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.
The map below shows the amount of 600MHz spectrum that Rogers added as a result of the auction which closed on 4/4. Twelve companies competed in the auction which ran from March 12, 2019 to April 4, 2019. The auction raised $3.47 billion. We have reflected the results from this auction in our May 2019 - Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN).
The Low Band Population Weighted Average spectrum depth chart below illustrates the average amount of 600MHz, 700MHz, and Cellular spectrum controlled by the major Canadian carriers. Rogers is clearly outpacing the other carriers in low band spectrum, providing them a path to 5G similar to T-Mobile's US strategy; broad coverage and better capacity than LTE.
The licensed POPs chart illustrates how much of the Canadian population, Roger's can reach with each of their available low band frequencies. They have near nationwide (35M POPs) reach with both 600MHz and Cellular frequencies, but they can only reach about 22M POPs with their 700MHz spectrum. Roger's can use the 700MHz A and B channels to potentially reach 62% of the Canadian Population and they can use the 700MHz C channel to reach an additional 9% of the Canadian population. In the US, 700MHz A is predominantly used by T-Mobile reaching up to 85% of the US population, while AT&T primarily uses the 700MHz B and C channels reaching up to 90% and 95% of the US population respectively.
Allnet Insights & Analytics is excited to announce an expansion of our industry leading spectrum ownership analysis products to cover the Mobile Carrier (600MHz to 3.7GHz) frequency bands for Canada. We are releasing not only a March 2019 new release, but historical monthly releases going back to December 2017. The Mobile Carrier Tool not only provides the spectrum allocation details for all of the Canadian Mobile Carrier spectrum but it provides 21 different analysis modules and charts to analyze and compare each wireless carrier's spectrum assets by channel, market, frequency band, band classification, and LTE band class.
The Canadian Spectrum Grid details the spectrum ownership and subordinate licensing (leases) for each service area (Tier 4). The service areas can be seen on the example map below which indicates the spectrum owners for the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) A1 channel.
Below is the Canadian Spectrum Grid for the Mobile Carrier low band spectrum. All of the 600MHz spectrum is currently controlled by ISED Canada (ISD) leading up to the March 12, 2019 auction start. Purchases of the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN) during March 2019 will receive a complementary release after ISED Canada announces the auction results.
For more information on the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool (CAN) please email us at email@example.com.