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Dave Yeager S4GRU/T5GRU Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 1:20 PM PDT . In T-Mobile Goes Deeper & Wider in 2.5GHz Holdings - FCC Auction 108 Results and Impact we discussed the white space T-Mobile won. We also noted how the complexity of 2.5 GHz (band 41) kept other major carriers from competing, a true barrier to entry in strategic terms. Now we will get you started on unraveling that complexity to compute how much 2.5Ghz bandwidth T-Mobile controls in your county or equivalent. Control not only means ownership but also leasing. Since white space means what is left over, we will start with what T-Mobile traditionally controls by looking at two counties that cover most complexities. This article will examine one county that represents the new aspects just introduced while the next article will approach a more traditional county that has been heavily changed in recent years by T-Mobile negotiations. Example: Auction 108, Cuming County Nebraska The FCC divides 2.5Ghz (band 41) into Broadband Radio Service (BRS or BR) and Education Broadband Service (EBS or ED). ED is the larger portion so we will start with it. Our first county is Cuming in Nebraska with about 9,000 people. It has other license holders. One traditional EBS license holder has their radius edge slice through the county and the other is a Native American license holder. T-Mobile won some but not all white space in this county. http://bing.com/maps is recommended for our purposes because it easily shows Native American reservations, which were given a special period for requests before Auction 108 and medium priority. Note that Native American land may extend beyond the reservation and be quite fragmented. The first item is to see if this county was in FCC Auction 108. If yes, we need to note what channels T-Mobile purchased. 1) Type https://auctiondata.fcc.gov/public/projects/auction108/reports/results_by_license in the browser of your choice. 2) Slide search switch to On so little boxes appear under each heading. 3) Select the box under Market and type the state or equivalent two letter abbreviation plus a dash "-". 4) Select the box under Market Name and type the name of the county. 5) Select the blue Apply box that popped up. 6) If nothing comes up, then recheck the state abbreviation and the county name spelling, else this county was not part of the FCC Auction 108 for 2.5GHz -- you can still continue if you wish to calculate T-Mobile's 2.5GHz bandwidth for the county, although the next article/example many be more appropriate. 7) Assuming data does appear, look in the Bidder column to the right and note the categories where the Bidder was T-Mobile. In this case it is C2 and C3. https://s4gru.com/entry/442-t-mobile-goes-deeper-wider-in-25ghz-holdings-fcc-auction-108-results-and-impact/ shows in the "2.5Ghz Band Plan" diagram that C2 frequency is from 2551.5 to 2602, C3 is from 2615 to 2616 and 2673.5 to 2690. [for future reference C1 is 2502 to 2551.5]. Make a note of the frequencies that T-Mobile won in the FCC Auction 108. This FCC link is preferred when it is working (so everyone can get used to their systems), but here is a Google Sheets FCC Auction 108 - Results by License spreadsheet work-around if needed. Go to edit, select find, a box will pop up, to the right of find put the state abbreviation plus dash, "NE-", then select find at the bottom of this box. Repeat this process with county name, "Cuming". Scroll down two lines to see C2 and C3 categories. Then proceed below. 1) in the browser of your choice, type in the address for the FCC's Advanced License Search, which is http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsSearch/searchAdvanced.jsp . 2) Under Call Sign & Radio Services, select the button for Match only the following radio service(s):. 3) Scroll the selection window and select ED - Educational Broadcast Service. 4) Under License Detail, then Status, select the button for Active. 5) Under Customize Your Results, then Results Display, select 100. 6) in the lower right corner select Geosearch. Select the State (or territory/district). The select the County or equivalent. Then Search in the lower right. Any EBS in the county will now appear. Select each Call Sign/ Lease ID, except the ones with the L for lease symbol to the right of them (unless they also have a pending application). The License will open on the main tab. Under Dates, if the Grant date is before 2/2/2020, it is most likely a traditional ED license. Watch for possible sale or lease to be pending within a year of the expiration date if not already owned by T-Mobile or a subsidiary (common names include Sprint, Clearwire, NSAC, etc. If controlled by T-Mobile, it will generally be mentioned on the Main Page for leases or the administrative page for licenses. Look at the contact information or the e-mail address for further hints. Select the Map tab. Then under License Geography in the upper left corner of the map, there is a box with three lines, click on it and select 2017 County to get county lines drawn on the map. This is the typical EBS radius license. Note the thin sliver in the NE portion of Cuming county. It also has typical EBS sized frequency ranges. The License will open on the main tab. Under Dates, if the Grant date is after 2/2/2020 and the Type is Government Entity, highly likely that it is a rural tribal license. You can verify that here: https://www.fcc.gov/25-ghz-rural-tribal-application-details or on a national map here (be patient) https://fcc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b51c97987df5452da4a2b37ec6c28d09&showLayers=Granted - Applications&extent=-99.9200920559036,48.8052768617378,-99.657057161259,48.8924750077155 or check Under the Market tab for Auction. It should be 9997 - TribalLand. These licenses get higher priority than Auction 108 licenses, but less than traditional ED licenses. Under Buildout Dates, look at the 1st and 2nd. Watch for possible sale or lease to be pending within a year of those dates just like with any other license or lease. Select the Map tab to see coverage. In this case it is quite similar to the reservation noted on the first county map. In this case it covers most of the NE portion of the county over basically what would be C1, C2, and C3 frequency ranges in FCC Auction 108. After the frequencies is Auction. If is says 9997 - TribalLand, it will get higher priority than Auction 108. They are recorded as traditional ED frequency segments rather than C1, C2 and/or C3, which is likely how the FCC Auction 108 frequencies will also be recorded. (Hopefully the FCC can simplify EBS all owned by the same firm sometime in the future.) Traditional auctions are often not listed, but they get the highest priority. Now we will figure out the ED allocations in Cuming county NE. The first item to note is the priority ranking of licenses. The original ED licenses have first priority. If two traditional licenses intersect on the same frequency, the FCC directions are to split the intersection in half, ie "split the football". Licenses from the Rural Tribal Window have second priority which were awarded as C1, C2 and C3 as requested. Licenses from the regular auction 108 have last priority. Enter the start and end frequency for each license segment and notes on coverage into a spreadsheet. Google sheets is free if you don't have a spreadsheet. We now sort the licenses by frequency. We now combine the ED licenses, paying attention to each priority area. This means we eliminate the lower priority frequency overlaps. We now need to look at BRS, which is the commercial side of band 41. It was auctioned off as Basic Trading areas which later transitioned into PEAs, or Partial Economic Areas in most cases. PEAs are best thought of as groups of counties. There are a few older licenses that remain radius, but this is rare. 1) in the browser of your choice, type in the address for the FCC's Advanced License Search, which is http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsSearch/searchAdvanced.jsp . 2) Under Call Sign & Radio Services, select the button for Match only the following radio service(s):. 3) Scroll the selection window and select BR - Broadband Radio Service. 4) Under License Detail, then Status, select the button for Active. 5) Under Customize Your Results, then Results Display, select 100. 6) in the lower right corner select Geosearch. Select the State (or territory/district). The select the County or equivalent. Then Search in the lower right. Any BRS in the county will now appear. Select each Call Sign/ Lease ID, except the ones with the L for lease symbol in front of them (unless they also have a pending application). Very common that BRS in adjacent PEAs also appears. Select each Call Sign/License Link shown above. Then choose the Map tab and scroll down to the map and find your county. BRS search ability to find counties is poor, thus eliminate licenses that do not match (see below). Below are two licenses that do match our desired county. Time for a spreadsheet again. First we add the T-Mobile BRS from the license spectrum range below the the map. This has become much more accurate in dividing spectrum between two matching licenses in recent years. Associated frequencies above the map can also be used if you want to accept more duplication. Double check the spectrum accuracy of any leases since all spectrum may not be leased. Then we will sort the BRS by Start frequency. Now we combine the licenses with matching frequencies together. Now we combine the BRS results together with the EBS results. Since the EBS results have three different areas in the county, we will add the BRS results to each area. We also remove the other spectrum license holders, since we are just interested in T-Mobile. Now we sort each area's license parts by frequency. We can also reduce out the "Thin sliver of NE Corner" since it lies within the "Most of the Northeast Corner". Finally we end up with the T-Mobile band 41 holdings for each of the two remaining T-Mobile band 41 areas of Cuming county Nebraska What matters is the amount of contiguous space. In the case of the 2616 to 2618 Mhz gap, the FCC does have discretion to allow unassigned Mhz to be used with adjacent matching license holders. Typically this space would have been assigned to BRS owners already as shown below. Note that J or K channels would need to be negotiated with the other parties. In other cases the frequency owners could trade leases which could just cover portions of the bandwidth, but this is not typical. Below is the traditional Band Plan for 2.5 Ghz, taken from a "Request for Special Temporary Authority" from Sprint in 2016. Here is a refresher map of the two T-Mobile band 41 areas. As is, the northeast corner would likely yield 50Mhz and perhaps 10Mhz. The remainder of the county would yield 60MHz and 70Mhz, although I do consider it possible for the FCC to give them a temporary accommodation until a future auction to have 136.5 in on contiguous section, thus 100Mhz and 30Mhz. 10Mhz is typically the smallest amount T-Mobile will consider, and may just be used to park an inactive phone until more speed is needed. If there is any discrepancy in T-Mobile's favor between what you have calculated versus what signal indicates, first double check your work. Else it is common for data edits and new leases in the FCC license system to lag by several months. Now it is time for you to check your most interesting counties where T-Mobile was awarded 2.5GHz Band 41 whitespace!
Dave Yeager S4GRU/T5GRU Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 8:20 AM PDT . T-Mobile asked for Special Temporary Authority to enhance capacity in 5g 2.5 GHz band 41 after the FCC extended the final payment deadline for auction 108 payments due to hurricanes. As noted in T-Mobile Goes Deeper & Wider in 2.5GHz Holdings - FCC Auction 108 Results and Impact, "T-Mobile upgrading existing n41 sites is a no-brainer, likely immediately after FCC release." As a result of this filing, we now know which counties T-Mobile will upgrade first. Here is the list: Alabama ----------- Autauga Cullman Elmore Houston Jefferson Montgomery Shelby Talladega Arizona ---------- Cochise Coconino Gila Maricopa Mohave Pima Pinal Santa Cruz Cruz Santa Cruz Yavapai Arkansas ---------- Pulaski California ---------- Butte Calaveras Contra Costa El Dorado Fresno Kern Lassen Marin Merced Monterey Nevada Placer San Bernardino San Mateo Santa Barbara Siskiyou Sonoma Tuolumne Ventura Colorado ---------- Douglas Eagle Larimer Mesa Connecticut ---------- Middlesex New London Delaware ---------- Kent New Castle Sussex Florida ---------- Alachua Brevard Calhoun Citrus Dixie Franklin Gadsden Gilchrist Glades Gulf Hamilton Hendry Hernando Highlands Jackson Jefferson Lafayette Lake Leon Levy Madison Miami-Dade Monroe Nassau Okaloosa Okeechobee Palm Beach Putnam St. Johns Seminole Sumter Suwannee Taylor Volusia Wakulla Georgia ---------- Appling Bacon Bartow Brantley Bryan Bulloch Butts Calhoun Camden Candler Catoosa Charlton Chatham Chattooga Cherokee Clayton Clinch Cobb Coffee Colquitt Coweta Crisp Dade Dawson Decatur DeKalb Dodge Dooly Dougherty Douglas Early Effingham Emanuel Evans Fannin Floyd Forsyth Fulton Gilmer Glynn Gordon Habersham Haralson Henry Jeff Davis Jenkins Lamar Lee Liberty Lincoln Long Lowndes McIntosh Miller Mitchell Monroe Montgomery Murray Newton Paulding Pickens Pierce Pike Polk Rabun Randolph Rockdale Screven Spalding Tattnall Telfair Terrell Thomas Toombs Towns Treutlen Turner Union Walker Ware Wayne Wheeler Whitfield Wilcox Wilkes Worth Hawaii ---------- Hawaii Kauai Maui Illinois ---------- Champaign Kane Kankakee Kendall Lake LaSalle McHenry Madison Vermilion Will Winnebago Indiana ---------- Porter Vigo Iowa ---------- Dubuque Linn Pottawattamie Kansas ---------- Finney Riley Kentucky ---------- Adair Allen Anderson Barren Bath Bell Boone Bourbon Boyd Boyle Bracken Breckinridge Butler Calloway Campbell Carroll Carter Christian Clark Clinton Edmonson Fayette Fleming Floyd Franklin Gallatin Garrard Grant Graves Green Greenup Hardin Harrison Henry Hickman Hopkins Jessamine Johnson Kenton Letcher Lewis Lincoln Livingston Logan McCracken Madison Magoffin Marion Marshall Mason Menifee Mercer Monroe Montgomery Nelson Nicholas Pendleton Perry Rockcastle Rowan Scott Shelby Simpson Taylor Todd Trigg Union Warren Washington Woodford Louisiana ---------- Ascension East Baton Rouge Iberia Lafayette Livingston Ouachita Rapides St. Martin Maine ---------- York Maryland ---------- Allegany Calvert Caroline Carroll Cecil Charles Dorchester Frederick Garrett Queen Anne's St. Mary's Somerset Talbot Washington Wicomico Worcester Massachusetts ---------------- Barnstable Hampden Hampshire Worcester Michigan ---------- Calhoun Clare Genesee Grand Traverse Isabella Kalamazoo Kent Lenawee Mecosta Montcalm Muskegon Newaygo Ottawa St. Clair St. Joseph Minnesota ---------- Crow Wing Lyon Olmsted Otter Tail St. Louis Mississippi ---------- Alcorn Benton Bolivar Coahoma Hancock Jefferson Davis Kemper Marion Neshoba Scott Sharkey Smith Tallahatchie Warren Wayne Wilkinson Yazoo Missouri ---------- Boone Camden Cole Taney Montana ---------- Gallatin Nebraska ---------- Douglas New Hampshire ---------- Belknap Cheshire Grafton Hillsborough Merrimack Rockingham Strafford New Jersey ---------- Atlantic Monmouth Morris Ocean Sussex Warren New Mexico ---------- Doña Ana San Miguel Santa Fe New York ---------- Allegany Broome Cattaraugus Chautauqua Clinton Jefferson Oneida Otsego Steuben Suffolk North Carolina ---------- Anson Avery Beaufort Bertie Bladen Brunswick Camden Carteret Caswell Chatham Cherokee Cleveland Columbus Craven Currituck Dare Davidson Davie Duplin Forsyth Franklin Graham Granville Halifax Harnett Hertford Hoke Iredell Jackson Johnston Jones Lee Lenoir McDowell Macon Mitchell Montgomery Moore Nash New Hanover Onslow Orange Pamlico Pasquotank Pender Perquimans Person Randolph Richmond Robeson Rockingham Rowan Rutherford Sampson Scotland Stokes Surry Swain Tyrrell Vance Wake Warren Washington Wayne Wilkes Wilson Yadkin Ohio ---------- Adams Ashland Athens Brown Carroll Clermont Clinton Coshocton Darke Defiance Erie Fairfield Fayette Fulton Gallia Guernsey Hamilton Hancock Henry Highland Hocking Holmes Huron Jackson Jefferson Knox Lake Lawrence Licking Meigs Muskingum Noble Ottawa Perry Pike Richland Ross Scioto Stark Tuscarawas Vinton Washington Wayne Williams Oklahoma ---------- Cherokee Comanche Mayes Oregon ---------- Douglas Lincoln Tillamook Pennsylvania ---------- Adams Armstrong Bedford Berks Blair Bradford Bucks Butler Cambria Chester Clarion Clearfield Cumberland Dauphin Elk Fayette Forest Franklin Greene Huntingdon Indiana Jefferson Lancaster Lebanon Lehigh Lycoming McKean Monroe Montour Northampton Northumberland Perry Pike Potter Schuylkill Snyder Somerset Susquehanna Tioga Union Venango Warren Washington Wayne Westmoreland York South Carolina ---------- Aiken Allendale Anderson Bamberg Barnwell Beaufort Berkeley Charleston Cherokee Chester Chesterfield Clarendon Colleton Darlington Dillon Fairfield Florence Georgetown Greenville Greenwood Hampton Horry Jasper Kershaw Lancaster Laurens Lee Lexington McCormick Marion Marlboro Newberry Oconee Orangeburg Pickens Richland Saluda Spartanburg Sumter Union Williamsburg York South Dakota ---------- Custer Meade Pennington Tennessee ---------- Bedford Benton Bledsoe Bradley Cannon Carroll Carter Cheatham Chester Claiborne Cocke Coffee Cumberland Davidson Decatur DeKalb Dickson Dyer Gibson Giles Grainger Greene Grundy Hamblen Hamilton Hardeman Hardin Hawkins Henderson Henry Hickman Humphreys Johnson Lauderdale Lawrence Loudon McMinn McNairy Marion Marshall Maury Meigs Monroe Montgomery Moore Morgan Obion Polk Rhea Roane Robertson Sequatchie Smith Stewart Sullivan Sumner Unicoi Warren Washington Wayne Weakley Wilson Texas ---------- Angelina Comal Cooke Denton Gregg Hays Howard Jim Wells Kerr Liberty Maverick Medina Montgomery Nacogdoches Polk Smith Starr Titus Val Verde Van Zandt Victoria Walker Utah ---------- Box Elder Cache Iron Summit Utah Weber Vermont ---------- Bennington Essex Virginia ---------- Accomack Alleghany Amherst Appomattox Augusta Bedford Bristol Brunswick Campbell Caroline Carroll Charles City Charlotte Chesterfield Clarke Colonial Heights Culpeper Danville Dinwiddie Essex Fauquier Franklin Franklin Frederick Fredericksburg Gloucester Goochland Greensville Hanover Henrico Henry Hopewell James City King and Queen King George King William Lancaster Loudoun Lynchburg Mathews Mecklenburg Middlesex New Kent Northampton Norton Nottoway Orange Petersburg Pittsylvania Powhatan Prince Edward Prince George Pulaski Radford Rappahannock Richmond Richmond Rockbridge Russell Scott Shenandoah Smyth Southampton Spotsylvania Stafford Sussex Warren Washington Westmoreland Winchester Wise Wythe York Washington ---------- Cowlitz Grays Harbor Lewis Mason Pierce Skagit Snohomish Thurston West Virginia ---------- Berkeley Boone Braxton Brooke Cabell Fayette Hampshire Jackson Jefferson Kanawha Lincoln Mineral Mingo Monongalia Morgan Nicholas Preston Putnam Ritchie Wayne Wirt Wood Wisconsin ---------- Brown Chippewa Dane Eau Claire Jefferson Kenosha La Crosse Marathon Portage Rock St. Croix Sauk Walworth Wyoming ---------- Laramie
Dave Yeager S4GRU/T5GRU Friday, September 23, 2022 - 3:20 PM PDT Source: www.sashajavid.com/Auction108_TMobile_Final_Demand_Round73.png Click for interactive map covering all auction areas. (May take a few minutes to fully load, PC or tablet recommended) The very favorable FCC Auction 108 for 2.5GHz ED results shown above should allow T-Mobile to immensely expand its rural market share, currently around 13%. The merger alone dramatically increased the number of T-Mobile customers traveling through rural areas. The number of macro cell tower sites has increased from 66,000 on 12/31/2019 to a rough estimate of 88,000 sites by the end of 2022. (102,000 on 12/31/2021 minus the remaining 22,000 planned Sprint cell site decommissions by 9/30/2022 plus 10,000 sites for rural and small cities. This does not factor in co-locations, any other new sites added in 2022, or sites that have been decommissioned where T-Mobile still holds an interest -- the true number may not be available until the 2022 annual report.) T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Service should definitely attract new rural customers, which will help make rural sites more viable. n71 lowband 5G has already made T-Mobile's rural service much more usable. n41 will offload much of that 5G traffic given its much higher capacity. Having more bandwidth will also extend the usable area of n41, which can be further extended by utilizing n71 CA to increase the upload range and performance. Combining this with T-Mobile's long announced increased rural and small town focus could be a very winning strategy that allows them to fulfill their merger promise to the FCC concerning nationwide 5G coverage of at least 50Mbps. Drilling down into the auction results, T-Mobile recently won 7,156 2.5GHz ED licenses in 2,724 counties in FCC auction 108. That is roughly 87% of all the U.S. counties (3,143 counties or equivalents exist in the United States.) Each county license has 53% white space on average (area without existing ED licenses by frequency). Note that white space varies by smaller frequency ranges and/or can cover just a portion of the county. According to ALLnet measurements, 2,490 licenses have 90% or better white space in this latest auction. These ED licenses typically reside in rural areas, but do include a few metro areas. Metro area counties with 25% or more white space include these metro areas: Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY. These counties are typically at the outside edges of these metros. The auction timing, auction rules, and complexity of the ED band favored T-Mobile. This auction occurred after the 2021 C-Band and 3.45GHz auctions which both offered the possibility of nationwide coverage. Not much money appeared to be left for auction 108. Verizon's small bid in this auction has even been questioned as unwise. $ in Millions rounded. C-Band (Auction 107 - 280MHz) 3.45GHz (Auction 110 - 100MHz) ED 2.5GHz (Auction 108 - up to 117.5MHz) AT&T $ 23,407 $ 9,079 $ 0 Verizon $ 45,455 $ 0 $ 2 Dish $ 0 $ 7,328 $ 0 T-Mobile $ 9,336 $ 2,898 $ 304 For this auction, the FCC tried to simplify ED with C1= 49.5 MHz contiguous, C2 = 50.5 MHz contiguous, and C3 = 17.5 MHz (16.5 MHz contiguous plus 1 MHz inside BRS). C3 was most attractive to T-Mobile given their BRS holdings. In addition to ED, BRS makes up the rest of 2.5GHz band 41. Source: www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/bandplan_for_fact_sheet.png Prior to the auction the FCC setup a special window for tribes to obtain ED licenses. They also eliminated the educational purpose requirement of ED, but preserved the role of non-profit groups like Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon. They also allowed existing ED licenses to be sold rather than just leased. T-Mobile has been quite busy securing available licenses since then. It also fought for its lease details to remain secret, which other carriers opposed, but the FCC supported. The FCC sided with the smaller carriers and T-Mobile over lease size being the smaller county size rather that PEAs which are typically multi-county partial economic areas. The original aspects of the ED and BRS licenses also discourage other carriers. They both started as radius, but then most but not all of the BRS converted to counties, while ED primarily remained radius. Where two intersect on the same frequencies, they "split the football". Some shifted frequencies, but others remained the same. The frequencies in ED are also quite small by today's standards and often not contiguous. BRS also has some licenses that appear to basically be duplicates. Band 41 also uses TD rather than FD, thus favors downloads. Basically no where near as clean as bands like PCS band 2 where all the other carriers are more comfortable. It should be noted that not all licenses were sold, typically in Alaska and places with almost no whitespace. Note that there is also a scattering of BRS licenses that were never sold plus licenses in other auctions. Maybe the FCC should have an odds and ends auction once congress extends its auction authority which expires on September 23. It is also possible that T-Mobile may choose to lease spectrum for some of the other winners, such as the North American Catholic Education Programming Foundation, who already leases 2.5GHz spectrum to T-Mobile. Final payments are due by September 30, 2022 (October 17th with 5% penalty.) T-Mobile upgrading existing n41 sites is a no-brainer, likely immediately after FCC release. More bandwidth first followed by greater fiber backhaul later. What avenues T-Mobile pursues after that is the question. Here are the FCC Auction 108 2.5GHz results by license: https://auctiondata.fcc.gov/public/projects/auction108/reports/results_by_license. If you are curious about the other winning bidders: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-910A2.pdf. Further overall analysis by bidder is available here: https://www.sashajavid.com/FCC_Auction108.php#county_details_table_overlay.