Previously we have written about the CBRS Consent Decree between the FCC and SAL Spectrum, Cable One, NorthWestern Corporation, US Cellular Corporation, and Shenandoah Cable Television. Each of these CBRS auction winners had an investment from Black Rock, Inc greater than 10% interest. Below are charts that reflecting each carrier's auction winnings, the licenses that they requested following the consent decree, and changes to each carriers market assignments.
Looking at the Combined Blackrock from the Auction Results table, there are many markets where the combined group has auction spectrum allotments of 60MHz. In the Updated License table, many markets went from being above the 40MHz limit to being below the 40MHz limit. This is primarily due to SAL Spectrum (ATNI) declining any spectrum assignments in virtually all of these markets.
The last column to highlight is the GAA Increase column in the Change table. This column reflects the net increase in GAA available spectrum in each market since the FCC is not planning to reauction this spectrum since it can still be utilized through the GAA usage process.
Arkansas and Illinois:
Maryland, Montana, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin:
Earlier this month, the FCC announced that they finally released (granted) the CBRS PAL licenses won in Auction 105 by Cross Telephone Company. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to show how the Transactions module in our Web Spectrum Viewer can be used to determine the status of pending transactions.
As an introduction, our Transaction module includes all of the transactions affecting the mobile carrier and millimeter wave spectrum bands, going back to 2014. We capture each of these transactions when they are posted on the FCC Daily Digest and update their status monthly until they are granted.
To find the unissued CBRS licenses, we set the filters to only include the CBRS spectrum transactions, for new licenses, that still have a pending FCC status.
After setting these filters, the results can be exported as an Excel file.
Finally, since the Transaction export includes a record for each license that a carrier will receive, I am going to apply a pivot table in Excel, to summarize the 2857 matching records. In the table below, you can see the bidding names for the companies that have not received their CBRS licenses and the count of their outstanding licenses. Cross Telephone is still on this list, because the transactions list is updated monthly with the currently list indicating all of the transactions through the end of November. The Cross Telephone licenses were granted on December 10, 2021 so they will be reflected in the January transaction file update.
On March 15th, the FCC granted the first CBRS PAL licenses to 222 carriers. In total the FCC issued nearly 17,500 PAL licenses in this initial group. To view these licenses in our Web Spectrum Viewer, choose our Upper Mid-band (Up-Mid Band) in the band menu and chose the CBRS in the sub-band menu.
To find PAL licenses for specific markets, use our geographic filters. To find call signs for the Dallas/Fort Worth market, chose CMA Name in the Region menu and start typing Dallas in the Regional Values menu.
In this view you can see the PAL licenses that each carrier controls for each county in the Dallas/Fort Worth CMA market. From this view there are two ways to view the call sign for each license. The first way is to click on the spectrum grid cell to reveal the call sign details for that cell. The detail below is for the CBRS-A channel that Charter controls in Dallas county.
The 10 highest bidders in the CBRS auction are shown in the table below. How did each of these bidders' investments translate into the percent of the their ownership within the CBRS band?
In our Frequency Band Ownership chart from our updated Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, you can see the relative ownership percentages based upon each bidders total MHz-POPs in the CBRS band. Clearly the top 5 bidders turned their investment into a significant share of the CBRS band.
In the February 2019 release of our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we have added the framework to visualize and analyze the Citizen's Band Radio Service (CBRS) and the C-Band satellite spectrum.
The CBRS spectrum is broken into 10 - 10 MHz channels which will have 7 channels available for Priority Access Licenses (PAL) licenses and 3 licenses that are reserved for General Authorized Access (GAA). When this spectrum is auctioned, licensees will not get specific channels but they will be allocated 10 MHz for each PAL license through the Spectrum Access System (SAS). Our spectrum depth tools will summarize the available spectrum capacity that a carrier controls in the CBRS band similar to their AWS1 or PCS capacity that we currently track.
We have initially configured the C-Band spectrum in 20 MHz channels for a total allocation of 180 MHz. Like the CBRS spectrum we have assigned the initial ownership of the licenseable block to the FCC so users can see the total allocation in our spectrum depth summary tables.
Our spectrum depth tables provide users with frequency band breakdowns along with low band, mid band, and high band summaries. We include the CBRS and C-band spectrum in our High band category because the coverage performance for those bands is not equivalent to the other mid-band spectrum frequencies. High band spectrum also includes the WCS (2.3 GHz) and EBS/BRS (2.5 GHz). We continue to denote spectrum above 6 GHz as Millimeter Wave spectrum in our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.