We recent made a couple of updates to our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to highlight NR Band configurations. First, we added a Spectrum Depth by NR Band which shows a carrier's spectrum depth for each county along with their max spectrum depth and a population weighted average. The next image below is where we would like to have your input. Several of our customer have requested the ability to see the different channels sizes that a carrier can form in each NR Band.
We have done this before for the Mobile Carrier bands (600-4.2GHz) in our LTE Channel Analysis Module. In our Mobile Carrier Tool we utilize 5MHz, 10MHz, 15Mhz, and 20 MHz as the standard channel sizes for LTE and we display them in the layout below. What are the channel sizes that we should include for the NR bands in the Millimeter Wave frequencies? The initial input we received included (400MHz, 300MHz, 200MHz, 100MHz, and 50MHz) channels.
Which format would be the most useful? The above image groups the frequency band within each channel size, while the image below has channel sizes grouped by NR band.
The previous formats indicate the configurations that a carrier can achieve at a county-level. To generalize a carrier's available channel size, I developed a histogram which indicates the number of occurrences for each channel size within a NR band. The chart indicates that the dominant channel configuration for T-Mobile's 600MHz spectrum is 15MHz. The image below only includes the counties associated with the Top 100 CMA markets which provide a more capacity/traffic related view. Please provide input if you feel the histogram would be useful along with any other feedback.
To determine how much Millimeter Wave spectrum is controlled by the FCC, we utilize the National & State Market Analysis module from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool. The values below are calculated as population weighted averages of the FCC's controlled spectrum at the county-level. On average, the FCC has nearly 3500 MHz of spectrum available. Most of that spectrum (2700 MHz) is coming from the newly identified spectrum bands (37GHz and 47GHz) along with the reconfigured and expanded 24GHz.
In our last post we were discussing the next steps for the US millimeter wave spectrum after FiberTower and the FCC settled FiberTower's licensing issues. As we prepare for a 28GHz auction in November, and a 24GHz auction early next year, let's take a look at how each of the new millimeter wave frequency bands are configured. Each of these images is taken from our updated Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool which is now reflecting the new channel band plans for 24GHz, 37GHz, and 47GHz.
24 GHz Spectrum:
In this view we show both the expanded 24GHz band configuration and the old 24GHz configuration. All of the spectrum depth values are calculated from the New 24GHz data. We have left the old 24GHz configuration, so you can continue to see the remaining 24GHz spectrum licenses which will need to be moved over to the New 24GHz by the FCC. The current licenses are licensed for a 40MHz uplink and 40MHz downlink which won't map properly to the new band plan.
For the 37/39GHz bands we show the new 37GHz band alongside the reconfigured 39GHz band. The new 39GHz columns are not populated because the existing spectrum holders will need to be transitioned to the larger/unpaired channels in the new 39GHz plan. We are providing spectrum depth values for the new 37GHz spectrum and the old 39GHz spectrum.
We have added the new 47GHz band configurations to the Spectrum Grid and each of the spectrum depth modules.
PEA Market Analysis:
Our last addition, is a PEA Market Analysis module. This module displays spectrum depths for each selected carrier using the new FCC Auction market structure. For the 28GHz auction, you can see the amount of spectrum that will be available in each of the PEAs in the LMDS A (FCC) column on the far right of the chart.
Things are beginning to clear up now that we have the settlement between FiberTower and the FCC, which eliminated an average of 121 MHz of 24GHz spectrum that FiberTower could have provided to AT&T but FiberTower did provide AT&T most of the active and terminated licenses they wanted in the 39GHz band.
With Chairman Pai's comments at MWC 2018, it is clear that the FCC is targeting a 28-31GHz auction by the end of the year. This makes the most sense, since the ownership of the LMDS band is more "clean" than the 39GHz. Looking at the CMA Market Analysis from our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool we can see that most of the spectrum that is in the FCC's hands is the LMDS B block (31,000 to 31,075MHz) and (31,225 to 31,300MHz). It appears that 150MHz of spectrum will be available in 23 of the Top 75 CMA markets. In addition, LMDS A block spectrum (1150Mz) will be available in 15 of the Top 100 CMA markets.
Chairman Pai's comment that 24GHz will be the second auction, also makes sense because the settlement with FiberTower cleared the 24GHz band except in a few western markets including parts of Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and California. This spectrum is currently licensed as 2 - 40MHz channels so these channels don't match up to the new band plan for 100 MHz channels.
It is unknown when the FCC will be able to auction the new 37GHz band with the remaining spectrum held in the 39GHz band. Below is a county-level view of the ownership of this band from the Spectrum Grid Module in our Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool. You can see the spectrum blocks controlled by the FCC in grey along with the spectrum that Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile each control. These channel allocations need to be shifted so that carriers own 200MHz contiguous blocks to match the new 37/39GHz band plan.
Looking at this same counties in our County Analysis module for Spectrum Depth, you can see that each carriers allotments aren't always in 200MHz increments which are the channel sizes for the new combined 37/39GHz. The carriers will have to figure out a plan to shift their holdings into 200MHz channels and the FCC will have to deal with fractional channel blocks and fractional counties, since the 39GHz licenses include rectangular licenses that overlap county boundaries.
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.
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.
For this blog post, I am going to use Allnet Insights' Mobile Carrier - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool to estimate the 600 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile will use to deploy LTE and what will remain available to deploy 5G.
To start this analysis, I will get T-Mobile 600 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum holdings at a county-level from the Company Analysis Module.
Using this data, we assign 10 MHz of 600 MHz spectrum to all counties where T-Mobile doesn't control 700 MHz spectrum. This spectrum assignment would provide T-Mobile with similar LTE capacity across the United States. Note that there are a few counties where T-Mobile controls enough 700 MHz spectrum to enable a 10x10 LTE channel.
The remaining 600 MHz spectrum is expected to be deployed as a 5G technology. For the map below, i have indicated 5G channel sizes that are similar to LTE channel sizes except for a 25 MHz channel size which doesn't exist in the LTE framework. This is in markets where T-Mobile controls 50 MHz of spectrum above the 5 MHz channel LTE network.
For this blog post I am going to use some of the new features of the Millimeter Wave - Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool, to break down Verizon's agreement to lease XO's Millimeter Wave Spectrum.
First of all, our data source for this analysis is the Future Holdings data which will reflect Verizon's future lease of XO's spectrum. Allnet's CMA Market Analysis Module details Verizon's spectrum holdings for each of the Top 20 CMA markets (below). From this analysis it is easy to see the markets where Verizon will have significant LMDS A (28 GHz) and LMDS B (31 GHz) spectrum. In addition, markets with out spectrum (Phoenix) and the limited markets with 39 GHz spectrum are easily identified.
CMA Market Analysis:
Next we will look at the State & National Analysis Module to determine the average spectrum depth across the Nation or at a State Level. Looking at the National Average Spectrum Depth, we can see that Verizon averages 576 MHz of millimeter wave spectrum with 511 MHz of that being LMDS A spectrum, 53 MHz being LMDS B spectrum and 12 MHz being 39 GHz spectrum.
State & National Analysis Module:
Last we will look at how many MHz-POPs are included and how they are distributed between each of the frequency blocks. Allnet's MHz-POPs Analysis Module clearly details that this transaction would provide Verizon over 180 billion MHz-POPs. 158 billion of those MHz-POPs are from the LMDS A frequency band, 16 billion from the LMDS B frequency band, and nearly 4 billion from the 39 GHz frequency band.
MHz-POPs Analysis Module: