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Spectrum Blog

Harmonization of the 3.5GHz Band - North America Tue, May 23, 2023

Last week the US State Department officially requested that CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Commission) recognize the 3.3-3.4GHz band as a 5G band in the Americas. 

The member states of CITEL work to unify their efforts to promote and achieve economic and social development with equity.

This request provides a great opportunity to evaluate how three of the countries in CITEL have allocated their 3.5GHz spectrum.  To look at the existing and future spectrum allocations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico I will use Spektrum Metrics' Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool for each country.  

The first thing that we can see is that both the US and Canada have either allocated or auctioned C-band spectrum (3700-3980MHz).  Canada's C-band channel plan utilizes 10MHz channels while the US plans uses 20MHz channels. Canada's C-band allocation actually incorporates the 50MHz GAA channel of the spectrum that the US uses for CBRS which will create operational issues in border areas like Vancouver BC/Bellingham WA and Windsor ON/Detroit MI.  There could be issues from usage in Toronto that would affect the upper CBRS channel in northern New York state.

Canada recently auctioned 3450MHz to 3650MHz which will put fully powered licensed operations on the remaining CBRS channels including all of the PAL licenses.

Mexico has not allotted their C-band spectrum yet, but they have repurposed the 3450MHz to 3600MHz bands.  Similarly I would expect border interference with the 5 CBRS channels that overlap the full power licensed channels in Mexico.  Issues in San Diego, El Paso, and Brownville could be caused by this joint operation at the border.

So I have highlighted several incompatibilities between the US allocations and Canadian allocations along with incompatibilities between the Mexican allocations and US allocations so it should be clear why this State Department request is critical.  The request is necessary to create the only band of spectrum utilized and licensed in a similar manner between all three countries since this spectrum has only been allocated for auction by the Mexican authorities (IFT).  I believe that it is critical that this spectrum is fully licensed spectrum (not shared spectrum) so it can harmonize usage at the borders for all three countries.

United States - 3.5GHz Band Plan:

Canada - 3.5GHz Band Plan:

Mexico - 3.5GHz Band Plan:

Looking at Industry Access to the CBRS PAL Spectrum in Spektrum Metrics' Web Spectrum Viewer Tue, May 09, 2023

Recently I supported a colleague with some analysis of the CBRS PAL licenses for an OnGo conference.  With his permission I am providing a few of the interesting outtakes from our analysis.  All of this analysis is based on Spektrum Metrics current (April 2023) spectrum data which includes all of the transactions that have occurred since the CBRS auction.  To start the analysis, I categorized each of the 245 PAL licensees in our spectrum database into industry categories representing their business focus and their plans for spectrum utilization.  The chart below represents the percentage of PAL licenses controlled by each industry as measured in MHz-POPs.

CBRS Priority Licenses - Industry Breakdown:

The second factor I analyzed was forecasting how the spectrum would be used between mobile usage or fixed wireless.  I assumed that the Cable, National, Regional and Rural industries would utilize CBRS for mobile networks while the remaining industries would focus on fixed wireless.  Again, the percentages represented in the chart below are based upon the MHz-POPs forecasted for mobile and the MHz-POPs forecasted for fixed wireless.

CBRS Priority Licenses - Anticipated Use:

My last analysis was focused on the Utility industry, which includes oil, power, water and manufacturing.  Our focus on this sector was to determine where the utility sector spectrum was controlled an how much spectrum is controlled.  This is an easy output from the Web Spectrum Viewer - Mapping module.  Only the CBRS spectrum is counted in the maps below.

Columbia Energy:

Chevron U.S.A.:

Federated Rural Electric Association:

Hawaiian Electric Company:

Illinois Electric Cooperative:

Deere & Company:

Alabama Power Company and Southern Linc:

Muscatine Power and Water:

Oxy USA:

Pioneer Natural Resources:

Ravalli County Electric Cooperative:

Southern California Edison Company:

San Diego Gas and Electric Company:

Tampa Electric Company:

Spektrum Metrics includes the Results of Canada's Residual Spectrum Auction Tue, Apr 25, 2023

With our April 2023 release of the Canadian Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, we are reflecting the results from the recently completed Auction of Residual Spectrum Licenses.


Frequency Band  Number of Licenses
600 MHz 5
2500 MHz 6
3500 MHz 16


 Below are pie charts that reflect the new Frequency Band Ownership values.  These ownership values are calculated using the national MHz-POPs values for each carrier.

Viewing Starry's Bankruptcy Licenses on Spektrum Metrics' Web Spectrum Viewer Tue, Apr 18, 2023

Last week, an involuntary assignment application was filed resulting in Starry Spectrum's licenses being assigned to Starry Group Holdings, Inc., Debtor-in-Possession.  This assignment change was put into motion by Starry's February 20, 2023 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.   

In the involuntary assignment application, Starry lists their 104 - 24GHz license that they are seeking to retain, along with the lower 37GHz experimental licenses that they currently hold.  

To see markets included in each of these groups of licenses, we will utilize the mapping features from our Web Spectrum Viewer.  In the first map, we see Starry's Total Millimeter Wave held spectrum.

Total Millimeter Wave Spectrum


Following that we can choose to see just the 24GHz held spectrum.

24GHz Spectrum

 Last, we can choose to display the spectrum that Starry controls in the 37/39GHz band.  Looking at the legend, all of these licenses are 600MHz meaning they are the experimental licenses rather than the auctioned upper 37/39GHz licenses.

37/39GHz Spectrum

Visit Spektrum Metrics at MWC-Barcelona Thu, Feb 09, 2023

Spektrum Metrics will be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress – Barcelona.  Stop by to see how our spectrum ownership tools enable you to understand each country’s spectrum allocation, the detailed assignments for each carrier, and each carrier’s market coverage and capacity capabilities.

Hall 5 – Booth 5G51
February 27 – March 2, 2023
Barcelona, Spain

 If you would like to set up a meeting time, please submit a request here.

New EBS Whitespace Auction Licenses Tue, Jan 31, 2023

On December 1, 2022 the FCC began granting the new EBS licenses to the winning bidders from Auction 108.  Since many of these licenses are not for complete counties or for the entire auction channel size, I thought it would be useful to see how these licenses appear on the FCC licensing system.

For an example, I have chosen the first auction channel (C1) for Iowa county, Wisconsin, which was purchased by Michigan Wireless.

The map for this license shows all of Iowa county highlighted and all of the C1 frequencies highlighted as well.  (If the images are too small to read all of the details, right click on the image and select <Open image in new tab>.

Now looking at the market tab, we will focus on the information at the bottom of the screen.  First, all of the 9 component channels (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3) are listed above the county with a full county population value.  This would indicate that this license is authorized to cover all 23,687 people living in Iowa county, WI.


Looking back at our outputs from the EBS Whitespace Auction Tool, we can see that representing this license as a complete county license for all of the component channels is not correct.

In our Population Percentage output, it is clear that Michigan Wireless did not purchase the rights to use the B1, B2, and B2 component channels because they were leased to T-Mobile through their lease with the State of Wisconsin -Educational Communications Board.  It is also clear that 3% of the county's population cannot be covered with the A1, A2, and A3 component channels.


To see these numbers as raw population values, we will look at our Population output.  In this view you can see the population that is licensed for each component channel and the only channels that cover the complete county population are the C1, C2, and C3 channels.


To be accurate, the FCC's market page should be updated to show the actual population available for each channel as seen below:

With the maps updated to show the actual license area for each component channel.

2502.0-2507.5, 2507.5-2513.0, 2513.0-2518.5 MHz (A1,A2,A3):


2518.5-2524.0, 2524.0-2529.5, 2529.5-2535.0 MHz (B1, B2, B3):

2535.0-2540.5, 2540.5-2546.0, 2546.0-2551.5 MHz (C1, C2, C3)


Allnet Insights & Analytics is becoming Spektrum Metrics Thu, Jan 26, 2023

Allnet Insights & Analytics is becoming Spektrum Metrics to better reflect our core focus on Spectrum Research and Analysis. The word Spektrum highlights our multi-national focus with the spelling used by the most languages and Metrics underscores the quantifiable outputs provided by our tools.

Spektrum Metrics will continue to provide our industry leading spectrum ownership analysis tools and research reports to wireless carriers, financial entities, infrastructure providers, and equipment suppliers.  These tools and reports detail how each country has allocated their spectrum for commercial wireless carriers and how each carrier’s ownership interest may vary by geographic area.  Our spectrum data and analysis tools detail each carrier’s spectrum ownership for the entire country, level 1 regional areas (states), and level 2 regional areas (counties).

How do the Auction 108 results affect 2.5GHz spectrum pricing? Fri, Sep 23, 2022

Since the auction results were posted on September 1st, there have been many discussions about how the purchase prices from the auction relate to the secondary market pricing.

Typically, when you are buying a spectrum license you are getting a contagious block of spectrum covering a complete geographical area, like a county or a group of counties. By purchasing a particular license, the owner knows that a wireless network can be designed to provide coverage to the entire market area, meaning the market area’s population can be provided with a revenue generating service.

What is the appropriate price for a license? After an auction, you will typically see a valuation ($/MHz-POP) from the auction that represents the national average price. Prices are calculated by multiplying the size of the spectrum (MHz) by the population (POP) available in the license area. The purchase price in dollars is then divided by the MHz-POPs quantity for the license. Highly populated markets or counties are purchased at a premium compared to the national average price and the lower populated markets are purchased at a discount to the national average price. Below is an example of this pricing range from the CBRS (Auction 105).

CBRS Auction Pricing:

Market Population (2021) $/MHz-POP
Kings County, NY 2,641,052 $1.22
Scott County, MN 153,268 $0.48
National Average $0.21
Crowley County, CO 6,012 $0.17


With this spectrum license value framework in place, let’s look at four types of licenses that were available in Auction 108 and how their purchase price (bid) and valuation compared.  In each of these examples we provide outputs from our EBS Auction Tool which more clearly indicates what the licenses include and does not include.  The Population % chart indicates the percentage of the total county population that can be served by each subchannel of the auction channel.  The Population chart indicates the raw population that is available in the license areas for each subchannel of the auction channel.  The whitespace maps indicate the available whitespace license area.

Complete County - Benzie, MI:

The Benzie County C1 license (49.5MHz) provides the winning bidder with the opportunity to provide roughly a 50MHz channel of wireless service to all of the people living in Benzie County.  Because there aren't any encumbrances, the auction valuation is probably valid for this license.

County Whitespace Population % by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Population by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Map:

Auction License Valuation:

Encumbered County - Los Angeles, CA:

The Los Angeles County C1 license provides the auction winner with the rights to service about 136,000 people with wireless service using the full 49.5MHz of spectrum. The served population is at the northern and southern extremes of the county. An addition 210,000 people can be served with only the B channels in the area directly below the Ventura county line.  These are the only areas that the bidder can construct a wireless network using these channel.  This license sold for the minimum bid price, which was based primarily on the full county population not the available whitespace population.  I would not view this as a valid license valuation.

County Whitespace Population % by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Population by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Map (A channels):

 County Whitespace Map (C channels):

Auction License Valuation:


No Population County - Cameron, TX:

The Cameron County C1 license only covers a rural unpopulated area of South Padre Island.  This license was purchased for the minimum bid price and its valuation can not be calculated.

County Whitespace Population % by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Population by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Map:

Auction License Valuation:

No Bids County - Cook, IL:

The Cook County C1 license did not receive any bid.  Because the FCC's minimum bid was based on Cook County's total population.  In this case, the license only provided access to 220 people in a whitespace sliver in the northeast corner of the county.  The FCC's minimum bid would have garnered a $206/MHz-POP valuation so it is no surprise that no bids were received.

County Whitespace Population % by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Population by Subchannel:

County Whitespace Map (B and C channels):

Auction License Valuation:


In the chart below we have summarized the valuations for the four types of licenses that we have examined.  It is clear that the licenses in Auction 108 are not homogeneous and have unique license challenges that must be investigated individually.  These challenges drive wide swinging valuations.  In addition, the FCC's minimum bids skewed both the bidding activity (purchasing licenses with no population or overpricing licenses with limited population) and the valuation process


Which Licenses will T-Mobile Get from Columbia Capital? Thu, Aug 25, 2022

A little over a week ago, T-Mobile announced that they were purchasing additional 600MHz spectrum from Columbia Capital.  Immediately, we began receiving phone calls to determine which markets T-Mobile would be increasing their 600MHz spectrum holdings.  Unfortunately, the FCC application for this transaction has not be filed so our best view into these licenses is found by finding the licenses that T-Mobile is currently leasing from Columbia Capital.

Looking first at the Spectrum Grid in our Web Spectrum Viewer, we can see the markets and the channels that Columbia Capital controls.  Our Spectrum Grid can display 3 types of spectrum ownership data:  1) The license owner (FCC), 2) The current operator (Current), or 3) The Future Owner.  In this example we want to find the spectrum that Columbia Capital owns, so we are choosing FCC in the filters.


In this view, we can see that Columbia Capital (COL) controls 600MHz spectrum in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  Clicking on any of the COL cells provides detailed information for that spectrum block in the licensee, call sign, lessee, and lease ID.
From this image we can see that one of the Columbia Capital licensee names is Channel 51 License Co.    The other licensee name is LB License Co.  
The easiest way to find T-Mobile's 600MHz leases is to utilize the Transactions module.  In the image below, you can see the filters we applied to our Transactions database to get an output of T-Mobile's 600MHz leases with Channel 51.  These are the licenses that will likely be included in the first half of the Columbia Capital transaction.  This transaction query can be exported to Excel and is available for download at the link below.
Channel 51 Leases
In the image below, you can see the filters we applied to our Transactions database to get an output of T-Mobile's 600MHz leases with LB License Co.  These are the licenses that will likely be included in the second half of the Columbia Capital transaction.  This transaction query can be exported to Excel and is available for download at the link below.
LB License Leases

Spectrum Reductions due to CBRS Consent Decree Tue, Aug 09, 2022

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:

Markets Affected by the CBRS Consent Decree Tue, Jul 26, 2022

Last week the FCC announced a consent decree with SAL Spectrum, Cable One, NorthWestern Corporation, U.S. Cellular Corporation, and Shenandoah Cable Television.  Each of these carriers was a winning bidder in the CBRS auction and they each have Black Rock, Inc. as an owner holding more than 10% interest. Because of the common ownership, these collective companies should have been limited to 40MHz of spectrum in the auction.  There are 80 license areas (counties) where the collective group exceeds 40MHz.  To identify those counties, we can use Spektrum Metrics Insights' Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to display side by side, each of the affected carriers spectrum holdings for each band, including the CBRS band.  Summing up the CBRS holdings and filtering for values greater than 40 provides the identity of each county involved in the consent agreement.  Below is a table representing a subset of that analysis.


Below is a mapping highlighting all of these markets.

We have included maps below from our Web Spectrum Viewer that reflect the h CBRS auction winnings for each of the collective carriers prior to the consent decree.

Atlantic Tele-Networks (SAL Spectrum):

Cable One:

NorthWestern Corporation:

US Cellular:

Shenandoah Cable Television:

EBS Tribal License Updates Tue, May 24, 2022

With our May 2022 product releases we have updated our Mobile Carrier Spectrum Database to include the EBS Tribal Licenses that were given priority access to the EBS whitespace.  Below we have mapped the existing EBS licenses, the tribal licenses, and the remaining EBS whitespace markets for the EBS A1 channel.  As a reminder, the EBS A1 channel is one of 9 channels that make up the 1st EBS Auction Channel (C1) which is 49.5MHz.  You can see that there are a significant number of tribal licenses in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Zooming in on Oklahoma, you can see how the tribal licenses have been cut away by the existing EBS licenses.

Below is a map of Oklahoma indicating the tribal boundaries that were requested.  Where EBS licenses were already granted, the tribes were not authorized to claim that territory.

Granted 3.45GHz Licenses Reflected In Web Spectrum Viewer Tue, May 10, 2022

On May 4th, the FCC announced that they had granted all of the 3.45GHz licenses.  This is the point where our tools move from reflecting auction results to fully granted licenses.  

With fully granted licenses, our database indicates the call sign for each license.  The easiest way to find a call sign for any license is by selecting your desired geographic region (state, county, PEA, CMA, or EA) in our Spectrum Grid module.  In the image below, we are displaying all of the counties in the Seattle PEA market for the upper midband spectrum channels (WCS, EBS/BRS, 3.45GHz, and C-band).

The first way to see the assigned callsign is to click on the desired cell in the Spectrum Grid to reveal the license details.  Displayed below are the results for the 3.45GHz C block in King County.

The callsigns can also be displayed directly in the Spectrum Grid by choosing Call Sign in the Data Type filter. With this setting the callsigns for each channel in each of the Seattle PEA market counties are displayed

CBRS Spectrum Leases have been loaded into the SAS Tue, Apr 26, 2022

With the release of the 04042022 update to the SAS database, the first CBRS spectrum leases are now active in the SAS.  As a reminder, the SAS (Spectrum Access System) controls the ability for each of the CBRS radios to operate and the frequencies on which they will operate.

This update allows us to see both how these leases are reflected and how long it takes from filing a lease with the FCC, to having it active in the SAS.

Below are most of the columns from the SAS for the licenses the Wireless Partners (aka Great North Wireless (GNW)), leases from Consolidated Communications.  There is no reference in the SAS database to the actual license owner, just the operator who has current control of the spectrum.  The previous version of the SAS database had Consolidated Communications as the controlling operator for these licenses.

From a timing perspective, all of Wireless Partners leases were granted on 1/21/2022, so there is roughly a 3 month lag from FCC lease to being operational in the SAS.

If you are having a difficult time, keeping track of the spectrum licensees or the spectrum lessees for the CBRS band, please consider how we manage this data in our Web Spectrum Viewer.

First, to see what spectrum is leased, you can choose the leased spectrum in a dialog box and only the leased spectrum is highlighted.  This feature could also be used to highlight the parts of the 2.5GHz spectrum that T-Mobile has purchased, or continues to lease.

To see who owns each of the blocks of spectrum, you would chose our licensed spectrum option.  In this view, I have highlighted the licenses that Great North is leasing.

You can also click on any cell to get the full details for that license.  For the Fayette County CBRS-C license you can see the licensee, lessee, current, and future operator of that spectrum block, along with link to the FCC ULS for the call sign and lease ID fields.

Finally, to see the license footprint for all of Great North's CBRS licenses, you can select these licenses in our Mapping module and export the resulting map below.


Auction 108 - What information is provided? What information do you need? Sat, Apr 02, 2022

A little over a week ago, the FCC announced that Auction 108, for the unlicensed EBS spectrum, will begin on July 29th.  With this announcement the FCC also provided an updated auction inventory and a mapping tool that highlights where the spectrum is already licensed.  With this post we will look at the information that the FCC has provided and highlight the information that is actually needed by auction participants.  

 FCC Auction Inventory:

The FCC Auction inventory provides a listing of the auction channels (C1, C2, and C3) that are available in each county.  As you can see in the table below for Shelby AL, they list the full bandwidth with the full county population for each channel.  In our EBS Auction Opportunities Tool, we have determined the whitespace area and the population in the whitespace area for each auction subchannel.  An auction subchannel is one of the existing licensed channels that combined with other subchannels to make each auction channel. 

In our Population View Excel workbook, the available population for each subchannel is provided.  For the first auction channel (C1) in Shelby AL, 103,306 people are in the whitespace area for each of the first 6 subchannels, not the county wide population values the FCC provides.  More importantly, the FCC doesn't provide the primary valuation metric (MHz-POPs) for any of these licenses.  On the far right of our Population View table, the MHz-POPs (3,409,098) can be seen.  The MHz-POPs is the sum of each subchannel's population times the bandwidth (MHz) of that subchannel.

In our Population % View Excel workbook, the available population is shown as a percentage of the total county population.  As you can see, the available whitespace areas for the C1 channel in Shelby AL represents 53% of the county population.

EBS Auction Tool:  Population View:

EBS Auction Tool:  Population % View:

FCC Mapping Application:

If MHz-POPs is the most important datapoint on an available license, an understanding of the available whitespace geographical area would be the second most important datapoint.  In its mapping tool, the FCC provides a view not of the available whitespace area, but a map with the license encumbrances.  I found this to be a very confusing way to look at both the licensing data and the whitespace data.  I think it is easier to understand what is going on in the FCC map below if you look at it with an eye on our Population % table, above.  FCC map indicates that all 9 channels of the C1 auction channel are encumbered in northern Shelby AL.  Our data agrees because 47% of the population is already licensed for the A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, and B3 channels and 100% of the population is already licensed for the C1, C2, and C3 channels.  Looking at the green area in the south, only three channels are encumbered, which are the C1, C2, and C3 channels.

 FCC Mapping Application - Statistics

Additional statistics can be accessed from the FCC Mapping application as you click on each of the county areas.  Below we have clicked on the green area that is encumbered by 3 channels.  Strangely, the only additional statistics that the FCC provides are the total square miles of the county, the square miles in the selected encumbered area, and the relative percentage of total square miles this represents.  I know how carriers would utilize whitespace population to analyze the business opportunities in each county, but I not sure how the available square miles can guide business decisions.

 EBS Auction Opportunities Mapping:

Our EBS Auction Opportunities Tool includes the two Excel workbooks we discussed above and access to our Web Spectrum Viewer mapping tool to investigate each subchannels whitespace area.  From the Population % screen below, we will continue our example on Shelby AL.  For the B1 channel, you can see that 52% of the population is in the whitespace area.  Clicking on that cell will open a map view showing the county outlines for Shelby AL and the whitespace area in yellow.  In the detailed view, we have zoomed in to reveal the cities, communities, and recreation areas that are in the whitespace area.  This whitespace map indicates the area where you can launch a network using the 5.5MHz B1 channel.  If the whitespace areas are identical for A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, and B3 channels, the auction winner would be able to utilize 33MHz of combined spectrum over the southern Shelby AL area.

Web Spectrum Viewer - EBS Auction Mapping:
Web Spectrum Viewer - EBS Auction Mapping (Detailed):

When is the CBRS Spectrum Access System (SAS) Updated with new PAL licenses? Wed, Mar 30, 2022

In March we began to reflect the SAS default PAL assignments in the Spectrum Grid views of our Web Spectrum Viewer and Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool rather than the assignments that the FCC made following the auction.
In the Current Operator View below you can see that Dish has chosen the lower part of the CBRS frequency band for its assignments and Verizon has typical taken the upper part of the band.  Most of the time the GAA channels are spaced between different carriers channel allotments.  Our Current Operator View indicates the assignments that are currently in the SAS.  There is a delay between when licenses are granted by the FCC and when they are loaded into the SAS.  For example Rio Broadband, Nikola Engineering, Cross Wireless, and SureWest Broadband had their licenses granted on 12/9/2021 but they were only loaded into the SAS on 2/14/2022.
There are still 2755 CBRS licenses that have not been granted.  In the Current View of the Spectrum Grid, the spectrum that will be assigned is reflected as General Authorized Access (GAA) since all SAS operators can utilize that spectrum until the remain PAL licenses are granted and a network launched.  In our Future View of the Spectrum Grid, we reflect the future granting of these PAL licenses with placeholding assignments.  If you look at Clinton county, IL and Jefferson county, MO the assignments for CableOne (CBO) can be seen. 

3.45GHz Auction Results Sat, Jan 15, 2022

On Friday, the FCC posted the results from Auction 110.  On Saturday we updated the January 2021 release of our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to reflect the auction results.  These results provide the most detailed view of each carrier's spectrum that can be deployed for 5G, particularly all of the available upper mid-band spectrum including EBS/BRS, 3.45GHz, CBRS, and C-band.

In the Spectrum Grid, we can see the channel allocations.  In general, Dish took the upper end of the band with T-Mobile and AT&T alternate having the lower parts of the band.  In many markets, AT&T is pinned in the middle of the band between T-Mobile, Grain, and Columbia Capital.  Each of the spectrum investors has selected spectrum assignments adjacent to AT&T's spectrum meaning they are each well positioned to sell to AT&T if the 3.45GHz spectrum cap is lifted. 

In the National Band Ownership slides we look at each carrier's ownership based upon the percent of MHz-POPs that they control.

For the 3.45GHz band, AT&T leads the way with 39% of the MHz-POPs, Dish has 30%, T-Mobile has 12%, and USCellular has 4%.  

Looking the the complete picture for Upper Mid-band spectrum, T-Mobile still leads with 34%, Verizon follows with 30%, then AT&T with 24%.  Dish has 9% of the upper mid-band MHz-POPs and USCellular has 2%.


2.5GHz Tribal Boundary Applications...Significant Progress Made Tue, Jan 11, 2022

In our December month-end review of open FCC transactions, we saw significant progress from the FCC in the processing the EBS tribal applications.  56 of the pending transactions were granted, reducing the remaining pending applications to 40. 

FCC Tribal Application Status



How much spectrum does Dish have for its Las Vegas network? Tue, Jan 04, 2022

Last month Light Reading re-published results from Signals Research Group's testing of Dish's first 5G network in Las Vegas.

Signals Research indicated that Dish is using 5MHz of their AWS-3 spectrum, 10MHz of their 600MHz spectrum, and 25MHz of their AWS-4. 

Initially I was curious whether Dish deployed all of their available spectrum so I utilized our Spectrum Survey Tool, which lists each channel block in a selected county along with the operating details for each channel including the current and future operator.  Dish's spectrum for Clark County, NV is displayed below.  The channel blocks that Signal Research Group indicates that Dish is operating are shaded green.  From my understanding of Signal Research Group's test results, Dish can still expand their Las Vegas network to include the 700MHz E block supplemental downlink channel, the A1/B1 AWS-3 uplink channel, the remainder of their AWS-4 spectrum and their CBRS spectrum.



To see this in terms of spectrum depth, below is an output from our Spectrum Depth Analysis module highlighting each of the national carriers' spectrum depth by category in Clark County.




Determining Unissued CBRS Licenses Tue, Dec 14, 2021

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.


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