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FCC allows T-Mobile to test spectrum sharing in the 1755-1780 band


bigsnake49
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The FCC granted permission to T-Mobile USA to test the concept of sharing spectrum between federal and commercial users in the 1755-1780 MHz band. The pilot program is part of a larger government effort to use spectrum sharing technology to help meet mobile broadband demand.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement that by granting the authorization, the commission "hopes to facilitate commercial mobile broadband services in that band, which would significantly benefit millions of U.S. wireless consumers and help drive the mobile innovation economy." The tests are aimed at measuring the impact spectrum sharing will have on commercial carriers as they seek to deploy LTE.

"As we move forward, we will continue to collaborate closely with key government agencies, including NTIA and the Department of Defense, as well as private sector partners, to gain greater spectrum efficiency and unlock the many potential benefits of government-commercial spectrum sharing," he said.

 

Read more: FCC allows T-Mobile to test spectrum sharing in 1755-1780 MHz band - FierceWireless http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/fcc-allows-t-mobile-test-spectrum-sharing-1755-1780-mhz-band/2012-08-15#ixzz23dbQXwnp

 

Would Sprint be interested in something like this?

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Would Sprint be interested in something like this?

 

Sprint? Why? And with what spectrum?

 

The spectrum in question is practically in T-Mobile's wheelhouse, is adjacent to the AWS-1 uplink. Not to mention, T-Mobile still needs additional spectrum in many major markets to complete its network overhaul. Sprint, on the other hand, does not.

 

Honestly, the GSM based carriers -- namely, AT&T and T-Mobile -- look less and less efficient as the years go on. They constantly need more spectrum to manage their 3G/4G airlink evolutions. That is what they get for following the Euro centric 3GPP bandwagon.

 

AJ

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AJ, while I agree that that spectrum is much more suitable to T-Mobile's spectrum holdings, I don't think it's fair to bash WCDMA for T-Mobile's failing to migrate their 2G users to 3G. Now, I think they are stupid for jumping the gun and implementing LTE when HSPA+ has so much headroom. Or the fact that they implemented 3G on AWS instead of migrating their 2G user in place.

AT&T just miscalculated how much spectrum they needed for data and panicked and reached for T-Mobile. They could have bought the cable cos spectrum or bought leap or metropcs.

 

Does T-Mobile have problems with uplink? They prbably want to use the additional spectrum for downlink, not uplink. If they use it for downlink then the possibility for interference is much greater.

Edited by bigsnake49
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AJ, while I agree that that spectrum is much more suitable to T-Mobile's spectrum holdings, I don't think it's fair to bash WCDMA for T-Mobile's failing to migrate their 2G users to 3G.

 

No, I am not bashing W-CDMA for T-Mobile's failings. I am bashing W-CDMA, period. And lest I be thought of as a Monday morning quarterback, I have been consistent in this position for years.

 

Now, 10 MHz (5 MHz x 5 MHz) may not seem like much to allot to a new airlink. But 10 years ago -- when the US licensed 50 MHz of Cellular 850 MHz spectrum, 120 MHz of PCS 1900 MHz spectrum, but no AWS 2100+1700 MHz, Lower 700 MHz, or Upper 700 MHz spectrum, plus AT&TWS, Alltel, and Qwest were still in the game -- 10 MHz of spectrum outlay was huge. That unwieldy bandwidth requirement for W-CDMA set in motion the Cingular-AT&TWS merger and set back T-Mobile 3G deployment until well after the AWS-1 auction in 2006.

 

No, AT&TWS, Cingular, and T-Mobile all made poor, internationally influenced decisions. They would have been much better off going CDMA2000 -- AT&TWS was on the verge of doing so until investment from NTT DoCoMo forced its hand to go GSM/W-CDMA. Then, as VZW and Sprint are doing now, they could have transitioned to LTE, as licensed bandwidth increased to include AWS, 700 MHz, SMR 800 MHz, and PCS G. Furthermore, 3GPP has come to its senses and incorporated smaller bandwidth configurations for LTE.

 

But I digress...

 

AJ

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No, I am not bashing W-CDMA for T-Mobile's failings. I am bashing W-CDMA, period. And lest I be thought of as a Monday morning quarterback, I have been consistent in this position for years.

 

Just curios, why do you dislike W-CDMA?

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Part of the problem has been FCC's insistence on letting people bid on small slices of spectrum, e.g. 5+5MHz. Now granted, that's fines if all you're doing is servicing voice but is totally inadequate when you start talking about data.

 

I'm very happy that LTE allowed smaller channel widths. Sprint is the beneficiary of that in that they can deploy 3Mhz channels in border areas on 800MHz.

 

I think that the FCC needs to tighten their buildout and usage reqs so that Verizon and AT&T don't warehouse spectrum to keep it out of the hands of smaller operators. I would also like for them to ditch auctions and go to a usage fee structure, where the operators rent the spectrum for x dollars per year per MW. I would also like to eliminate the spectrum speculators that just buy the spectrum to later on sell it to AT&T or Verizon or ..... You get 3 years to build it out, if you don't you lose it. You cannot sell your spectrum.

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I don't really like any of those options. 5x5 seems like it's going to work well as a nationwide part of Sprint's spectrum. People are getting up to 20-30mbps download.

 

Verizon will build out their AWS holdings pretty soon. They just have to make it work as they already built a LTE release 8 network on 700, but will want LTE-Advanced for their AWS spectrum. ATT will be building out WCS/700 in the same manner, except ATT is less ambitious about nationwide LTE and has crappier spectrum.

 

Carriers need to have guaranteed spectrum for a long period of time. They can't afford to have to upgrade everyone on their networks' phones every couple of years to use new radios, or climb up all their towers to add additional radios.

 

Other than spectrum being really expensive, I think competition has still won out and you get optimized spectrum. T-Mobile/Verizon/CableCo deal is an example of that. ATT WCS is as well. I don't think I would change much right now in this regard.

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Part of the problem has been FCC's insistence on letting people bid on small slices of spectrum, e.g. 5+5MHz. Now granted, that's fines if all you're doing is servicing voice but is totally inadequate when you start talking about data.

 

I completely disagree.

 

You cannot fault the FCC for creating 10 MHz (i.e. 5 MHz x 5 MHz) PCS licenses, as the PCS 1900 MHz band plan was put together roughly 20 years ago now. The mix of 30 MHz and 10 MHz licenses was really quite well done. Because of the 45/55 MHz spectrum cap at the time, Cellular 850 MHz incumbents could not bid on the 30 MHz licenses covering any of their existing markets, but they could bid on the 10 MHz licenses for supplemental bandwidth. That reserved the 30 MHz licenses for PCS 1900 MHz start ups -- Sprint PCS, PrimeCo PCS, Omnipoint, Aerial, VoiceStream, PacBell Mobile Services, et al. Cellular 850 MHz incumbents -- AT&TWS, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, Bell South Mobility DCS, GTE Macro Communications, et al. -- did acquire several 30 MHz licenses but only in markets where they were new entrants.

 

AJ

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Yeah, but those limits are long gone!

 

Sure, the spectrum cap has been raised greatly, but that is beside the point. Increasing the spectrum cap does not magically modify the band plan. In fact, once the band plan is set, it is basically etched in stone until the FCC and/or industry decide that time has come for a full reset. And that will not happen for PCS 1900 MHz for many years yet.

 

AJ

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Part of the problem has been FCC's insistence on letting people bid on small slices of spectrum, e.g. 5+5MHz. Now granted, that's fines if all you're doing is servicing voice but is totally inadequate when you start talking about data.

 

I'm very happy that LTE allowed smaller channel widths. Sprint is the beneficiary of that in that they can deploy 3Mhz channels in border areas on 800MHz.

 

I think that the FCC needs to tighten their buildout and usage reqs so that Verizon and AT&T don't warehouse spectrum to keep it out of the hands of smaller operators. I would also like for them to ditch auctions and go to a usage fee structure, where the operators rent the spectrum for x dollars per year per MW. I would also like to eliminate the spectrum speculators that just buy the spectrum to later on sell it to AT&T or Verizon or ..... You get 3 years to build it out, if you don't you lose it. You cannot sell your spectrum.

 

+1. I totally agree with all your sentiments.

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Build-out timelines gave us Wimax. Do you guys think that Verizon and AT&T are going to leave their AWS / WCS spectrum unused? The clock just started on both of these, and my guess is that they start building antennas and capable phones in the next 6-12 months.

 

People love to include AT&T as sitting on unused spectrum, but to me, they are as in need of spectrum as anyone. Their 700 build-outs will also definitely increase if they buy from Verizon.

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