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FCC announces service rules for PCS/AWS-2 H block


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AWS licensees of the H Block (1915-1920 MHz paired with 1995-2000 MHz) are collectively

responsible for reimbursing Sprint Nextel, Inc. or a successor in interest to Sprint Nextel, Inc. (Sprint), a

pro rata share of the eligible expenses that Sprint has incurred from relocating and clearing Broadcast

Auxiliary Service (BAS), Cable Television Relay Service (CARS), and Local Television Transmission

Service (LTTS) incumbents from the 1990-2025 MHz band. Specifically, within 30 days of grant of its

long-form application, AWS licensees in the 1995-2000 MHz band, which constitutes one-seventh of the

35 megahertz of spectrum at 1990-2025 MHz, shall, on a pro rata shared basis as set forth below in this

RN =

EA POP

U.S. POP

( ) x $12,629,857

Federal Communications Commission FCC 12-152

section reimburse one-seventh of the eligible expenses incurred by Sprint.

(a) To the extent that H Block licenses awarded in the first auction for this spectrum cover, collectively, at

least forty (40) percent of the nation’s population, the amount owed to Sprint by the winning bidder of

each individual H Block license awarded in the first auction will be determined by dividing the gross

winning bid (“GWB”) for each individual H Block license (i.e., an Economic Area (EA)) by the sum of

the gross winning bids for all H Block licenses awarded in the first auction, and then multiplying by

$94,875,516.

Except as provided in paragraphs (B) and ©, an AWS licensee that obtains a license for a market not

awarded in the first H Block auction will not have a reimbursement obligation to Sprint.

(B) The Commission imposes payment obligations on bidders that withdraw provisionally winning bids

during the course of an auction, on those that default on payments due after an auction closes, and on

those that are disqualified. See 47 CFR 1.2110(f)(2)(i). In the first auction, a winning bidder of an EA

license that is not awarded a license for any reason will be deemed to have triggered a reimbursement

obligation to Sprint that will be paid to Sprint by the licensee acquiring the EA license at reauction. The

amount owed to Sprint by the licensee acquiring the EA license at reauction will be based on the gross

winning bid for the EA license in the first auction. Accordingly, an applicant at reauction will know with

certainty the reimbursement obligation it will owe for each EA license subject to this paragraph (B).

© To the extent that H Block licenses awarded in the first auction for this spectrum cover, collectively,

less than forty (40) percent of the nation’s population, then the amount owed to Sprint shall be more

equitably dispersed across all EA licenses based on the relative population of the EA to the population of

the United States. Specifically, the amount that the licensee of an individual H Block license must

reimburse Sprint shall be calculated by dividing the population of the individual EA by the total U.S.

population, and then multiplying by $94,875,516.

RN =

EA GWB

Sum of GWBs

( ) x $94,875,516

 

That's very interesting.

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The first point of note is that PCS/AWS-2 H block mobiles will be relatively power limited. In the H block uplink of 1915-1920 MHz, total power will be limited to ≤30 dBm. More importantly, though, power in the 1917-1920 MHz segment will be limited to ≤6 dBm. This is because the traditional PCS A-F block downlink starts at 1930 MHz, and interference mitigation is paramount.

 

In other words, do not look for any Motorola Photon-esque EIRP from H block devices. The H block looks more like an offload band than anything else.

 

AJ

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Sounds like, even if Sprint won PCS H, they wouldn't use it to make a 10x10 with PCS G, due to very different footprints as a result of different Tx power requirements. Maybe they'll do some weird asymmetric channel width fandango on PCS H though, such that LTE-A devices will carrier-aggregate G+H downlinks (for 10 MHz of bandwidth) and use as many uplink subcarriers (15 KHz apiece, right?) as possible while still obeying power budgets (which might mean all of PCS G, plus 2 MHz of PCS H, farther from the tower).

 

Going along with this idea, if Sprint had G+H in a given market, they could "stack" the subcarriers as tightly as possible (since a 5x5 channel is actually 4.5x4.5 with a 250KHz guard band on each side) such that a few more subcarriers would stay outside the very low uplink section of PCS H. Dunno if LTE Rel 10 supports that though, and I'm too lazy at the moment to look the spec up.

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Sounds like, even if Sprint won PCS H, they wouldn't use it to make a 10x10 with PCS G, due to very different footprints as a result of different Tx power requirements. Maybe they'll do some weird asymmetric channel width fandango on PCS H though, such that LTE-A devices will carrier-aggregate G+H downlinks (for 10 MHz of bandwidth) and use as many uplink subcarriers (15 KHz apiece, right?) as possible while still obeying power budgets (which might mean all of PCS G, plus 2 MHz of PCS H, farther from the tower).

 

You are spot on about the downlink, but you are a little bit off about the uplink. Only the downlink uses 15 kHz OFDMA subcarriers. For LTE (not LTE-A), the uplink uses 60 kHz SC-FDMA carriers. Otherwise, yes, quasi asymmetric carrier aggregation may be the way to go with the H block.

 

AJ

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You are spot on about the downlink, but you are a little bit off about the uplink. Only the downlink uses 15 kHz OFDMA subcarriers. For LTE (not LTE-A), the uplink uses 60 kHz SC-FDMA carriers. Otherwise, yes, quasi asymmetric carrier aggregation may be the way to go with the H block.

 

AJ

 

Looks like LTE-A uses 15 KHz OFDMA carriers though on the uplink, and I can't imagine LTE Rel 9 or earlier devices ever supporting that band. Though I would expect that, in the lower-link-budget portion of the band, the subcarriers will be sitting at lower modulations most of the time, if they're used at all, due to SNR issues.

 

Who me, alphabet soup? Never!

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Here is another interesting point regarding coverage maps from the H block rules:

 

88. Electronic coverage maps must accurately depict the boundaries of each license area in the licensee’s service territory. If a licensee does not provide reliable signal coverage to an entire license area, we propose that its map must accurately depict the boundaries of the area or areas within each license area not being served. Further, we propose that each licensee also must file supporting documentation certifying the type of service it is providing for each licensed area within its service territory and the type of technology used to provide such service. Supporting documentation must include the assumptions used to create the coverage maps, including the propagation model and the signal strength necessary to provide reliable service with the licensee’s technology.

 

AJ

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These power limitations and the fee that needs to be paid to Sprint seems to make the H block less attractive to other buyers like an AT&T or Tmobile. Maybe Dish wouldn't be interested as well.

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Why is sprint getting a fee for the H block

 

Broadcast Auxiliary Service (used by TV stations to transmit remote broadcasts back to the studio) previously occupied both the G and H blocks. As part of its agreement with the FCC, Sprint paid the relocation costs for the entire BAS band so that Sprint could utilize the G block. Now, any other licensee of the H block must reimburse Sprint a prorated share of those relocation costs.

 

AJ

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It would seem that between the power limitations and the fact that other bidders will have to reimburse Sprint, it would make PCS H a relatively inexpensive bid for Sprint.

Edited by bigsnake49
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Yeah, me, too. Over the weekend, I tried "quasi asymmetric carrier aggregation" as a pickup line at a bar and did not get anywhere. But your mileage may vary.

 

AJ

You're just hanging out at the wrong bars. Plenty of girls (and guys) want you to talk nerdy to them.

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If sprint got the H block and was hosting dish could they use the 5mhz guard band that dish has to set aside for H block

 

No, the point of that 5 MHz guard band is to protect the H block downlink from spurious emissions from the Dish AWS-4 uplink. If both adjacent blocks were uplinks or downlinks, then no guard band would be necessary. See the band plan diagram that I posted earlier today.

 

AJ

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