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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%.
Last year we provided an FCC Spectrum Screen Analysis reflecting the effects of the EBS reconfiguration, the CBRS allocation, and the C-band allocation. Two weeks ago the FCC has revised the Sub-6 GHz spectrum screen through their 3.45GHz rulemaking.
In the chart below we reflect the spectrum depth allotments that are included in our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool. The links under in the frequency column will open the FCC spectrum screen documents and the comment field indicates the paragraphs where the spectrum screen is discussed.
The Allnet Spectrum Depth column indicates the spectrum allocations that we use in all of our typical spectrum depth reporting (county, CMA, PEA, State, and National). The FCC / Allnet Spectrum Screen allocations reflect the allocations that we use in our County, CMA market, and PEA Market Spectrum Screen columns.
|Band||Frequency||Allnet Spectrum Depth||FCC / Allnet Spectrum Screen||Comments|
|Low Band||600 MHz||70||70|
|Low Band||700 MHz||90||70||First Net Spectrum not included|
|Lw Mid Band||PCS||140||140||Includes H-block|
|Lw Mid Band||AWS-1||90||90|
|Lw Mid Band||AWS-3||65||65|
|Lw Mid Band||AWS-4||40||40|
|Up Mid Band||WCS||30||20|
|Up Mid Band||BRS||77.5||67.5||BRS1 and BRS K guard bands not included|
|Up Mid Band||EBS||116.5||116.5||Paragraph 98-100|
|Up Mid Band||3.45GHz||100||100||Paragraph 101|
|Up Mid Band||CBRS||0||0||Paragraph 107|
|Up Mid Band||C-Band||280||280||Paragraph 83|
To determine the overall Spectrum Screen value, the FCC divides the spectrum screen allotment (1123) by 3 and rounds to the nearest 10MHz. This makes the new spectrum screen including the 100MHz of 3.45GHz spectrum, 370 MHz.
In the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we have three views into the Spectrum Screen. They are a County Analysis View, a Cellular Market Area (CMA) View, and a Partial Economic Area (PEA) View.
County Analysis View:
In this view, each of the national carriers spectrum screen values are displayed along with the amount of spectrum in that county controlled by the FCC. The FCC value predominately represents the 3.45GHz spectrum allocation, but there is some EBS spectrum (whitespace) that is also allocated to the FCC.
PEA Market Analysis View:
The FCC announced the final rules for the new 3.45GHz band on March 19, 2021. With our April 2021 release, we updated our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to include the 3.45GHz frequency band in each of the analysis modules. The 10 - 10MHz channels appear in our Spectrum Grid as a part of NR Band 77. In the image below, we highlight the FCC's ownership of each of the channels (pre-auction) by county.
Honolulu County has a NA (Not Available) code for both the 3.45GHz spectrum and the C-band spectrum since neither band in available in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Looking at the National Band Ownership Charts, we can see that this unavailability affects 2% of the MHz-POPs or 2% of the US Population (~6.6M).
In the County Analysis Module the spectrum depth values for eight selected carriers are displayed. This image highlights each carriers 3.45GHz, CBRS, and C-band holdings.
Below is a more detailed description of our Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools and the analysis capabilities it supports.