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Efficient Use of Spectrum


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Much has been written about Network Vision and its components. Multi Modal towers, 1x Advanced, DO Advanced, LTE etc. So Sprint isn't just rolling out LTE, in fact it has been stated that NV technology will make Sprint's network future proof. We know that Sprint will spend in excess of $7 billion on this massive project that will help maximize the efficient use of its spectrum holdings.

 

Verizon and ATT are currently building out their LTE networks and while doing so they are touching almost every one of their towers. Does anyone know if they are doing anything to help maximize their current spectrum holdings?

 

This question is a result of reading an article on Broadband Convergent. http://www.broadbandconvergent.com/news/mobile-operators-creating-artificial-demand-capacity

 

Should a Wireless Network Operator show that the company is maximizing its efforts to use spectrum in a most efficient manner before being allowed to participate in future auctions?

 

Denny

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Much has been written about Network Vision and its components. Multi Modal towers, 1x Advanced, DO Advanced, LTE etc. So Sprint isn't just rolling out LTE, in fact it has been stated that NV technology will make Sprint's network future proof. We know that Sprint will spend in excess of $7 billion on this massive project that will help maximize the efficient use of its spectrum holdings.

 

Verizon and ATT are currently building out their LTE networks and while doing so they are touching almost every one of their towers. Does anyone know if they are doing anything to help maximize their current spectrum holdings?

 

This question is a result of reading an article on Broadband Convergent. http://www.broadband...demand-capacity

 

Should a Wireless Network Operator show that the company is maximizing its efforts to use spectrum in a most efficient manner before being allowed to participate in future auctions?

 

Denny

 

When you are talking about "they" are you referring to Verizon and AT&T? Because if you are talking about Sprint then I would say ..Yes they are making efficient use of their limited spectrum that they have. Most people on this site know how Sprint is showing that they are making the most of its spectrum through the 800 Mhz refarming plan.

 

In terms of Verizon and AT&T, I would say "No" they are not making the most efficient use of the spectrum since that they haven't even tried such things as "Wifi offloading" on their network as well as deploying "small cells". Also Verizon is not looking to refarm any of its current 850 or 1900 Mhz spectrum first before resorting to buying more spectrum on the market. I would say the same for AT&T. They have a crap load of 850 Mhz and 1900 Mhz spectrum that could be refarmed before trying to starve the competition.

 

Tmobile is even doing a better job of making use of their spectrum by refarming HSPA+ to 1900 Mhz by kicking out 2G EDGE folks and of course repurposing the AWS spectrum for LTE.

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The easiest way to objectively measure this is to look at how many subs each carrier has per MHz of bandwidth-- if you want to see an "average" or overall efficiency. I've done some math below that may shed light on this.

 

AT&T has an average of 79 MHz serving about 100 M subscribers or 0.79 Hz/sub

Verizon has an average of 88 MHz serving about 110 M subscribers or 0.8 Hz/sub

Sprint/Nextel (alone) has an average of 53 MHz serving about 55 M subscribers or 1.03 Hz/sub

Sprint + Clearwire has an average of 195 MHz serving about 68 M subscribers or 2.87 Hz/sub

 

The source for the licence info is below. Using this average national licensed information and the most recent subscriber figures, it would appear Sprint is more of a spectrum hog than the big two-- this may seem counter-intuitive, but you have to consider the number of subs. I know in my market, Sprint has been sitting on 40 MHz of PCS and 14 MHz of ESMR and they run 2-3 TOTAL CDMA carriers (using about 5-7.5 MHz / 40 MHz PCS band) conversely Verizon runs 9 cellular and 3-4 PCS carriers along with their 10 x10 LTE here, so they use 55 MHz of their 97 MHz here.

 

http://www.google.co...l8zvQgKt8xM051w

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I didn't intend that Sprint be included in "they". I know about Sprint's efforts to make the most of what they have. I don't know of any efforts by Verizon and ATT to maximize the use of their holdings. In fact while crying for the feds to release more spectrum Verizon is saying they have plenty without having to refarm http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Verizon-Weve-Got-Plenty-of-Spectrum-Thanks-118417

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The easiest way to objectively measure this is to look at how many subs each carrier has per MHz of bandwidth-- if you want to see an "average" or overall efficiency. I've done some math below that may shed light on this.

 

AT&T has an average of 79 MHz serving about 100 M subscribers or 0.79 Hz/sub

Verizon has an average of 88 MHz serving about 110 M subscribers or 0.8 Hz/sub

Sprint/Nextel (alone) has an average of 53 MHz serving about 55 M subscribers or 1.03 Hz/sub

Sprint + Clearwire has an average of 195 MHz serving about 68 M subscribers or 2.87 Hz/sub

 

The source for the licence info is below. Using this average national licensed information and the most recent subscriber figures, it would appear Sprint is more of a spectrum hog than the big two-- this may seem counter-intuitive, but you have to consider the number of subs. I know in my market, Sprint has been sitting on 40 MHz of PCS and 14 MHz of ESMR and they run 2-3 TOTAL CDMA carriers (using about 5-7.5 MHz / 40 MHz PCS band) conversely Verizon runs 9 cellular and 3-4 PCS carriers along with their 10 x10 LTE here, so they use 55 MHz of their 97 MHz here.

 

http://www.google.co...l8zvQgKt8xM051w

 

Wow! The knowledge on this site amazes me. Thanks

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The easiest way to objectively measure this is to look at how many subs each carrier has per MHz of bandwidth-- if you want to see an "average" or overall efficiency. I've done some math below that may shed light on this.

 

AT&T has an average of 79 MHz serving about 100 M subscribers or 0.79 Hz/sub

Verizon has an average of 88 MHz serving about 110 M subscribers or 0.8 Hz/sub

Sprint/Nextel (alone) has an average of 53 MHz serving about 55 M subscribers or 1.03 Hz/sub

Sprint + Clearwire has an average of 195 MHz serving about 68 M subscribers or 2.87 Hz/sub

 

The source for the licence info is below. Using this average national licensed information and the most recent subscriber figures' date=' it would appear Sprint is more of a spectrum hog than the big two-- this may seem counter-intuitive, but you have to consider the number of subs. I know in my market, Sprint has been sitting on 40 MHz of PCS and 14 MHz of ESMR and they run 2-3 TOTAL CDMA carriers (using about 5-7.5 MHz / 40 MHz PCS band) conversely Verizon runs 9 cellular and 3-4 PCS carriers along with their 10 x10 LTE here, so they use 55 MHz of their 97 MHz here.

 

http://www.google.co...l8zvQgKt8xM051w

 

But on the other hand in even some of the largest markets Verizon and ATT are not using all of there spectrum.

 

Look at Chicago, Sprint is maxing out there spectrum holdings while ATT and Verizon are using less than 50% from everything I have read.

 

Also stating national averages of total spectrum does not show a true or realistic representation of the true spectrum hogs.

 

Sprint and T-Mobile are currently using each of there spectrum bands they own ATT and Verizon have entire free and clear bands sitting in a warehouse just so the competition can not use it.

 

Also you have to think about free and clear usable spectrum vs spectrum already in use by a network.

 

Just some food for thought.

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My thought process has been that Sprint is actively touching each tower, essencially "rebuilding" or upgrading each one. While AT&T and Verizon are rolling trucks to add panels and equipment to existing sites, not changing out the base stations or such.

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