.1 N,83-50-39.9 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WHI959 Map BRS P00168 - P35 GSA,43-59-30.9 N,96-46-11.2 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WHT588 Map BRS P03685 - P35 GSA,41-31-58.1 N,90-34-40.5 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLK328 Map BRS P01359 - P35 GSA,43-14-38 N,97-22-39.2 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLK384 Map BRS P01362 - P35 GSA,43-14-38 N,97-22-39.2 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLW827 Map BRS P01384 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W F1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLW894 Map BRS P01898 - P35 GSA,41-31-58.1 N,90-34-40.5 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMH800 Map BRS P02690 - P35 GSA,34-13-58.1 N,112-22-15.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI345 Map BRS P01925 - P35 GSA,41-54-33 N,91-39-17.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI827 Map BRS P02939 - P35 GSA,34-42-17.1 N,112-6-57.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI864 Map BRS P02941 - P35 GSA,34-42-17.1 N,112-6-57.6 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WML478 Map BRS P03544 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX344 Map BRS P03719 - P35 GSA,43-30-10.9 N,96-34-39.2 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX358 Map BRS P01947 - P35 GSA,43-30-10.9 N,96-34-39.2 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX656 Map EBS P00155 - P35 GSA,42-43-54 N,114-25-7 W D1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX678 Map EBS P00017 - P35 GSA,42-43-54 N,114-25-7 W C1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMX908 Map BRS P03551 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W E1234
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WNTC543 Map BRS P01566 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W H1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WNTC543 Map BRS P01566 - P35 GSA,31-25-16.6 N,100-32-37.3 W H2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW472 Map BRS BTA070 - Cedar Rapids, IA BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW472 Map BRS BTA070 - Cedar Rapids, IA E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW472 Map BRS BTA070 - Cedar Rapids, IA F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WQLW474 Map BRS BTA105 - Davenport, IA-Moline, IL BRS2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WLW970 Map BRS P02673 - P35 GSA,35-14-2 N,111-36-27.6 W F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint WMI320 Map BRS P02694 - P35 GSA,35-14-29 N,111-36-37.6 W E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI BRS1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI H1
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI H2
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B011 Map BRS BTA011 - Alpena, MI H3
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B307 Map BRS BTA307 - Mt. Pleasant, MI E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B307 Map BRS BTA307 - Mt. Pleasant, MI F4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B390 Map BRS BTA390 - Saginaw-Bay City, MI E4
New Lease SpeedConnect Sprint B390 Map BRS BTA390 - Saginaw-Bay City, MI F4
New Lease T-Mobile RigNet WPWV330 700MHz CMA306 - Gulf of Mexico C

Millimeter Wave - Upper Microwave Flexible Use (Auction Channels) August 30, 2018 13:31

In our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have incorporated the FCC's re-licensing of the LMDS A band (27.500-28.350GHz) into the new Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service.  In making this change the FCC issued new call signs and leases for all of the previous LMDS A band BTA area licenses with L1 and L2 band Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service channels.  In the new framework (and our database) a new call sign was release for each channel (L1, L2) by county.  The remaining A band licenses remained LMDS licenses.
Spectrum Grid:
County Analysis:
As you can see in the image below, we still provide the county-level spectrum depth by frequency band for the entire LMDS band (purple).
But we also break out the L1, L2, A, and B channel's spectrum depth separately.  This is a useful view to determine if the L1/L2 channels will be available from the FCC in the November auction.

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 05, 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.

 

 


Visualize 600MHz Reserved Spectrum September 07, 2017 06:30

With the September 2017 release of our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have also added the ability to visualize and track the 600MHz reserved spectrum by county or by market.

In our Spectrum Grid default view, you are able to visualize which spectrum blocks are designated as reserved for the counties in each of the most populated Cellular Market Area (CMA) markets.



To display the reserved spectrum for all of the counties within a Partial Economic Area (PEA) market, you can sort the county data using the PEA # column.


Where Else will T-Mobile Deploy 600MHz - LTE? August 16, 2017 11:30

Today, T-Mobile announced further details on the deployment plans for their 600MHz spectrum.  Let's review what we indicated back in April.

The green areas are the areas that we expected T-Mobile to deploy a 5x5 LTE channel using their 600MHz spectrum.  Let's check these areas with the press release:

  • Wyoming         
  • Northwest Oregon     
  • West Texas     
  • Southwest Kansas     
  • Oklahoma panhandle     
  • Western North Dakota     
  • Maine     
  • Coastal North Carolina     
  • Central Pennsylvania     
  • Central Virginia     
  • Eastern Washington     

Central Pennsylvania appears to be our only miss in this T-Mobile list.  It is strange that T-Mobile is emphasizing a 600MHz deployment in an area they already control the 700MHz -A Block spectrum.


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.

 

 


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.


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 06, 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 - 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):

 


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).


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.