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Sprint sells its 3x3 MHz of 900MHz spectrum to former Nextel execs


bigsnake49
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Well, my question has been answered. I think they sold it for way too little, but at least they are simplifying their spectrum holdings:

 

"Pacific DataVision, a provider of mobile workforce management solutions, raised $218 million in equity to fund the purchase of about 6 MHz (3x3 MHz) of 900 MHz spectrum from Sprint and the deployment of a two-way radio network that will be built using Motorola Solutions’ digital radio technology, according to a Pacific DataVision press release."

 

http://urgentcomm.com/dispatch/former-nextel-execs-embark-another-ptt-venture-and-possibly-broadband-pacific-datavision?page=1

 

 

This is not IDEN, this is a "high site" push to talk, LMR offering. They might reband it later and start offering broadband in conjunction with other EWA members.

 

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Good for Sprint.  Get rid of resources that you are not using because the idea of 900 MHz LTE was just a pipe dream and a waste of money when you factoring the need for new RRUs, antennas, etc for just a 3x3 slice.  Not sure what demand there was for 900 MHz spectrum but to get $218 million for it is good enough.  Sprint doesn't have the time to deal with these hodgepodge bits of spectrum and as long as Pacific Datavision has full intention to make use of the spectrum then good for both sides.

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Good for Sprint.  Get rid of resources that you are not using because the idea of 900 MHz LTE was just a pipe dream and a waste of money when you factoring the need for new RRUs, antennas, etc for just a 3x3 slice.  Not sure what demand there was for 900 MHz spectrum but to get $218 million for it is good enough.  Sprint doesn't have the time to deal with these hodgepodge bits of spectrum and as long as Pacific Datavision has full intention to make use of the spectrum then good for both sides.

 

The only other way to have utilized it is to have undergone a rebanding and moving of license holders from 800 to 900Mhz to liberate some more 800MHz spectrum.

Edited by bigsnake49
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Good for Sprint.  Get rid of resources that you are not using because the idea of 900 MHz LTE was just a pipe dream and a waste of money when you factoring the need for new RRUs, antennas, etc for just a 3x3 slice.  Not sure what demand there was for 900 MHz spectrum but to get $218 million for it is good enough.  Sprint doesn't have the time to deal with these hodgepodge bits of spectrum and as long as Pacific Datavision has full intention to make use of the spectrum then good for both sides.

 

 

Agreed, now use that 218 mil to pay for all the overtime to needed to expedite the rollout!!   

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The only other way to have utilized it is to have undergone a rebanding and moving of license holders from 800 to 900Mhz to liberate some more 800MHz spectrum.

 

Yes but look at how much of a headache it is for Sprint  just to reband the 800 MHz band and its not even done yet.  Forget about rebanding further bands because I promise you it will not be until 2020 before the few 2-3MHz of 800 MHz that could be freed up will be available for use and not to mention the huge costs that would be associated with it.  Sprint needs to look at the big picture which is the 600 MHz auction for further low band spectrum.

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OK, some more details, courtesy of Fierce Wireless:

 

"We acquired from Sprint the top 20-25 markets, 60 percent of all the 900 MHz spectrum," O'Brien told MissionCritical Communications.

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/sprint-sells-900-mhz-spectrum-firm-led-nextel-co-founders/2014-09-17

 

So what happens to the other markets? Is Sprint going to sell it piecemeal to utilities? Would Solinc be interested?

 

Now I went and looked at the article in Mission Critical Communications and that article is confusing since in places it talks about  acquiring Sprint's 900Mhz spectrum nationwide while in others it only talks about a few markets. Hmm....

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OK, some more details, courtesy of Fierce Wireless:

 

"We acquired from Sprint the top 20-25 markets, 60 percent of all the 900 MHz spectrum," O'Brien told MissionCritical Communications.

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/sprint-sells-900-mhz-spectrum-firm-led-nextel-co-founders/2014-09-17

 

So what happens to the other markets? Is Sprint going to sell it piecemeal to utilities? Would Solinc be interested?

 

Earlier in the article, it says " acquired all of Sprint's (NYSE: S) 900 MHz licenses". I guess it means Sprint does not own the remaining 40% license.

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Earlier in the article, it says " acquired all of Sprint's (NYSE: S) 900 MHz licenses". I guess it means Sprint does not own the remaining 40% license.

 

60% is 6MHz/10MHz. Sprint owned 3x3MHz of the 5x5Mhz band. S technically he is correct, but he is talking having 60% of the band in the top 2-25 markets not nationwide.

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sounds like its a confusing spectrum position, and there was probably no way that sprint could acquire the other part of that band, so this is probably one of the only uses of that spectrum.  This is why it was not worth more, and is better off being used than held on to for no reason.  

Also, if sprint will be purchasing 600Mhz spectrum, they lobbied for a rule that would benefit the carriers with less lower band spectrum. This spectrum was not being used by sprint and would have made it seem like they had more then they do, possibly adversely affecting them.  And even if not, they also sold their WCS spectrum to At&t, all of this is lessening their total spectrum and allowing them to focus on their current spectrum and plan for future spectrum. 

 

Just a thought.

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sounds like its a confusing spectrum position, and there was probably no way that sprint could acquire the other part of that band, so this is probably one of the only uses of that spectrum.  This is why it was not worth more, and is better off being used than held on to for no reason.  

Also, if sprint will be purchasing 600Mhz spectrum, they lobbied for a rule that would benefit the carriers with less lower band spectrum. This spectrum was not being used by sprint and would have made it seem like they had more then they do, possibly adversely affecting them.  And even if not, they also sold their WCS spectrum to At&t, all of this is lessening their total spectrum and allowing them to focus on their current spectrum and plan for future spectrum. 

 

Just a thought.

 

I never thought that Sprint was going to do anything with it except sell it. So it looks like PDV acquired all of Sprint's spectrum in the top 20-25 markets (I don't understand how it can be 20-25 and not 20 or 25). So Sprint has to sell the rest. I am thinking that Solinc might be interested. They could use it for IDEN and can then put LTE on their 3MHz sliver of spectrum. I would love for Solinc to host Sprint's 800Mhz spectrum in the southeast  outside the urban areas.

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I didn't think sprint owned 900 MHz nationwide. And that might be some of the confusion about the top 20-25 markets. It might be the top 25 markets that they owned spectrum in, or some of the 'markets' are  overlapping each other and might be considered part of the BEA.  The licenses for 900 were never even shown on the spectrum map, so I have no visual to explain why they have a range not an exact number. I do know that charts showing spectrum holdings on a Mhz/Pop basis, showed sprint with 2Mhz/Pop in 900. If it was all 3x3Mhz, than logically it only covered 1/3 of the population... But we don't know exactly where, and assuming it was mainly rural, it could have covered +/- half the country geographically... just not sure if it covered the south. 

 

As for SoLinc hosting sprint, I think it would be the other way around. Sprints equipment was designed to handle it &it would get it deployed much faster and more cost efficient than SoLinc doing their own NV project.  But they are a very independent company, so we'll see what happens. 

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I didn't think sprint owned 900 MHz nationwide. And that might be some of the confusion about the top 20-25 markets. It might be the top 25 markets that they owned spectrum in, or some of the 'markets' are  overlapping each other and might be considered part of the BEA.  The licenses for 900 were never even shown on the spectrum map, so I have no visual to explain why they have a range not an exact number. I do know that charts showing spectrum holdings on a Mhz/Pop basis, showed sprint with 2Mhz/Pop in 900. If it was all 3x3Mhz, than logically it only covered 1/3 of the population... But we don't know exactly where, and assuming it was mainly rural, it could have covered +/- half the country geographically... just not sure if it covered the south. 

 

As for SoLinc hosting sprint, I think it would be the other way around. Sprints equipment was designed to handle it &it would get it deployed much faster and more cost efficient than SoLinc doing their own NV project.  But they are a very independent company, so we'll see what happens. 

Solinc as you said is very independent and will do what it takes to safeguard their communications in case of emergency. They have their own towers, they have prodigious amounts of back up power (batteries, diesel gen, etc) in each of their sites, etc. They are the equal of Verizon when it comes to reliability in case of natural disasters. On top of that, they want to cover rural areas that Sprint has shown no interest in covering. So as a Sprint subscriber, I want Solinc to cover rural areas using Sprint's spectrum because I know that Sprint would never cover them. Solinc can pass the expense to their rate subscribers.

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Solinc as you said is very independent and will do what it takes to safeguard their communications in case of emergency. They have their own towers, they have prodigious amounts of back up power (batteries, diesel gen, etc) in each of their sites, etc. They are the equal of Verizon when it comes to reliability in case of natural disasters. On top of that, they want to cover rural areas that Sprint has shown no interest in covering. So as a Sprint subscriber, I want Solinc to cover rural areas using Sprint's spectrum because I know that Sprint would never cover them. Solinc can pass the expense to their rate subscribers.

I agree that they are more focused rurally, but iDen and other 2G technologies propagate better and are more usable at the edge of signal than 3G &LTE. So likely if they do not have the correct tower density for LTE than they will either have to add towers or have spotty service. I know their independence is something they value as well as their reliability, and I know mobile service is not their primary revenue generator, but in an age where capacity is one of the greatest weaknesses of a network... are they going to be able to be competitive with such a weak spectrum position?

 

I did not know how competitive sprint was in the SoLinc areas, but I would hope that sprint would start expanding their native coverage in general, at least surrounding existing coverage. But maybe a reciprocal agreement would be best to benefit both companies, increasing Sprint's footprint and gaining coverage in the more urban areas for SoLinc. And the capacity SoLinc could gain from hosting then roaming on Sprint's spectrum might be necessary for them to succeed.

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SouthernLINC definitely plans to add towers to match its existing iDEN footprint; see e.g. http://www.radioresourcemag.com/onlyonline.cfm?OnlyOnlineID=448:

 

SouthernLINC leases most of its sites from a third party, and those leases need to be renegotiated to add LTE. Users should be able to have fixed data services during the buildout, with mobile capability following as more sites are added. More towers will need to be added to ensure the LTE network has the same coverage as the current 120,000-square-mile voice network, Johnson said.

 

“The whole tower wattage is much less in LTE,” he said. “To cover the same footprint in data speed and RF coverage requires more sites. There will be a larger number of sites.”

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  • 1 year later...

Does anyone know the exact frequencies this 900MHz is in that Sprint sold?

 

I think it falls under PDV Spectrum Holding Company, LLC.  Some of which was leased from Sprint for many prior years.  Start here http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchAdvanced.jsp and type in pdv under name.  Have fun!

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