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Spectrum Blog

Which AWS-3 Licenses are at the center of the FCC - Dish Decision? Thu, Nov 19, 2020

Today, the FCC ruled that Dish should not have received small company discounts for their bidding partners in the AWS-3 auction, meaning that Dish would need to pay full price for the spectrum licenses won by Northstar and SNR or they would need to return the spectrum to the FCC for a re-auction.

Below is a map that reflects the AWS-3 spectrum that would be available at auction if Dish declines to pay the full auction price.

The next questions will focus on who could benefit most from this spectrum.  In the image below from our Spectrum Ownership Grid, the AWS-3 ownership for the Top 3 US markets are shown.  The columns filled with "FCC" indicate the spectrum that would be re-auctioned, so there would be a 5x5 channel in the New York EA (Economic Area Market) and a 10x10 channel in the Chicago market between the Chicago CMA (G channel) and the Chicago EA (H channel).  It is work noting that AT&T already has a strong position in these markets, but Verizon lacks AWS-3 spectrum in each of these markets, although no AWS-3 spectrum is available in the Los Angeles market.


Verizon Continues to Acquire AWS-3 Licenses Tue, Mar 24, 2020

Earlier this month, Verizon filed to acquire all of Orion Wireless' paired AWS-3 spectrum.   This is Verizon's third acquisition of AWS-3 spectrum in the last six months. Last year Verizon filed to acquire AWS-3 spectrum from Cypress Cellular and Blue Ridge Wireless.

Geographic Coverage: 

The map below depicts all of Orion Wireless' AWS-3 licenses.  15 of Orion Wireless' licenses are for the AWS-3 G block and one for the AWS-3 I block.  This acquisition provides Verizon an additional 10 MHz of spectrum (5x5) in the in the areas where only Orion only controlled one license and 20 MHz of spectrum in two Minnesota counties where they control both the G and I blocks.


It is also interesting to look at how this spectrum will fit with Verizon's existing Band 66 spectrum.  Below is an output from our Spectrum Grid where you can see all of Orion Wireless' spectrum (OWL).  In most counties, the spectrum is not contiguous with Verizon's existing spectrum assignments, but in 5 Iowa counties, the Orion Wireless spectrum will provide Verizon with a larger second LTE channel ranging from 10 to 15 MHz.


Another Verizon AWS-3 Acquisition - Blue Ridge Wireless Thu, Nov 28, 2019

Yesterday, Verizon filed to acquire all of Blue Ridge Wireless' paired AWS-3 spectrum.   This is Verizon's second acquisition of AWS-3 spectrum in the last two months. Last month Verizon filed to acquire AWS-3 spectrum from Cypress Cellular.  Let's look at the details for the Blue Ridge Wireless purchase with Allnet's Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tools.  We will look at the geographic coverage in our Web Spectrum Viewer - Mapping Module, MHz-POPs and Licensed POPs in our Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.

Geographic Coverage: 

The map below depicts all of Blue Ridge Wireless' AWS-3 licenses.  Verizon is only purchasing Blue Ridge's paired spectrum licenses, leaving the uplink only spectrum (A1 and B1) with Blue Ridge.

Licensed Population:

In the graphic below, we show the amount of the US population, that each channel of Blue Ridge's AWS-3 spectrum licenses can reach.  Clearly, the A1/B1 uplink channels represent the majority of the licensed population Blue Ridge controls.  The collection of G channel licenses reach 2.6 million people.


From our MHz-POPs summary below, Blue Ridge Wireless licenses represent 108 million MHz-POPs.  This includes their paired and unpaired spectrum.  The Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool also includes a detailed MHz-POPs module highlighting the MHz-POPs controlled in each county by frequency band.


Verizon AWS-3 Spectrum Acquistion Fri, Oct 11, 2019

This week Verizon filed to acquire 40 AWS-3 licenses from Cypress Cellular.  I thought this would give us a good opportunity to gain strategic insights into how this acquisition fits with Verizon's existing spectrum portfolio.

First up, a national map of Cypress Cellular's AWS-3 spectrum.  Most counties have 10MHz of paired spectrum (5x5) while 3 counties have 20MHz of paired spectrum (10x10).

To see how Cypress Cellular's channels fit with Verizon's existing AWS-1 and AWS-3 spectrum, we use the Spectrum Grid modules from the Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  To find all of the counties where Cypress control AWS-3 spectrum, we auto filter on Cypress's 3 character code (CYC).  This allows us to see that on the counties displayed, Cypress owns the G block channels. It also allows us to determine if the spectrum is contiguous with any other Verizon spectrum and whether Verizon has any other AWS-3 in that county.  In the Florida counties shown, Verizon will increase the LTE channel size in the AWS-3 band from 10MHz to 15MHz with this acquisition.

Another way we can evaluate this acquisition is to look at the county spectrum depths in the County Analysis Module.  From this data, we can see that Verizon lacks AWS-3 spectrum in most of the counties shown in this view.  In some counties Verizon will have a total of 30MHz of spectrum after the transaction closes.  All of this analysis focuses on 36 of the 191 counties involved in this transaction.

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