Category Archives: Spectrum

In Focus: The Where, Who and What of the 3.65 GHz Band

The FCC adopted the rules for the 3.65 – 3.7 GHz band in May 2007, a good nine years after it first proposed to allocate the band to non-Government fixed services on a primary basis. This timeline coincided with parallel development of WiMAX where equipment based on the fixed version of the standard (IEEE 802.16d) first came to… Read More »

Exclusive versus Shared Spectrum: Scarcity to Abundance?

In a bold move, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommended for federal spectrum to be shared between federal and private sector. This radical departure from “business as usual” when it comes to spectrum management holds much promise for accelerating innovation in the wireless industry.

Under the Microscope: AT&T’s Nextwave Acquisition

In the most recent deal, AT&T filed to acquire Nextwave’s WCS (Wireless Communication Services) and AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) assets for $650 million. The bulk of this deal is about the WCS band, so what is this deal about and what does AT&T get for the money?

Setting a Value on the US 2.3 GHz WCS Band

When the WCS band was first auctioned off in 1997, 30 MHz of spectrum in 2.3 GHz was sold for $14.8 million. At the time, it seems reasonable to pay that much for spectrum with stringent regulatory requirements on RF out of band emissions to protect the adjacent satellite DARS band (Digital Audio Radio Service). Now, the picture… Read More »

New Frontiers in Wireless Communications: Extremely High Frequency Communications.

The success of personal wireless communications may have been inevitable: communications is an essential tenant of human social structure. Coupled with the proliferation of wireless communication has been a drive to open up new bands of frequency spectrum. The most recent example is the millimeter wave band around 60 GHz which was assigned for unlicensed use and is… Read More »

Analysis of Brazil’s 2.5 GHz Spectrum Auction Results

The 2.5 GHz LTE auction in Brazil came to an end last week with total proceedings of 2.96 Billion Real ($1.42 Billion). The spectrum included a sliver of 450 MHz spectrum for rural access which regulator Anatel was not able to auction independently and was later included with the 2.5 GHz licenses.

Canadian 700 MHz Spectrum Rules: Caps but no Set Asides.

I want to quickly summarize here the rules for the Canadian 700 auction which were recently released by Industry Canada (IC).

Use Cases for the 2.5/2.6 GHz Spectrum: Macro or Micro/Pico Cells?

Should operators deploy a macro or micro cellular architecture in 2.5 GHz band? This is not a trivial question particularly for an incumbent wireless operator that already holds spectrum in lower spectrum bands. The same can be said of Greenfields looking to capitalize on the exponential demand for wireless data services.

700 MHz Spectrum Auction in Canada: To Set Aside or not to Set Aside?!

The rules for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction are set to be announced soon after parliament returns from its two months winter recess on January 30th. In the lead up, we’ve had an amazing debate raging between the incumbents (Rogers, Bell and Telus) who back an open auction and the new entrants (Wind, Mobilicity, Public Mobile and… Read More »

Use Cases for the 2.5/2.6 GHz Spectrum: Options for TDD Band 38

Large amounts of spectrum in the 2.5-2.7 GHz band are available now for mobile network deployments. Spectrum auctions in Europe in the past two years made much of the 190 MHz available to network operators. This band sold at a significant discount to the 800 MHz band (between 5 – 35x). While in the United States Clearwire used this band to deploy WiMAX, in Europe, operators are unanimous of LTE. So, what are the deployment options?

Setting a New Standard for Unpaired Spectrum Pricing: AT&T’s Purchase of Qualcomm’s 700 MHz Spectrum

On December 22, the FCC approved of AT&T’s purchase of the unpaired D and E blocks from Qualcomm for a total of $1.925 Billion. What went missing in most media reports that the D and E bands are unpaired 6 MHz bands in what’s commonly known as the “lower 700 MHz band.”

Closing the Year with a Bang: The French 800 MHz Spectrum Auction

The year closes with the 800 MHz spectrum auction in France where the regulator Arcep finishes with a bang netting €2.639 billion for the 60 MHz made available. In September, Arcep raised €936 million from the sale of 2.6 GHz spectrum for a total of €3.6bn, about €1.6bn over the €2.5bn reserve price.

Analysis of the 2.6 GHz Spectrum Auction in Belgium

The 2.6 GHz spectrum auction in Belgium closed yesterday after it netted a total of €77.8 million for a total of 155 MHz. Although the media reported the outcome as being low, I think the price is representative for this band at 4.6 euro cents per MHz-PoP. This is more so the case as the license is valid for 15 years while in other countries the licenses are for period of up to 20 years.

The Italian 4G Spectrum Auction: An Analysis

After 22 days and 469 rounds, the 4G frequency spectrum auction in Italy closed on September 29th netting the government over €3.9 billion. By all measures, the auction was a great success with prices exceeding the reserve prices in a country that has not been far from the epicenter of financial turbulence in the Eurozone.