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Spectrum Blog

Rogers (CAN) 5G Spectrum and Roll out Thu, Jan 16, 2020

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

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

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

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


Verizon's NFL 5G Stadiums - Available 5GNR Channel Size Tue, Sep 10, 2019

With Verizon's announcement last week concerning 5G NFL stadiums, we decided to look at Verizon's 28GHz spectrum allocations, using the Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, to determine the 5GNR channel sizes they could offer in each market.  As seen below, Verizon launched stadiums in 4 markets where they are limited to 200MHz channels, while the remaining stadiums are in markets with the full allotment of 400MHz.  It would be interesting to know if Verizon has a more restricted demo in the 200MHz markets or whether the full demo exposes the capacity limitations of those markets.

2x200MHz Channels

2x400MHz Channels

New York

Carolina

Houston

Detroit

Minnesota

Denver

Miami

Seattle

Indianapolis

New England

Baltimore

Chicago


5G New Radio (NR) Band Analysis Tue, Jul 23, 2019

In July we expanded the analysis capabilities of our Mobile Carrier and Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools to include 5G New Radio(NR) Band Analysis for each of the 3GPP supported bandwidths in each US NR band class.

First, in the Mobile Carrier Tool, we are supporting both the uplink and downlink NR bands separately for bands that provide Frequency Division (FDD) operation.  This analysis module outputs the largest channel size (for both uplink and downlink) that a carrier could deploy in their 5G/LTE uplink carrier aggregation scheme or their downlink carrier aggregation scheme. Below in the downlink analysis for AT&T you can see the maximum channel sizes for n12 band spectrum (700MHz A/B/C) versus their n29 band spectrum (700MHz D/E),which is downlink only, and their n14 band spectrum (FirstNet); for each county in the New York Cellular Market Area (CMA).

 

Similarly, the uplink analysis indicates the maximum uplink channel size for all of the uplink spectrum.

 

The n41 band spectrum that Sprint's controls (2.5GHz) is seen in the Time Division Duplex(TDD) section.  The analysis tool determines the largest contiguous channel that Sprint can deploy with their leases/owned spectrum including the mid-band segment guard bands.  From the results below, Sprint can configure 80MHz 5G/LTE channels in two New York counties and they can configure a 60MHz channel in one additional New York county.  The remaining counties are limited to carrier aggregation of 20MHz channels. 

 

In the Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, all of the spectrum is configured to Time Division Duplex(TDD) operation.  Below, you can see the different bandwidths that T-Mobile can deploy using their 24GHz or 28GHz spectrum in the New York counties.   Each of the 3GPP standardized bandwidths of 400, 200, 100, and 50MHz are detailed for each spectrum band.


AT&T's Low Band 5G | 700MHz or Cellular Thu, May 09, 2019

 Late last year, AT&T began to discuss refarming their low-band spectrum for 5G, but they didn't indicate which of their low band spectrum blocks would be used.  With some spectrum acquisitions that have been filed over the last 6 months, I believe their plans are becoming more clear.  The 3 blocks of low band spectrum that AT&T controls are 700MHz (A,B, and C channels), 700MHz (FirstNet), and the Cellular (A & B channels). I am going to assume that the FirstNet spectrum is not being considered since it must support public safety networks, leaving the 700MHz and Cellular bands for refarming.  The first indicator, was AT&T's acquisition of FBS 700's spectrum in South Dakota and their acquisition of part of C Spire's 700MHz spectrum in the southeast.  

To see AT&T's total 700MHz spectrum, we used Allnet Insights' Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to total AT&T's ownership of the 700MHz A, B, and C channels in each US county.  In the counties where they own all three channels, they could deploy a 15MHz 5G channel.  From the map below, it appears that AT&T would cover most of the US with a 10MHz 5G channel.   

 

 The next map highlights the counties where AT&T controls both cellular channels (A & B).  In the limited markets where they control both channels (Texas and Florida), they could have a 5G channel size of 20MHz, but for most of the country that would be limited to a 10MHz 5G channel size.  It is important to remember that the areas where AT&T doesn't control any cellular spectrum the bands are controlled by USCellular and/or Verizon, making cellular spectrum acquisitions unlikely.

 Another important way to evaluate the usefulness of each band is to measure the amount of population that can be reach with the licenses in each band.  To evaluate this we used the Licensed POPs Analysis Module from the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  Since AT&T's 700MHz spectrum covers 44 million addition people compared to AT&T's Cellular spectrum, I believe that AT&T is planning to utilize their 700MHz spectrum for their upcoming Low Band 5G deployments.  This appears to be confirmed by AT&T's recent acquisitions.


Dish 5G Spectrum from Echostar Thu, Feb 02, 2017


FCC Spectrum Transactions - August 2016 Tue, Sep 06, 2016

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):


Looking at the Verizon Acquisition of XO's Millimeter Wave Spectrum Tue, Aug 16, 2016

For this blog post I am going to use some of the new features of the Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, to break down Verizon's agreement to lease XO's Millimeter Wave Spectrum.  

First of all, our data source for this analysis is the Future Holdings data which will reflect Verizon's future lease of XO's spectrum.  Allnet's CMA Market Analysis Module details Verizon's spectrum holdings for each of the Top 20 CMA markets (below).  From this analysis it is easy to see the markets where Verizon will have significant LMDS A (28 GHz) and LMDS B (31 GHz) spectrum.  In addition, markets with out spectrum (Phoenix) and the limited markets with 39 GHz spectrum are easily identified.

CMA Market Analysis:

 Next we will look at the State & National Analysis Module to determine the average spectrum depth across the Nation or at a State Level.  Looking at the National Average Spectrum Depth, we can see that Verizon averages 576 MHz of millimeter wave spectrum with 511 MHz of that being LMDS A spectrum, 53 MHz being LMDS B spectrum and 12 MHz being 39 GHz spectrum.

State & National Analysis Module:

Last we will look at how many MHz-POPs are included and how they are distributed between each of the frequency blocks.  Allnet's MHz-POPs Analysis Module clearly details that this transaction would provide Verizon over 180 billion MHz-POPs.  158 billion of those MHz-POPs are from the LMDS A frequency band, 16 billion from the LMDS B frequency band, and nearly 4 billion from the 39 GHz frequency band.

MHz-POPs Analysis Module:


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