Band 66 - Dish Spectrum Plan February 15, 2016 20:30

In December, Dish announced the 3GPP approval of a new LTE band.  Band 66 doesn't cover all of Dish's AWS2, AWS3, and AWS4 spectrum.  It only covers the paired AWS3 spectrum and Dish's upper AWS4 band.  Below are a couple of screen grabs from our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool where we reference the LTE Bands on our Spectrum Grid.  I have included the New York CMA counties and Los Angeles so you can see who owns these bands in the largest markets.  The Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool has this level of detail for every US county.   Since Band 66 is the only band that covers the entire AWS3 band, it is likely that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon will deploy networks and handsets using this band.  It is a huge bonus for Dish that part of their AWS4 spectrum is within the band.

PCS and AWS Downlink Bands:

As you can see in the above image Dish's (DSH) AWS2 H channels and their lower AWS4 channels are not covered by band 66.  Band 66 is not the band configuration that will provide Dish with the best usage of their spectrum.  Dish still has plans to utilize both of their AWS4 band for downlink operations paired with the AWS3 uplink only spectrum (A1/B1).  The benefit of including Dish's upper AWS4 in this band means that whenever Dish's spectrum is actived (network build), the three national carriers would have immediate access to that capacity through their phones and network (if they had a wholesale or network host business arrangement with Dish).
PCS and AWS Uplink Bands:
Band 66 is a little more perplexing looking at the uplink band.  It would have made logical sense to include A1 and B1 in Band 66.  It makes me think that there is a short term technical issue that is preventing them from extending the band over these channels.  This may be due to government use on these channels that needs to get fazed out.  If there is an existing use in this spectrum, they have likely designed the band cutoff so Band 66 can be utilized almost immediately and they could cover A1 and B1 with a new Band in the future much like Sprint extending the Cellular Band 5 with Band 26 to include their SMR frequencies and Sprint extending PCS Band 2 with Band 25 to include their PCS G Block.