AT&T | FiberTower | Straight Path 39GHz - Rectangular Area Licenses May 9, 2017 06:30
One of the important aspect to understand about the millimeter band spectrum is the different types of licenses that compromise the 39 GHz Band. One block of licenses were auctioned with Economic Area boundaries (similar to the AWS-3 Auction for H, I, and J licenses). The second block of licenses are referred to as "Rectangular Licenses". The rectangular licenses are defined by 4 latitude/longitude points making a rectangle. These licenses include 1 or more of the 39 GHz channels and the rectangles encroach on the Economic Area licenses in quite a few of the US major metro areas. Essentially the rectangular area licenses subtract license area and population from the Economic Area licenses.
Below is a map which reflects the active and terminated rectangular area licenses. The terminated licenses (in red) represent some of the licenses that AT&T and FiberTower are attempting to restore. The are also trying to restore a most of the 24 GHz licenses that FiberTowerhad terminated by the FCC. Straight Path's consent agreement with the FCC required them to cancel all of their rectangular licenses so those are not included in the map.
Cancelling the Straight Path licenses accomplished two purposes. First, it penalized Straight Path for lax controls on their construction and substantial service process. Second, it cleaned up the licensing boundaries for the spectrum the FCC still controls enabling the FCC to auction complete counties for more 39 GHz channels.