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Spectrum Blog

Comparing the Millimeter Wave Deals Fri, Jun 23, 2017

Yesterday Allnet Insights & Analytics presented at the Wells Fargo 5G forum.  Below are several of the slides that describe the millimeter wave spectrum holdings for each of the parties involved in the current millimeter wave deals. Each of these slides is a direct analysis output from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.  In these slides we have selected 8 carriers from the 173 carriers available in the tool. The first slide compares the National Weighted Average spectrum depth for each of the carriers.  Verizon's spectrum position is displayed as NextLink Wireless since Verizon at the time this slide was created was only leasing NextLink's spectrum.  In this set of slides we also highlight the risk surrounding the FiberTower transaction for AT&T.  The largest portion of the FiberTower transaction is for licenses that the FCC has terminated.  It is unknown how many of these licenses will be restored and added to AT&T's spectrum holdings.

 While the National Average slide highlights how much spectrum each carrier has on average across the county, networks are deployed using the available spectrum within a market.  The slides below highlight the amount of spectrum that each carrier has in a CMA (Cellular Market Area).  The Top 5 markets are in the first slide including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

 The remaining Top 10 markets are in the second slide: Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, and Boston. 

 The last slide highlights the estimated MHz-POPs for each of the carriers for their Millimeter Wave spectrum.  It is worth noting that the ranges for Mobile Carrier spectrum (600MHz-2.5GHz) for the National Carriers is 30B MHz-POPs to 65B MHz-POPs.  On this chart, the lowest range is 50B MHz-POPs.



FiberTower 24 GHz and 39 GHz Licenses (Active and Terminated) Tue, May 16, 2017

Allnet Insights' spectrum tools have historically only focused on spectrum licenses that are active or pending.  As we compared the size of the FiberTower/AT&T transaction using our active license data, it was clear that FiberTower's terminated licenses make up a large percentage of the transaction.  To allow our customers to evaluate the FiberTower transaction in terms of the nationwide scope and market by market effect, we have added the FiberTower terminated licenses to our FCC data set.  Since it is not clear how many of the terminated licenses will actually be reinstated, we have not included the terminated licenses in our current or future holdings data until they are formally restored by the FCC.  

Below we show FiberTower's active licenses compared to their terminated licenses in our Spectrum Grid for the 24 GHz band.  FiberTower's active licenses use the FBT carrier code while the terminated licenses use the FTT carrier code.  In this view FiberTower's active licenses only include the Chicago CMA counties while the terminated licenses cover Los Angeles county and all of the Philadelphia counties.

Looking at the 39GHz spectrum blocks, FiberTower's terminated licenses cover the A block channel for all of the New York counties and the H block for all of the New York counties that AT&T doesn't currently control.

AT&T | FiberTower | Straight Path 39GHz - Rectangular Area Licenses Tue, May 09, 2017

 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.

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