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Spectrum Blog

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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