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PCS H Block Spectrum discussion (was "Draft Rules for H Block Auction Set by FCC"


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FCC tees up H Block spectrum auction for Sprint, Dish and others
Commission approved draft rules for auction that will likely happen in late 2013 or early 2014
June 27, 2013 | By Phil Goldstein

 

WASHINGTON--The FCC approved draft rules for the auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, which could have implications for both Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH).  According to the FCC, the auction will take place in late 2013 or early 2014. 

 

At the first commission meeting chaired by Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, the FCC voted 3-0 to set draft auction rules for the spectrum, which can be used for mobile broadband. Although the technical rules were not immediately detailed, the FCC said the rules will ensure that the use of the H Block will not cause interference to adjacent operations in the PCS band and other spectrum bands, notably Dish's. The spectrum will be licensed on basis of economic areas around the country.

...

 

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/fcc-tees-h-block-spectrum-auction-sprint-dish-and-others/2013-06-27?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Editor&utm_campaign=SocialMedia

 

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I am going to guess that early 2014 is more likely when the H block will be auctioned since the FCC is very slow on dealing with these things.

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No need to rush it.  Doing so will just prolong the time that the spectrum is stockpiled.  Regardless of when the auction takes place, the PCS/AWS-2 H block will not see much, if any action for about three years from now.  The bottleneck is standardization and infrastructure/device procurement, not the auction.

 

So, the only auction fever here at S4GRU should be for the iDEN countdown clock.

 

AJ

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Well, we do know now that, as expected, the PCS/AWS-2 H block will be licensed on a BEA basis -- the same as with the PCS H block.

 

AJ

 

You mean the same as the PCS G block?

 

 

Sent from Josh's iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2

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Here you go, guys, the FCC Report and Order for the PCS/AWS-2 H block rules. 126 pages. You have your weekend reading. The quiz will be first thing on Monday.

 

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-88A1.pdf

 

AJ

 

My concerns about lower power levels are pretty much alleviated. Since the H band will not come into effect until 2015 at the earliest due to lead time for H block devices, the OOBE on the device side with respect to PCS downlink is not onerous.

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Here you go, guys, the FCC Report and Order for the PCS/AWS-2 H block rules. 126 pages. You have your weekend reading. The quiz will be first thing on Monday.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-88A1.pdf

AJ

For the people much more knowledgeable than me, would sprint be able to run 10x10mhz channels with the G and H block combined? Or will the power transmission limits prevent that?

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For the people much more knowledgeable than me, would sprint be able to run 10x10mhz channels with the G and H block combined? Or will the power transmission limits prevent that?

 

No, millions of current Sprint LTE devices that do not support the H block would prevent that for many years to come.

 

AJ

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My concerns about lower power levels are pretty much alleviated. Since the H band will not come into effect until 2015 at the earliest due to lead time for H block devices, the OOBE on the device side with respect to PCS downlink is not onerous.

 

From a technical standpoint, prima facie, the only difference I see between PCS/AWS-2 H block and PCS A-F block rules is that AWS mobiles are limited to 1 W (30 dBm) EIRP, while PCS mobiles are limited to 2 W (33 dBm) EIRP.  Since battery constrained mobiles rarely approach either limit, that criterion is largely academic.  But much to the chagrin of those of you who want to call this the "PCS" H block, it will probably be more appropriately classified the AWS-2 H block.

 

As for construction requirements, each BEA issued license will have a five year, 40 percent POPs interim benchmark, followed by a 10 year, 75 percent POPs final benchmark.  Compared to construction requirements for other PCS and AWS-1 licenses, both of those are fairly strict benchmarks for 10 MHz BEA (i.e. small to medium size) licenses.

 

AJ

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From a technical standpoint, prima facie, the only difference I see between PCS/AWS-2 H block and PCS A-F block rules is that AWS mobiles are limited to 1 W (30 dBm) EIRP, while PCS mobiles are limited to 2 W (33 dBm) EIRP.  Since battery constrained mobiles rarely approach either limit, that criterion is largely academic.  But much to the chagrin of those of you who want to call this the "PCS" H block, it will probably be more appropriately classified the AWS-2 H block.

 

AJ

I thought EIRP is limited to 300mW, which is OK unless you're talking about real rural, but then something tells me that the inteference from other mobiles will be non-existent. The only thing that had me slightly concerned was the OOBE emmisions on the high end of the uplink (1915-1920MHz). But there is the 10MHz UPCS band between 1920-1930MHz which means the filters don't have to be as sharp as if there was no buffer. Plus the filters keep getting better.

Edited by bigsnake49
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I thought EIRP was limited to 300mW...

 

No, you are correct.  I was skimming, saw the "30..." and kept going, thinking 30 dBm, not 300 mW.  So, that limits AWS-2 H block mobiles to 24.75 dBm.

 

A few other thoughts...

 

The mobile EIRP limit will not affect many handsets, but it may restrict hotspot power output.  This is another reason why Sprint -- even if it wins substantial H block spectrum -- will not scrap the G block 5 MHz FDD carrier for a single 10 MHz FDD carrier anytime soon.

 

Lastly, should Sprint acquire H block licenses, the rural buildout crusaders may get some satisfaction...

 

We disagree with U.S. Cellular and C Spire that thirty-five percent of total population is a more appropriate benchmark, and we disagree with Sprint that in cases where a licensee acquires multiple EA licenses, the benchmark should be thirty-five percent of the total population covered by all EA licenses. While we believe that forty percent and thirty-five percent are both realistic interim buildout requirements, we find that a forty percent benchmark will better ensure that underutilized spectrum is quickly utilized for the benefit of consumers in the public interest. U.S. Cellular claims that a thirty-five percent benchmark is more consistent with the Commission’s treatment of the 700 MHz band; however, the thirty-five percent interim benchmark in the 700 MHz band only applied geographic-based, not population-based, benchmarks for the 700 MHz A and B blocks. In contrast, 700 MHz C Block, which is subject to population-based benchmarks, had an interim benchmark of 40 percent. Because all H Block licensees will be subject to a population-based benchmark, not a geographic-based benchmark, the example of the 700 MHz band actually suggests that we should adopt a forty-percent interim buildout requirement. Finally, we decline to adopt Sprint’s proposal, which would allow a licensee with multiple EA licenses to meet the interim benchmark while underutilizing some of those EAs for no other reason than the fact that it acquired more than one EA. Where, as here, we are assigning initial licenses for spectrum, we expect applicants will file for spectrum licenses only in areas in which they intend to put the spectrum to use.

Penalties for Failure to Meet the Final Benchmark. We adopt the proposal in the H Block NPRM that, if a licensee fails to meet the H Block Final Buildout Requirement in any EA, the licensee’s authority for each such area shall terminate automatically without Commission action. By only terminating specific licenses where a licensee fails to meet the final benchmark in a particular license area, a licensee’s customers in other license areas would not be adversely affected. In doing so, we are adopting the final buildout penalty that the Commission proposed in the H Block NPRM, even though we are slightly modifying the final buildout requirement that the Commission had proposed. We see no persuasive reason that increasing the final buildout requirement from seventy percent to seventy-five percent of the population of a licensed area provides a basis for changing the penalty for failure to meet the final buildout benchmark.

 

AJ

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From a technical standpoint, prima facie, the only difference I see between PCS/AWS-2 H block and PCS A-F block rules is that AWS mobiles are limited to 1 W (30 dBm) EIRP, while PCS mobiles are limited to 2 W (33 dBm) EIRP.  Since battery constrained mobiles rarely approach either limit, that criterion is largely academic.  But much to the chagrin of those of you who want to call this the "PCS" H block, it will probably be more appropriately classified the AWS-2 H block.

 

As for construction requirements, each BEA issued license will have a five year, 40 percent POPs interim benchmark, followed by a 10 year, 75 percent POPs final benchmark.  Compared to construction requirements for other PCS and AWS-1 licenses, both of those are fairly strict benchmarks for 10 MHz BEA (i.e. small to medium size) licenses.

 

AJ

 

In the future, would it be possible that Sprint could refarm a 5x5 block of their PCS A-F for LTE (to support earlier devices), and then combine G and H together for 10x10?

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No, you are correct.  I was skimming, saw the "30..." and kept going, thinking 30 dBm, not 300 mW.  So, that limits AWS-2 H block mobiles to 24.75 dBm.

 

A few other thoughts...

 

The mobile EIRP limit will not affect many handsets, but it may restrict hotspot power output.  This is another reason why Sprint -- even if it wins substantial H block spectrum -- will not scrap the G block 5 MHz FDD carrier for a single 10 MHz FDD carrier anytime soon.

 

Lastly, should Sprint acquire H block licenses, the rural buildout crusaders may get some satisfaction...

 

 

AJ

 

 

No, you are correct.  I was skimming, saw the "30..." and kept going, thinking 30 dBm, not 300 mW.  So, that limits AWS-2 H block mobiles to 24.75 dBm.

 

A few other thoughts...

 

The mobile EIRP limit will not affect many handsets, but it may restrict hotspot power output.  This is another reason why Sprint -- even if it wins substantial H block spectrum -- will not scrap the G block 5 MHz FDD carrier for a single 10 MHz FDD carrier anytime soon.

 

Lastly, should Sprint acquire H block licenses, the rural buildout crusaders may get some satisfaction...

 

 

AJ

 

 

"Notably, in performing the testing and reaching the recommendations, the tests all were conducted assuming an LTE mobile device operating at the maximum power level indicated in the 3GPP LTE specifications—23 dBm."

 

It seems to be 3GPP compliant, a mobile terminal is limited to 23dbm 

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"Notably, in performing the testing and reaching the recommendations, the tests all were conducted assuming an LTE mobile device operating at the maximum power level indicated in the 3GPP LTE specifications—23 dBm."

 

It seems to be 3GPP compliant, a mobile terminal is limited to 23dbm 

 

 

But mobiles are not limited to 23 dBm.  Either that is conducted power, not radiated power, or OEMs frequently disregard that spec because we have documented in our FCC OET article series many devices that exceed 23 dBm EIRP for band 25 LTE 1900.  One Sierra hotspot, for example, puts out a maximum of 32.63 dBm, which is just below the 2 W max for PCS 1900 MHz mobiles.

 

AJ

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But mobiles are not limited to 23 dBm.  Either that is conducted power, not radiated power, or OEMs frequently disregard that spec because we have documented in our FCC OET article series many devices that exceed 23 dBm EIRP for band 25 LTE 1900.  One Sierra hotspot, for example, puts out a maximum of 32.63 dBm, which is just below the 2 W max for PCS 1900 MHz mobiles.

 

AJ

 

I don't know what to tell you, but I quoted directly from the FCC document. Maybe there is a different spec for MiFi's. So those can be assigned to block G and the actual handsets can be on either block.

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In the future, would it be possible that Sprint could refarm a 5x5 block of their PCS A-F for LTE (to support earlier devices), and then combine G and H together for 10x10?

 

Yes, absolutely, once they can move pretty much all the data from EVDO to LTE. It is not as pressing of a matter now since they can deploy LTE on 800MHz and 2500MHz, but very soon Sprint's PCS A-F bands will only hosting 1 1xAdvanced and one EVDO channel for legacy reasons. Once voice gets moved to VOLTE and M2M contracts expire, then of course they will totally devote all PCS holdings to LTE.

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 But much to the chagrin of those of you who want to call this the "PCS" H block, it will probably be more appropriately classified the AWS-2 H block.

 

Why? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the uplink is from 1910-1915, which is right in the middle of the rest of the PCS block. And the downlink of 1995-2000Mhz is bordered by the PCS G below it and Dish's spectrum (2000-2020 Mhz) above it? Why would we call it AWS instead of PCS?

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Why? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the uplink is from 1910-1915, which is right in the middle of the rest of the PCS block. And the downlink of 1995-2000Mhz is bordered by the PCS G below it and Dish's spectrum (2000-2020 Mhz) above it? Why would we call it AWS instead of PCS?

 

I don't know.  Blame the FCC for the names they give it?   AWS spectrum is usually allocated to 1700/2100 but yet the new convention seems to call all the new spectrum AWS for Advanced Wireless Services.  I am just guessing it is called AWS since that is the purpose of the spectrum.  Maybe they are calling it AWS since LTE/HSPA+ is considered an advanced wireless service.

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"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet..."

 

These days, everything is AWS or WCS.  PCS is so 1990s now.  Plus, this block was labeled AWS-2 roughly a decade ago.  And the  just adopted service rules put it much more in line with other AWS bands than with PCS.

 

AJ

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"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet..."

 

These days, everything is AWS or WCS.  PCS is so 1990s now.  Plus, this block was labeled AWS-2 roughly a decade ago.  And the  just adopted service rules put it much more in line with other AWS bands than with PCS.

 

AJ

 

 

The real question is, if Sprint get this spectrum, will it be easy to adapt existing PCS A-G antennas and RRUs to use this spectrum, or will they have to go mount separate equipment on the rack just to use it? I don't suppose existing phones could be software updated to use it too?

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The real question is, if Sprint get this spectrum, will it be easy to adapt existing PCS A-G antennas and RRUs to use this spectrum, or will they have to go mount separate equipment on the rack just to use it? I don't suppose existing phones could be software updated to use it too?

Any active electronics will have to be replaced or supplemented. Passive electronics may be reusable. In other words, new RRUs and new devices. Maybe new panels.

 

AJ

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