Crunching the numbers a bit more, covering the full MSA would result in slightly under 80% population coverage. But they'd have to deploy on essentially every micro/macro cell in the area.
Yeah, I'm not gonna pretend like I know how either negotiations with squatters or Auction 108 will pan out. That said, I can't see 3.45GHz being *that* valuable to squatters considering the strict buildout requirements.
Another interesting thought I had was a possible spectrum trade with Dish. Dish is still leasing 600MHz to T-Mobile in quite a few metro areas, and I'm sure T-Mobile is looking ahead to what their lowband spectrum situation will be once those leases expire. If T-Mobile is truly going to rely on n71+n41 CA as much as they say they will, it sure would be nice to be working with more than 5MHz-10MHz of n71 uplink capacity.
Don't go quoting me on that, though, total (pipedream) speculation haha.
Great job on your analysis of small cells versus the 3.45GHZ and the population coverage requirements.
I wonder if the fcc is stalling because they may address the key limitation of of 2.5: the convoluted frequencies. Not sure how they would get there, but it would be better public policy if you could actually use a single license in current times, ie 5, 10 or 20MHz. Of course they could also go in more of a nonprofit or small business direction. But most likely they will keep it as planned given how messy the transition would be.
In many/most metro areas BRS/EBS is fully licensed. Would be nice if they put pressure on the squatters.
I didn't actually look at the buildout requirements before making that comment - they're definitely going to have to deploy on macro sites if they want to hit the buildout requirements.
PEA001 has a population of 25,237,061, of which they will have to hit 45% in 4 years (11,356,677) and 80% in 8 years (20,189,649). If they were to cover the entirely, all five boroughs, of NYC using only small cells (something I'd say is impossible considering their current small cell density), they'd only be covering 32% of the population in the PEA.
And this is with spectrum that only adds 300Mb/s per sector and will likely have only 50% the range of their current n41 equipment. Doesn't really seem worth it to me.
I'm of the opinion that they're looking to hedge their bets in further EBS/BRS acquisition.