Sprint and T-Mobile, A Deeper Look June 17, 2014 13:30

The first place to start on the rumored Sprint / T-Mobile merger/acquisition is to look at the merged entity's total spectrum holdings. AllNet Lab's Spectrum Analysis Tool with June 2014 FCC data was used for this analysis.  The Spectrum Analysis Tool is available at www.allnetlabs.com along with National Carrier Spectrum Holding and LTE Channel reports.  In the map below, you can see the counties where the the spectrum held will exceed the spectrum screen (Orange) or will greatly exceed the spectrum screen (Red).  In addition, you can see that in some counties the merged entity will have up to 374MHz of spectrum.
To see how this spectrum depth relates to the population that the licenses cover, we created a histogram evaluating the population covered by different spectrum depths.  The red line below indicates the sum of population in areas with similar spectrum depth.  For example, there are 10 million people in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile has 200MHz of spectrum and 79 million people in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile have 280MHz of spectrum.

The green line indicates the sum of the population as you increase the range from left to right.  For example, there are 1 million people in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile have 20MHz or less spectrum.  Considering a 195MHz spectrum screen, you can see that only 47 million people live in areas where Sprint/T-Mobile will be below the spectrum screen, thus Sprint/T-Mobile exceeds the spectrum screen over 85% of the US population.

Our last analysis summarizes the MHz-POPs for Sprint/T-Mobile by spectrum band.  WCS spectrum is listed but it is being transferred to AT&T.  Sprint's EBS/BRS spectrum still accounts for 55% of the combined entities MHz-POPs although the combined AWS and PCS spectrum represents 36%.  Using the MHz-POPs values, we can develop a National Average of Sprint/T-Mobile's spectrum holdings.  Looking again at the AWS and PCS spectrum holdings, Sprint/T-Mobile would average 38MHz of AWS spectrum and 65MHz of PCS spectrum across the country.

AllNet Lab's Spectrum Analysis Tool is an Excel based product which allows users to visualize and analyze the current spectrum ownership for all of the mobile carrier and satellite frequency bands at a county level for all 50 states and US territories.  The Spectrum Analysis Tool includes 15 color-coded spectrum holders and over 600 additional identified carriers.