Showing posts with label Spectrum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spectrum. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Germany anticipates 5G spectrum auction in Q1 2019

Germany's Federal Network Agency has prepared draft rules for a 5G spectrum auction next Spring. The draft rules include provisions on coverage requirements, service providers and national roaming requirements. The draft will be presented for discussion next week to the Advisory Board. Consultation with market participants will follow and a final decision is to be made in November. The auction is anticipated to occur during the first quarter of 2019.

The draft of rules for the 5G frequency auction is posted here.

https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/DE/Allgemeines/Presse/Reden/5GVergabebedinungen.html?nn=265778


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

AT&T and Telefónica win bids in Mexico's spectrum auction

AT&T was the largest winning bidder of licenses in Mexico's auction of 2500-2690 MHz spectrum. In total, AT&T will pay MX$1,400,101,288 (US$75.881 million)  in both FDD and TDD for the 20-year license. Telefónica will pay roughly half as much.

With this auction now complete, Mexico's major spectrum holders are as follows


http://www.ift.org.mx/

Sunday, August 5, 2018

GSA: A country-by-country summary of 5G spectrum

As of mid-2017, regulators in 42 countries have advanced plans for 5G spectrum by conducting auctions, designating certain bands, holding consultations, or announced plans to auction frequencies or have already allocated spectrum for 5G use, according to GSA.

This in-depth report provides a country-by-country overview of 5G spectrum.

Some highlights:

  • In Europe, Ireland, Latvia, Spain and UK have already completed auctions of 5G spectrum.
  • Germany, Greece, Norway having recently completed auctions of spectrum that could potentially be used for 5G. 
  • Ten countries are known to have confirmed 5G spectrum auctions between 2018 and 2020 including Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland.
  • Three countries planning auctions of potentially suitable bands -- Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland.   In AsiaPac, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea have 5G auctions/allocations confirmed. 
  • In June 2018 Korea completed a 5G auction for spectrum in the 3.42–3.7 GHz and 26.5–28.9 GHz frequency bands. 
  • Taiwan, New Zealand and Singapore have initiated consultations to consider both mid-band and mmWave bands.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Spectrum auctions to top FCC's August meeting

The Federal Communications Commission's open meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 2, 2018, is expected to clear up key spectrum issues: On the agenda:

Spectrum Frontiers Auction Procedures – setting the rules for auctioning Upper Microwave Flexible Use Licenses in the 28 GHz (Auction 101) and 24 GHz (Auction 102) bands.

The auction of the 28 GHz band (Auction 101) would employ the FCC's standard simultaneous multiple round (SMR) auction format, which offers every license for bid at the same time and consists of successive bidding rounds in which bidders may place bids on individual licenses. This auction is scheduled to commence on November 14, 2018,

The auction of the 24 GHz band (Auction 102) would employ a clock auction format, which would allow bidding on generic blocks in each PEA in successive clock bidding rounds. The bidding for the 24 GHz band (Auction 102) will be scheduled to commence after the conclusion of bidding in Auction 101.

Making 39 GHz Band Auction Ready – transitioning existing spectrum holdings in the 39 GHz band (38.6-40 GHz) to a new flexible-use band plan by offering new licenses for contiguous spectrum in the band.

Wireline Infrastructure – an order to reform the pole attachment process, allowing one-touch, make-ready for most pole attachments. The FCC may also issue a Declaratory Ruling to prohibit state and local moratoria on telecommunications facilities deployment.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-tentative-agenda-august-open-meeting-4

Thursday, July 12, 2018

FCC looks to open 3.7 and 4.2 GHz for 5G

The Federal Communications Commission has identified up to 500 megahertz of mid-band spectrum between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz that could be open for 5G wireless services.

A newly adopted FCC order sets forth several steps toward making more mid-band spectrum available for terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband use.  Specifically, the Order will require Fixed Satellite Service earth stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to certify the accuracy of existing registration and license information and will collect additional information from space station licensees on their operations in the band to assist the Commission and commenters in developing a clearer understanding of how the band is currently being used.  The Commission will then use this information to evaluate the most efficient way to drive the deployment of mid-band spectrum for mobile services and more intensive fixed services.

The FCC said its Notice also proposes to add a mobile (except aeronautical mobile) allocation to all 500 megahertz in the band and seeks comment on various proposals for transitioning part or all of the band for flexible use, working up from 3.7 GHz, including market-based, auction, and alternative mechanisms.  The Notice also seeks comment on allowing more intensive point-to-multipoint fixed use in some portion of the band, on a shared basis, working down from 4.2 GHz and on how to define and protect incumbent users from harmful interference, and it seeks comment on service and technical rules that would enable efficient and intensive use by any new services in the band.

"Our focus here is on making more intensive use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, commonly called the C-band.  To help us figure out the best way forward, we authorize the collection of additional information from the band’s current users.  That data will help us figure out how to accommodate the needs of incumbents, which are primarily using the band to provide Fixed Satellite Service.  It’ll also enable us to free up more spectrum for advanced wireless services," stated FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

UK completes spectrum auction - EE and Vodafone gain 5G bands

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., completed the auction of 190 MHz of spectrum across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase 4G mobile broadband capacity; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Here are the results:

EE won 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000.

Hutchison 3G UK won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.

Telefónica UK won all 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum available, at a cost of £205,896,000; and 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317,720,000.

Vodafone won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £378,240,000.

Airspan Spectrum Holdings, which would have been a new entrant to the UK mobile market, failed to win spectrum in either band.

The total value of the winning bids amounts to £1,355,744,000.

Philip Marnick, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom: "This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet. As a nation, we’re using ever more mobile data on smartphones and mobile devices. Releasing these airwaves will make it quicker and easier to get online on the move. It will also allow companies to prepare for 5G mobile, paving the way for a range of smart, connected devices."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

UK kicks off 5G spectrum auction

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., has commenced an auction to release more airwaves to improve mobile broadband capacity, and help prepare for future 5G services.

A total of 190 MHz of spectrum is being sold across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase mobile broadband capacity for today’s users; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Five companies have been approved to bid in the auction: Airspan Spectrum Holdings Ltd; EE Limited; Hutchison 3G UK Limited; Telefonica UK Limited and Vodafone Limited.

The length of the auction depends on the level of bidding activity. There is a £70m reserve price, with the value increasing round by round as bids are made.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Intelsat and SES agree on joint use of C-band by satellite and mobile operators

Intelsat and SES last week both agreed to back a proposal to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the seeks to protect satellite services in the 3700-4200 MHz C-band downlink spectrum while opening a specified portion of that spectrum for terrestrial mobile use.

The companies said their joint proposal sets a commercial and technical framework that would enable wireless operators to quickly access approximately 100 MHz of nationwide C-band downlink spectrum in the United States, speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services. The idea builds on an innovative model first put forward to the FCC by Intelsat and Intel in October 2017 for spectrum sharing.

Under the proposal, a consortium of satellite operators would be created to oversee the governance of the initiative, define and implement the methodology for spectrum clearance, and serve as the sole interface for market-based transactions with parties interested in deploying terrestrial mobile services in specific portions of the C-band.

“The C-band is and remains a critical component of the U.S. network architecture. Space and ground segment operators have invested billions of dollars in U.S. C-band networks and connectivity and generate important value out of it. It is, therefore, our duty and mission to protect the C-band in the U.S. from any form of disruption and preserve its use,” stated Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES.

"Our proposed market-based solution provides a speedy resolution to the U.S. objective of accelerating deployment of 5G services. With Intelsat and SES now in agreement on major tenets of the framework and with the support of Intel, we are confident in our ability to implement this proposal quickly and efficiently, ultimately to the benefit of American consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Baseline specs complete for 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service

Ten baseline specifications for commercial operations within the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band are now ready to go.

  • CBRS Operational and Functional Requirements
  • CBRS Communications Security Technical Specification
  • CBRS Operational Security Technical Specification
  • SAS to CBSD Protocol Specification
  • SAS to SAS Protocol Specification
  • SAS Test and Certification Specification
  • PAL Database Specification 
  • CBRS PKI Certificate Policy
  • CBSD Test and Certification Specification
  • CPI Accreditation Standard

In April 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for CBRS, which opens 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use — while providing necessary protection of incumbent users of the band. Spectrum access is actively coordinated based on priority and granular location, making previously allocated spectrum available to new entrants and services.

The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) said this watershed event allows the finalization of CBRS products already in various levels of testing and sets the stage for the rollout of commercial CBRS networks.

Google: "Completion of these standards demonstrates that it is now possible to make major changes in how we approach managing spectrum resources to provide the abundant bandwidth essential to our society,” said Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc. “This accomplishment shows that flexible, cloud-based management can enable spectrum to be used for many purposes simultaneously, and relegate the exclusive, command and control vision of spectrum allocation to history."

Nokia: “The CBRS shared spectrum band has been made available in the US, offering 150MHz of spectrum in a continuous block. This spectrum will enable cost effective coverage and capacity expansion at large scale. Completion of detailed specifications of the CBRS Baseline Standards, while working with various contributors from multiple companies, is a monumental milestone achievement,” said Ricky Corker, Executive Vice President, Nokia. “I would like to congratulate all members of the WInnForum in achieving this milestone. CBRS, using a unique 3-tiered shared spectrum approach, promises efficient use of spectrum, and I cannot wait to see the successful rollout in the US.”

Ericsson: “The completion of the CBRS Baseline Standards represents an important milestone for spectrum sharing, unleashing the band’s potential for innovation. Ericsson’s commitment to supplying LTE equipment for the band will ensure strong commercial support for the ecosystem,” said Paul Challoner, VP Network Product Solutions, Ericsson. “The wholehearted cooperation of incumbents, including the DoD, the NTIA, the fixed satellite industry, and the commitment of the FCC to the success of the CBRS is to be acknowledged. Ericsson looks forward to speedy certification of the SAS and ESC and a smooth transition to commercial operation of LTE nationwide in the 3.5 GHz shared spectrum band.”

Verizon: “Verizon is pleased to see the WInnForum make timely progress in publishing CBRS protocol and test specifications. These are critical steps in the testing of CBRS SAS systems, ESC systems, and CBSD devices and the eventual deployment of network infrastructure and consumer devices on this highly desirable CBRS spectrum,” says Ed Chan, Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning (NYSE: VZ). He added, “Access to additional wireless spectrum is essential for providers who want to deliver on the promise of next generation technologies. We believe the FCC’s new CBRS shared spectrum approach is an innovative and responsible way to leverage all the available spectrum resources in the U.S. We look forward to offering innovative new products and services in this new shared CBRS spectrum.”

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New spectrum will shake up the mobile market

We will be hearing a lot about extending 4G LTE into new spectrum bands in the coming year even as 5G trials and pre-standard commercial deployments get underway in 2018.

Repurposing the 600 MHz band.

In August 2016, T-Mobile US lit up the first base stations using its newly acquired 600 MHz spectrum become the first mobile operator worldwide to activate commercial LTE service using this frequency band. A second 600 MHz location was activated in Scarborough, Maine about 2 weeks later and T-Mobile now says it is on track to light up 600 MHz cell sites in rural locations across the United States over the coming months.

T-Mobile’s 600 MHz rollout is interesting on a couple of fronts.  First, the pace of the rollout is impressive. The first activation, which occurred in Cheyenne, Wyoming, came only two months after T-Mobile received its spectrum licenses from the FCC.  Most of the spectrum licenses were previously held by broadcasters, such as public TV stations, or educational or religious entities which in the days before the commercial Internet really took off had once imagined a future where they would be broadcasting TV directly consumers in their local market. In rural areas, at least, it is proving easier to clear the spectrum for T-Mobile.

Second, T-Mobile now has plenty of 600 MHz licenses, which it acquired in the FCC’ Broadcast Incentive Auction in April for $7.99 billion, covering all of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. T-Mobile acquired 31 MHz of spectrum nationwide on average, quadrupling its low-band holdings, for a total of $7.99 billion. With the purchase, T-Mobile claims to hold more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider, and nearly 3x the low-band spectrum per customer held by Verizon, which did not bid in the auction to the surprise of many observers. Other companies picking up 600 MHz spectrum in that auction were Parker B Wireless (Dish Network) $6.2 billion; CC Wireless Investment (Comcast) $1.7 billion; AT&T $902 million; Channel 51 $859 million; Bluewater Wireless $568 million; US Cellular 329 million; NewLevel $296 million; Tsar 600 $131 million; and Omega Wireless $99.7 million.  There was a handful of other local or regional auction winner, implying that some deal-making is likely.

Third, 600 MHz will provide great building penetration and range. It also will be instrumental to T-Mobile’s 5G strategy. In addition to the 600 MHz bands, T-Mobile has 200 MHz of spectrum in the 28/39 GHz bands covering nearly 100 million people in major metros. The company says both resources will be used for 5G. In various company blog posts, T-Mobile argues that 5G should not be equated only with high-band, or millimeter wave, spectrum, even though these bands support massive throughput capacity. The limited range of the 28/39 GHz bands means that vast numbers of small cells will be required for ubiquitous coverage which will be a major capital expenditure.

Fourth, LV’s V30 announced at the end of August is the first smartphone to support 600 MHz LTE. Qualcomm has said that its Snapdragon X20 and X16 modems support 600 MHz. We don’t know yet whether the upcoming iPhones will support 600 MHz – it could be a game changer either way. If yes, it could be a home run for T-Mobile. If no, it could be a big strike-out.

GSA (the Global mobile Suppliers Association) recently reported that Argentina, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand are considering re-purposing and re-licensing 600 MHz spectrum in a similar fashion.

Refarming 450 MHz (Band 31)

Another area of activity around the world is 450 MHz, otherwise known as Band 31, which was widely used for CDMA networks. GSA tracks over 100 CDMA networks worldwide that relied on Band 31 for wide area reach and in-building penetration. The first carriers began deactivating CDMA 450 in 2014. Currently, GSA counts ten networks that have re-farmed this spectrum to extend their LTE coverage.
Ukko Mobile, Aland Islands (Baltic Sea)
Vimplecom (Beeline), Armenia
Net1, Denmark
Ukko, Finland
MVM, Hungary
Net1, Indonesia
Ice.net, Norway
Broadband Everywhere, Philippines
Tele2 (Skylink), Russia
Net1, Sweden

3.5 GHz Mid-band spectrum for 5G
Lots of activity around 5G in the “mid-bands” of 3.5 GHz spectrum is underway in carrier test labs and with regulators, including the FCC. In April 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for CBRS, which opens 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use — while providing necessary protection of incumbent users of the band. Spectrum access is actively coordinated based on priority and granular location, making previously allocated spectrum available to new entrants and services. In 2016, the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Alliance was formed with the goal of making LTE-based solutions in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band widely available, Big name players are backing this initiative, including AT&T, American Tower, CableLabs, Intel, Nokia, ZTE, and others.

Another big milestone for 3.5 GHz spectrum came in late August, when Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Federated Wireless demonstrated LTE Advanced carrier aggregation using CBRS band 48 spectrum. The demo, which was conducted in an Ericsson lab in Plano, Texas included the end-to-end CBRS communication flow, using 2x20 MHz LTE carriers on the CBRS band 48, and employing a 256 QAM modulation in the downlink. Ericsson provided the band 48 Radio Dot System and Domain Proxy for communication with Federated SAS. Qualcomm Technologies provided a Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modem test device, and Federated Wireless provided the spectrum management service with their Spectrum Controller.

A month earlier, in July 2017, ZTE and China Unicom announced a field test in Shenzhen that achieved data rates of up to 2 Gbit/s using the 3.5 GHz frequency band with a 100 MHz bandwidth. This test was conducted by ZTE working with the Guangdong branch of China Unicom and the operator's network construction department and the China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute. The field test was designed to verify the 5G technical performance and product commercial capabilities in a live network environment and builds on the established partnership for 5G network development between China Unicom and ZTE.

 Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) looks ready to go

After several years of incubation, Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) appears to be on the cusp of commercial rollout. The magic with LAA is that it enables operators to use unlicensed spectrum in combination with licensed bands. It co-exists with Wi-Fi and other unlicensed spectrum technologies using 'listen before talk', which promises fair coexistence, Multiple carriers are the world are now trialling LTE-LAA or beginning commercial rollouts, boasting of downlink speeds nearing the gigabit mark. In June, AT&T and Ericsson conducted a live LTE-LAA technology field trial, during which initial wireless data rates of more than 650 Mbps were achieved in downtown San Francisco. Also in June, T-Mobile completed the nation’s first mobile broadband data session live in the field using License Assisted Access (LAA) on its commercial network. Italian operator TIM has achieved speeds of nearly 1Gbps on its live advanced 4G network in Milan using Ericsson’s LAA technology.  In addition, Ericsson, Verizon and Qualcomm have reported downlink performance of 953 Mbps in a joint commercial network deployment in Boca Raton, Florida. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

ABI forecasts $1.7bn market over 5 yrs for unlicensed/shared spectrum

According to ABI Research's latest Network Evolution in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum report, which explores the use of unlicensed and shared spectrum, technologies enabling the utilisation of this spectrum type are not only attracting interest from established mobile network operators for low cost network densification, but also from new entrants to the market.

ABI finds that this interest is due to the opportunities that the network technologies offer for densification, neutral hosts, as well as enterprise and private network operators. The research firm predicts that new LTE unlicensed and shared spectrum technologies will create a $1.7 billion hardware market over the next 5 years encompassing LTE Unlicensed, CBRS (citizens broadband radio service) and MulteFire technology.

ABI notes that as a result of the power restrictions inherent with unlicensed and shared spectrum, the technologies are most suitable for small cell indoor or venue deployments. Based on low or no spectrum acquisition costs, plus deployment economics comparable to WiFi, ABI forecasts that demand for in-building wireless penetration in the mid-sized and enterprise verticals will increase dramatically and account for more than half of in-building small cell shipments in 2021.

The research firm reports that numerous companies are developing in technology in this area, ranging from the Spectrum Access System (SAS) providers and Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) operators for CBRS, including Alphabet, CommScope, Federated Wireless, to small cell and infrastructure vendors such as BaiCells, Casa Systems, Ericsson, Huawei, ip.access, Nokia, Ruckus and SpiderCloud.

With regards to CBRS, which uses the 3.5 GHz band, ABI notes that an indication that the technology will transform the in-building wireless and mobile industries is that the CBRS Alliance, which advocates for CBRS technology, counts as members all four major U.S. mobile operators, namely AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as major MSOs, Comcast and Charter Communications, plus Google, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm.

Commenting on the report, Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research, said, "LTE-U/LAA appeals to MNOs planning to densify but with insufficient spectrum or the capex to acquire it… while MulteFire and CBRS promise low network build-out costs with economics that threaten to disrupt the DAS market... the technologies appeal to service providers as CBRS pioneers a significant change in spectrum management…. (and) traditional spectrum refarming cannot match the mobile broadband throughput demands with the migration to 5G".


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Shaw purchases 700/2500 MHz spectrum, divests ViaWest

Canada's Shaw Communications announced it has entered into a series of transactions designed to enhance long-term growth opportunities, specifically a share purchase agreement with GI Partners portfolio company Peak 10 to sell its subsidiary ViaWest for approximately C$2.3 billion ($1.675 billion) and an agreement with Quebecor Media to acquire 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz wireless spectrum licences for $430 million.

ViaWest transaction

ViaWest is a provider of hybrid IT solutions including colocation, cloud computing and security and compliance for North American enterprises. Under the agreement, ViaWest is being acquired by Peak 10 for approximately C$2.3 billion. Shaw noted that it originally invested $1.2 billion (approximately C$1.3 billion at the exchange rate at the time) in the operation.

Shaw expects to realise net cash proceeds from the ViaWest transaction of approximately C$900 million after the repayment of ViaWest level indebtedness of approximately $580 million, repayment of the $380 million Shaw credit facility borrowings associated with the original investment and subsequent INetU acquisition, and estimated transaction expenses and taxes.

The ViaWest transaction is subject to customary conditions, including U.S. regulatory approval, and is expected to close in fiscal year 2017, which ends in August. The transaction is not subject to a financing condition.

Spectrum transaction

Shaw also announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Quebecor Media for the acquisition of 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz wireless spectrum licences for a sum of $430 million. The spectrum licences being acquired comprise the 10 MHz licences of 700 MHz spectrum in each of British Columbia, Alberta, and Southern Ontario, as well as the 20 MHz licences of 2,500 MHz spectrum in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto.

In addition to the spectrum acquisition cost, capex associated with the deployment of the acquired spectrum are estimated at approximately C$350 million. The company expects the bulk of the capital for the network build to be incurred during fiscal 2018. The spectrum transaction will be funded using a combination of cash proceeds from the ViaWest transaction, cash on hand and/or Shaw's existing credit facility.

The company stated that the spectrum transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and under the Competition Act. The transaction has received all required internal approvals at Shaw and Quebecor and is not subject to approval by the shareholders of Shaw or further approval by shareholders of Quebecor. The transaction is expected to close in the summer 2017.


Regarding the transactions, Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw, said, "With the acquisition of WIND, now Freedom Mobile, in 2016, Shaw has more synergistic investment opportunities as a leading enhanced connectivity provider in its Canadian footprint… I believe this incremental investment in the wireless business, particularly the addition of 700 MHz spectrum, will materially improve the long-term wireless customer experience and further enable Shaw to offer converged network solutions…".


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Verizon to acquire Straight Path for $3.1bn

Straight Path Communications has announced a definitive merger agreement under which Verizon Communications will acquire Straight Path for $184.00 per share, equating to an enterprise value of approximately $3.1 billion, in an all-stock transaction.

Straight Path holds an extensive portfolio of 39 GHz and 28 GHz wireless spectrum licenses, specifically 868 FCC spectrum licenses providing wireless coverage across the U.S. The company also develops next generation wireless technology through its Straight Path Ventures subsidiary, and holds licenses and conducts business related to certain patents via its Straight Path IP Group subsidiary.

Concurrent with the agreement, Verizon will pay on behalf of Straight Path a termination fee of $38 million to AT&T, which on April 10th announced an agreement to acquire Straight Path for $95.63 per share, representing a total value of $1.6 billion. The sum implied a premium of 204% to the closing price of Straight Path's stock of $31.41 on January 11th and a 162% premium to the $36.48 price on April 7th.

As part of the agreement with Verizon, Straight Path announced that it is terminating the previously announced definitive agreement to merge with AT&T and Switchback Merger Sub. As previously announced, the Straight Path board determined after consultations with financial and legal advisors that the transaction with Verizon constituted a superior proposal. AT&T opted not to make any new bids or proposals to Straight Path or to propose amendments to the original agreement.

The acquisition of Straight Path for $184.00 per share in Verizon stock implies a premium of 486% to the closing price of Straight Path common stock of $31.41 on January 11, 2017, the day prior to Straight Path announcing its FCC settlement and strategic alternatives process, and a 404% premium to the closing stock price of $36.48 on April 7th, the business day prior to announcement of the AT&T merger agreement.

The proposed transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of Straight Path and Verizon, and the companies currently anticipate closing within nine months, subject to FCC review. The transaction is supported by Straight Path's majority shareholder, Howard Jonas, who has entered into a voting agreement with Verizon and agreed to vote his Class A shares in support of the transaction.

Regarding the acquisition, Hans Vestberg, EVP and president of global network and technology at Verizon, said, "Verizon now has all of the pieces in place to accelerate the deployment of 5G… combined with the recent transactions with Corning, XO Communications and Prysmian Group, this is another step to build the next-generation network for its customers".



AT&T Buys 39 GHz and 28 GHz Licenses for $1.6 Billion



AT&T agreed to acquire Straight Path Communications, which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses. Specifically, AT&T will acquire 735 mmWave licenses in the 39 GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28 GHz band. These licenses cover the entire United States, including all of the top 40 markets. The deal was valued at $1.6 billion, which includes liabilities an

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Comcast is Pleased with FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction

Comcast issued the following statement after the conclusion of the quiet period associated with the FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction:

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction. In the Reverse auction, NBC sold spectrum at attractive prices in New York (NBC - WNBC), Philadelphia (Telemundo - WWSI), and Chicago (Telemundo - WSNS) and will receive total proceeds of $481.6 million. Additionally, with the purchase of $1.7 billion of spectrum that covers 88 percent of our footprint and most of the footprint of each of our top 25 markets, Comcast made a strategically compelling investment at historically low prices. We have no current plans for the acquired spectrum and note that the spectrum will not be cleared by the FCC and available for use for several years. The launch and growth of our Xfinity Mobile product is not dependent on this purchased spectrum.”

http://www.comcast.com

Monday, April 24, 2017

Vodafone Turkey Tests GL Spectrum Sharing with Huawei

Vodafone Turkey and Huawei announced they have completed what they claim is the first verification of the GL spectrum sharing solution on Vodafone's commercial 900 MHz networks in the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey.

This solution, developed through a collaboration on spectrum sharing capabilities between Huawei Mobile Innovation Centre and Vodafone Networks CoE (Center of Excellence), enables spectrum sharing between GSM and LTE with a high degree of overlap between the two technologies. The technology improves both LTE data rate and cell capacity available in the 900 MHz spectrum allocation from Vodafone Turkey.

Huawei claims that compared to LTE 5 MHz performance, the GL technology enables average user data throughput to be increased by nearly 58% on the downlink and 44% on the uplink.

Vodafone Turkey launched its 4.5G network for commercial use in April 2016 and claims to offer the largest 4.5G coverage in Turkey, currently serving over 8 million LTE customers. Subsequently, as more users migrate to LTE the effective allocation of spectrum resources to support increasing LTE data traffic has become a priority for Vodafone Turkey. The GL spectrum sharing solution features Huawei's proprietary algorithms, which are designed to free operators from the restrictions of standard LTE bandwidth.

The Huawei solution ensures that scattered spectrum resources are utilised more effectively to enable higher data rates and an enhanced user experience. By providing more flexibility in terms of the resource block allocation and spectrum allocation effectively used by LTE the GL technology also maintains sufficient GSM channels to carry 2G CS traffic.

In February, Huawei, Vodafone and Qualcomm Technologies announced they had jointly created in Turkey what they claimed was the first network ready to use Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology, based on the 3GPP R13 standard. LAA is designed to help improve the user experience by enabling faster download speeds.

The LAA-ready network was tested using a Huawei Lampsite base station in a Vodafone Turkey store in Istanbul and used 40 MHz of unlicensed spectrum in 5 GHz and 15 MHz licensed spectrum in 2.6 GHz for three carrier aggregation. The on-site peak download speed of 370 Mbit/s was achieved using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE mobile test device



  • In 2016, Huawei announced that its Active Antenna Unit (AAU) solution was supporting Turkey's deployment of 4.5G networks to enable enhanced mobile broadband (MBB) services. Turkey launched its large-scale plan for the evolution from 3G to 4.5G networks in 2015 and released the first 4.5G spectrum license in August of that year.

Monday, April 10, 2017

AT&T Buys 39 GHz and 28 GHz Licenses for $1.6 Billion

AT&T agreed to acquire Straight Path Communications, which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses.

Specifically, AT&T will acquire 735 mmWave licenses in the 39 GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28 GHz band. These licenses cover the entire United States, including all of the top 40 markets.

The deal was valued at $1.6 billion, which includes liabilities and amounts to be remitted to the FCC per the terms of Straight Path’s January 2017 consent decree.  Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25 billion, or $95.63 per share, which will be paid using AT&T stock.

AT&T said the purchase completment its January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum.

The transaction is subject to FCC review, and the two companies expect to close within 12 months.

http://www.att.com




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

AT&T to Acquire FiberTower for 24 and 39 GHz Spectrum

AT&T confirmed its intention to acquire FiberTower, a privately-held company that holds an extensive spectrum footprint in 24 GHz and 39 GHz bands. Financial terms were not disclosed.

At the AT&T Innovation Summit in San Francisco, John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President at AT&T, said the acquired spectrum assets will have advance the company's 5G plans.

http://www.att.com
http://www.fibertower.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sprint Extends 2.5 GHz Spectrum with High Performance User Equipment

Sprint announced plans to leverage High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) to optimize its 2.5 GHz network coverage.

Sprint said HPUE technology, which was certified by 3GPP earlier this month, is capable of extending its 2.5 GHz coverage by up to 30 percent to nearly match its mid-band 1.9 GHz spectrum performance, including indoors where an estimated 60 to 70 percent of wireless traffic is generated. HPUE is a new power class – Power Class 2 – for end-user devices such as smartphones, and is designed to improve the performance of TDD-LTE Band 41 networks around the world. Sprint co-led the development of HPUE in conjunction with the Global TDD LTE Initiative (GTI) and companies such as China Mobile, SoftBank, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Samsung, ZTE, Broadcom, MediaTek, Skyworks Solutions, Alcatel, Motorola, LG and Qorvo.

“HPUE is an incredible innovation that will dramatically improve the performance of our high-band spectrum and deliver an even better experience for the millions of customers on the Sprint network whether they’re streaming videos, playing games or using apps, both indoors and out,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “With HPUE, our customers using 2.5 GHz-capable phones can have nearly the same reach as our 1.9 GHz spectrum. This gives them all the coverage advantages of mid-band spectrum while maintaining the tremendous speed and capacity advantages of high-band spectrum.”

“The joint test between China Mobile and Sprint proved the benefits of HPUE technology, and China Mobile will continuously promote the availability and deployment of HPUE,” said Madam Yuhong Huang, Secretary General of GTI and Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute.

Sprint also confirmed that its network is ready for the initial roll-out of HPUE, including in its 250 LTE Plus markets. Samsung, one of Sprint’s most important ecosystem partners, is expected to support HPUE in devices slated for commercial launch in 2017.

Furthermore, Sprint will continue its deployment of three-channel carrier aggregation on 2.5 GHz sites. The company also anticipates leveraging a multitude of advanced technologies including multiple carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and Massive MIMO to further enhance the capacity and coverage of its 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE spectrum.

http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=12399


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dish Plans to Use AWS-4 spectrum (2000-2020 MHz) for downlink

DISH Network notified the FCC that it is electing to use 20 MHz of AWS-4 uplink spectrum (2000-2020 MHz) for downlink operations, resulting in all 40 MHz of DISH’s AWS-4 spectrum being designated for downlink operations.

The 3GPP's RAN4 working group recently agreed on Band 70 specifications. Band 70 combines three spectrum blocks encompassing DISH’s current AWS-4 spectrum as downlink (2000-2020 MHz), DISH's H block downlink spectrum (1995-2000 MHz), and unpaired AWS-3 uplink spectrum (1695-1710 MHz). 3GPP formal approval will enable the development of devices and infrastructure that supports Band 70.

“Similar to Band 66 approved in December 2015, the asymmetric Band 70 includes a greater proportion of downlink spectrum relative to uplink, enhancing the overall utility of the spectrum as the growth of video and other downlink-intensive traffic continues to increase,” said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president of Corporate Development. “Consumer trends clearly support the efficient combination of different spectrum blocks into a single, asymmetric band. Moreover, our AWS-4 election leads to a better coexistence with the adjacent downlink PCS operations. We’re pleased with the working group level completion of Band 70 as these standards efforts are a necessary step in developing the ecosystem.”

DISH noted that it directly or indirectly has on average almost 80 MHz of spectrum nationwide, covering over 23 billion MHz-POPs.

http://www.dish.com

Friday, February 5, 2016

Telstra Books 1800 MHz Band in Australian Spectrum Auction

Telstra secured 57 blocks of spectrum licenses at an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) auction. The blocks of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band cover 12 regions across Australia and will be used to enhance the delivery of 4G mobile services. Telstra will pay A$190 million for the spectrum licences, which have a term of 11 years.

"As a result of the auction, we’ll be at least doubling the amount of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band that we can use to provide 4G services in these areas. In fact, in some regions we will more than triple the amount available. Securing this extra spectrum allows Telstra to deliver more capacity to cater to our customers’ growing demand for mobile data. It will also enable mobile data to be delivered at even faster speeds," stated Telstra CEO Andy Penn.

http://www.telstra.com.au/aboutus/media/media-releases/telstra-customers-to-benefit-from-more-spectrum-in-1800-mhz-band.xml

See also