Currently viewing the tag: "lower 700MHz"

VZW Rule The Air Logo Couldn’t help but notice that Verizon completed the transaction of selling off it’s Lower 700MHz spectrum today. Key point is, as long as it doesn’t go to AT&T consumers are better off. OK that had to be said.

The markets and spectrum from their PR is:

Nortex Communications, based in Muenster, Texas, acquired the Texas RSA 6-Jack 700 MHz lower B-block license, which covers a four-county area northwest of Dallas. Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc., based in Guymon, Okla., acquired the Texas RSA 2-Hansford 700 MHz lower B-block license, which covers 12 counties in the northwest part of Texas. Colorado Valley Communications purchased a partitioned A-Block license covering a five-county area in the Houston market.

The next bottleneck, once the spectrum gets diffused into the market, is the availability of chipsets that support this spectrum, Band 12. See the diagram below for a quick refresher.

700MHz spectrum chart

I am planning to do an overview of this situation next so stay tuned. Yea for us. We got a little more market freedom today. Hopefully this will encourage some of the smaller operators to deploy LTE and compete with the big guys.

Fist Bump

 

 

BTW, When’s the last time we saw Munster, TX or Guymon, OK in a tech industry press release? Shout out to you peeps. 

 

 

 

Below is excerpted from their site.

Verizon Wireless Completes Spectrum Sales to Three Rural Companies

Verizon Wireless has completed three spectrum license sale transactions following agreements reached late last year as part of the open sale process for its 700 MHz A and B Block licenses. Nortex Communications and Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc. closed on their respective purchases this week. Colorado Valley Communications completed its purchase on January 16, 2013.

Nortex Communications, based in Muenster, Texas, acquired the Texas RSA 6-Jack 700 MHz lower B-block license, which covers a four-county area northwest of Dallas. Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc., based in Guymon, Okla., acquired the Texas RSA 2-Hansford 700 MHz lower B-block license, which covers 12 counties in the northwest part of Texas. purchased a partitioned A-Block license covering a five-county area in the Houston market.

Verizon Wireless offered its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses for sale to rationalize its spectrum holdings and enable more spectrum to reach the marketplace where it can be used for the benefit of customers. As a result of the sale process, Verizon Wireless signed agreements with seven companies, including one national carrier, five rural or regional carriers and one minority-owned firm. To date, three purchases have been completed and four remain pending. Verizon Wireless is also getting 700 MHz C block spectrum into the hands of 20 rural operators through its LTE in Rural America leasing program.

ATT deathstar

 Updated: Added mention of the recent Alltel deal.

The rich are hiding the opportunities from the not so rich.

Oh I mean spectrum ownership. 

So Verizon Wireless agreed to sell their 700MHz B spectrum to ATT.

If you are just looking for parrot/me too/copy+paste blogging, you should leave now.

This is bad for everyone else.

The primary reason goes like this.

ATT pushed through the Band 17 change (Lower 700MHz B+C) which essentially cuts the Band 12 to A channel widely held by multiple firms, B+C channel with different filtering requirements, thus forcing the component manufacturers to create special filters to comply/handle Band 17. Today, Band 12 is being EXCLUDED from chipset support at the expense of Band 17 (ATT) and Band 13 (Verizon.) 

So, Verizon sells the spectrum to ATT, the spectrum doesn’t diffuse, there is no compelling reason for hardware designers to facilitate Band 12 now because the spectrum ownership is fragmented and they can’t place a big order for devices like ATT can.

 leaving us out to dry I’m a free enterprise type of guy but this situation shameful and I think anti competitive to a great degree. The FCC should be ashamed at what they’ve done here. More competition is good for a developing (LTE) market, however the Big 2 and smaller 2 dominate, thus everything is sort of stagnant on pricing, innovation and other fronts as compared to more competitive markets like Asia and Europe.

Updated: I forgot to mention that the Alltel purchase by ATT is good for the Alltel ownership but again hoards more 700MHz spectrum.  From the ATT press release:

ATT and Alltel coverageATNI operates under the Alltel name in the U.S., and its network covers approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The acquisition includes spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands and is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing network.

Is a market in which there can only be a limited number of players due to the lack of resources (spectrum), where I wouldn’t be able to purchase any spectrum and create a lower 700MHz operator if I wanted to, a free and open market?

This spectrum should go back for rebid instead since the original terms and conditions from FCC auction weren’t met by original bidder (Verizon.) or FCC should make things right and sell off the upper 24MHz of the 600MHz band (further clearing down DTV) and rebid, with a 30-40% tax on bidders connected to Band 13 or Band 17 operators.

Can’t see the data pricing from ATT or VZW LTE going down anytime soon. They’re the only ones with more than 10MHz for LTE everywhere. No need to compete for LTE customers!

Horrible!

ATT Verizon Spectrum purchase Press release below. The ATT Alltel purchase PR is further below…

AT&T Agrees to Acquire 700 MHz Spectrum from Verizon Wireless

DallasTexasJanuary 25, 2013

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AT&T* announced in an 8-K filing today that it has agreed to acquire spectrum in the 700 MHz B band from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in several markets, including Phoenix, Ariz., Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore.

The 700 MHz licenses to be acquired by AT&T cover 42 million people in 18 states — California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

This acquisition complements AT&T’s existing holdings in the 700 MHz B band and will allow AT&T to continue to quickly deploy 4G LTE services to meet demand for mobile Internet services on a wide array of smartphones, tablets and other devices. The company announced in November 2012 that it plans to reach 300 million people in the U.S. with its 4G LTE network by the end of 2014.

In conjunction with this transaction, AT&T will sell to Grain Management a single AWS license and will lease 700 MHz spectrum from Grain Management in three markets.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. AT&T anticipates closing the transaction in the second half of 2013.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T |DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/aboutus or follow our news on @ATT, on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2013 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 4G not available everywhere. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

ATNI operates under the Alltel name in the U.S., and its network covers approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The acquisition includes spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands and is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing network.

AT&T to Acquire Wireless Spectrum and Assets from Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., Enhance Wireless Coverage in Rural Areas

DallasTexasJanuary 22, 2013

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AT&T* today announced that it has signed an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (ATNI) to acquire the company’s U.S. retail wireless operations, operated under the Alltel brand, for $780 million in cash. Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 585,000 subscribers.

ATNI operates under the Alltel name in the U.S., and its network covers approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The acquisition includes spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands and is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing network. ATNI currently operates a retail CDMA network for its subscribers in these areas. AT&T expects that as it upgrades the network, ATNI customers and existing AT&T customers who roam in these areas will enjoy an enhanced mobile Internet experience.

AT&T expects integration costs for network conversion from CDMA will not result in significant dilution to EPS or impact to cash flow. The transaction is subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice and to other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T |DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/aboutus or follow our news on @ATT, on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2013 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 4G not available everywhere. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

 I was looking at the Press Releases from US Cellular regarding their LTE market launches. You can see them here. Anyway the key things to me were, firstly the where…. 

The November rollout expands the 4G LTE footprint in select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Oklahoma, and brings 4G LTE coverage to some of U.S. Cellular’s leading markets in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. The next wave of market launches will follow shortly in Rockford, Ill., Medford, Ore., Yakima, Wash., and Knoxville, Tenn.

And this…the how…

King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular’s customers in several of the carrier’s markets

So I was looking at some of these areas, and yes, there are Channel 51 DTV interferers in some of the same areas.

 Random pick, how about West Virginia? 

power | 15 kW  (kilowatts)  (effective radiated power)
height above average terrain | 0 feet
height above ground level | 187 feet
height above mean sea level | 1106 feet
directionality | directional
Yikes!

As you will note from the chart, there is a 15KW transmitter at Channel 51, so huge interference with the lower 700MHz UEs…  So looking a little closer at the spectrum ownership, they have a B channel/block in that market. So all this wind up to say:

1) Kudos to US Cellular for deploying lower 700MHz LTE

2) Unlike what Qualcomm was trying to convey in their report to the FCC, US Cellular is using the lower 700MHz Channel B without issue, probably some sharp eNB filters are helping out.

 It’s time for the rest of the market to jump in and play here. 700MHz LTE is a game changer based on the rich variety of spectrum owners and owing to the physics that the propagation of 700MHz channel is great compared to the typical 1900MHz or 2100MHz channels used for 3G. 

Keep up the good work US Cellular.

 Oh yeah, they have a cute video too. Check it out. :)

Update: I was correct, they are leasing Lower 700MHz A/B spectrum in a few markets, BRS (2.4GHz) in 1 market, Lower 700MHz C/D in a few markets. So this is not being deployed in the Public Safety Upper 700MHz band. On the other hand, I was incorrect in inferring this was for public safety, this is for a new targeted market, what they call ‘critical’ infrastructure ex:gas/oil facilities. I suspect there will be lots of m2m like telemetry riding the waves too. This is a very interesting development! Go LTE ecosystem! 

Just keep that info up top in mind…

 Interesting announcement from Infrastructure Networks is intriguing in two dimensions for me. Firstly, the ecosystem for LTE is growing with this company focusing on an LTE for Public Safety deployment and secondly Infrastructure Networks deploys a large area of LTE for Public Safety in West Texas. This means the folks in West Texas got motivated and made things happen with respect to LTE whereas many others are just on the sidelines. Interesting. The Public Safety band in upper 700MHz is a great choice for rural areas based on the propagation characteristics, however from reading this: 

 Founded in March of 2011, Infrastructure Networks has been expanding network coverage under licensed spectrum holdings that cover more than 150,000 square miles of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin in Texas and large parts of West Texas, the Texas panhandle, Eastern New Mexico and Kern County, California.

Sounds like they have some lower 700MHz, huh?

 Spectrum holdings of Infrastructure Networks:

 

 

 

 

 

 Their coverage area for this West Texas deployment:

Link: infrastructurenetworks.com

Full PR:

http://www.infrastructurenetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/LTE-in-Permian-Basin_PR.pdf

PR Text:

Infrastructure Networks Rolls Out The First LTE Network For

Critical Infrastructure In The Heart of The Permian Basin

Houston, Texas, United States, July 25, 2012

Infrastructure Networks, a Houston, Texas-based provider of broadband wireless networks to Critical Infrastructure

Industries, has announced that it recently deployed 5 LTE (Long-Term Evolution) wireless broadband coverage sites in

the Permian Basin area of West Texas. These are the first LTE sites to be exclusively dedicated to the needs of Critical

Infrastructure entities, and their launch makes Infrastructure Networks one of only a handful of companies, including

Verizon, AT&T and Metro PCS, to operate an LTE network in North America.

Traditionally, retail and consumer based providers such as Verizon have not focused their coverage on less populated

rural areas. However, those remote areas, such as the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale in Texas and the Bakken

Shale in North Dakota, are often home to a heavy concentration of Critical Infrastructure operations. This lack of adequate

coverage has created a window of opportunity which has motivated Infrastructure Networks’ initial efforts.

Phillip Liddell, Infrastructure Networks’ Vice President of Engineering, personally oversaw the implementation of the

network. “We are very pleased with the network test results to date.” stated Liddell. “The propagation characteristics of

the 700MHz spectrum are outstanding and support our ability to rapidly deploy a high quality LTE network in West Texas,

as well as other areas of Texas and North Dakota where we have 700MHz spectrum holdings.”

“We are extremely proud to be rolling out this network, which will be the foundation of a first of its kind service anywhere.”

added Infrastructure Networks CEO Stan Hughey. ”We formed this company specifically to service the needs of Critical

Infrastructure entities, and are excited to be at the very forefront of providing high bandwidth, low latency, secure solutions

that can be rapidly integrated into our customers existing communications infrastructure.”

Infrastructure Networks Executive Vice-President Kori Kalich-Ugalde is coordinating testing and demonstrations with

several company partners over the next month, and expects full scale provisioning of services to begin shortly thereafter.

“While we continue to demonstrate our new capabilities in the Permian Basin, we are also accelerating the expansion

and upgrade of our existing network coverage in the Texas panhandle.” she stated.

Founded in March of 2011, Infrastructure Networks has been expanding network coverage under licensed spectrum

holdings that cover more than 150,000 square miles of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, the Eagle Ford Shale and

Permian Basin in Texas and large parts of West Texas, the Texas panhandle, Eastern New Mexico and Kern County,

California.

 

 

 Lemko managed to get my attention with a PR that teases about demonstrating Band 12 and Band 17 device interoperability. Quick refresher: this Band 17 in Lower 700MHz was created by AT&T to make something unique/non-operable with the existing Band 12 under the guise of interference protection but I have sort of talked through those points before. Anyway, good business for AT&T. So if Lemko has something that allows more compatibility for existing devices let’s see it. Unfortunately, there is no information in the PR nor their web site… Caught my eye though since this is such a big problem (like FCC required 35% geographic coverage by EOY 2012 if you purchased the lower 700MHz spectrum in the auctions) and not a lot of solutions. Would be cool to see some details from Lemko, I will reach out, but all we got is the PR for now. Enjoy…

 

Links: Lemko, sonlte.com, FCC.gov

Full PR;

Lemko Demonstrates 700 MHz Band Class 12 and 17 Interoperability

Schaumburg, Illinois

July 25, 2012

Lemko Corporation, the leader in the development of all IP distributed mobile wireless network architecture, announced today another 4G broadband innovation by demonstrating interoperability between 700 MHz LTE lower band classes. Lemko has successfully demonstrated mobile devices operating between 700 MHz band class12 and band class 17. This provides the critical interoperability to support roaming between the lower 700 MHz bands opening the door for full network build-outs in support of the imminent FCC 2012 build out deadline. Lemko LTE provides a DiMoWiNe (distributed mobile wireless network) solution that is designed to keep network operators profitable by offering the lowest total cost of ownership and superior end-user experience.

 

“This is a very significant innovation achievement for the LTE 700 MHz market since it shows that interoperability is possible for carriers planning LTE network build-outs in the lower A band channel blocks”, says David Dombrowski, Lemko Senior Director of Product Management. “Carriers can now move forward deploying their 700 MHz LTE networks knowing that the technology exists to support contiguous, homogeneous services regardless of band class.”

 

For details about DiMoWiNe please visit www.lemko.com or call 847-240-1990.
About Lemko Corporation

Lemko is the leading provider of DiMoWiNe (Distributed Mobile Wireless Network) solutions that change the way mobile operators maintain and develop voice, SMS and data businesses over 2G, 3G and 4G broadband networks. Lemko provides an entire cellular system powered by an all IP mobile infrastructure which includes radio access equipment as well as virtualized 2G, 3G and LTE core network functionality. The virtualized core functionality (including EPC, IMS, VoLTE, policy control, multimedia telephony and data off-load) sits at each RAN site with immediate connection to the cloud for delivery of voice, SMS, data and broadband functionality.

 

This approach lowers up-front capital expense and dramatically lowers on-going operational expenses. The company’s market leading solutions are deployed with Tier 3 as well as Tier 1 carriers, and government and military private network operators. Lemko is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA.

 

More About Lemko Corp.

There are 2 LTE stories here, with 1 bow tied neatly around. See this…

 So I was reading about the Dish Networks deal with Qualcomm that starts with Dish has 40MHz of S band (~2GHz) that it wants to use for LTE. Then I read that they did the smart thing and signed a deal with Qualcomm because let’s face it, Dish’s ambitions are not going to get much traction without devices. That all makes sense to me and although I can’t say I think getting this to market by 2016 will make them the dominant LTE service provider for the ages. IntoMobile has a good story on this.

Next, I read that Verizon is forming The 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars with partners like BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors and Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. Looks like the goal is to foster ecosystem to grow infotainment and telematics over Verizon’s LTE network. Again, this makes a lot of sense to me and without going into tremendous detail, I will say I think this is where the Verizon’s of the world will make the real money from LTE, not from you and I directly, but as channel partners to the connected world. So they will need to work on safety issues, standards blah, a good step.

So hmmm… Why doesn’t Dish use it’s Lower 700MHz E block spectrum to operate a TDD-LTE, Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service? More specifically Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Single Frequency Network (MBMSFN) and MBMS What is this MBMSFN you ask?

Good Article: eMBMS for More Efficient Use of Spectrum

Good Overview Document: Broadcast and Multicast Service for LTE and Advanced

The Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service shares resource blocks so that a single unit of data is conservatively shared between multiple UEs therefore not committing separate resources for each UE. Further, the MSMSFN mode of operation simulcasts the same data, synchronously over multiple cells, and since over the air combining is possible, the  Signal to Noise Ratio (SINR) is improved a great deal. This is ideal for broadcasting media. Think in car movies for example. This would be cost effective and easy to achieve. What about Pandora audio or even digital signage ads (read the UICC from the UE and now we have a Minority Report style service)?

There is nothing that is unachievable with present technology, if you consider Dish is already reaching out to add the S band to chipsets and TDD is already being realized in the market. Dish already has a user experience expectation and backseat car infotainment is not something they are not trying to serve already. Seems like a slam dunk to me.

 

 

Links: Verizon Wireless, IntoMobile, Alcatel Lucent, Wikipedia, AddPac, 4GwirelessJobs

From Wikipedia:

3GPP technical specifications

MBMS Bearer Service (Distribution Layer):

  • 3GPP TS 22.146 Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS); Stage 1
  • 3GPP TS 23.246 Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS); Architecture and functional description
  • 3GPP TS 25.346 Introduction of the Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS) in the Radio Access Network (RAN); Stage 2
  • 3GPP TS 25.992 Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS); UTRAN/GERAN Requirements
  • 3GPP TS 43.246 Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS) in the GERAN; Stage 2
  • 3GPP TR 25.803 S-CCPCH performance for Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS)

MBMS User Service (Service Layer):

  • 3GPP TS 22.246 Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS) user services; Stage 1
  • 3GPP TS 26.346 Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS); Protocols and codecs
  • 3GPP TR 26.946 Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS) user service guidelines
  • 3GPP TS 33.246 3G Security; Security of Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS)
  • 3GPP TS 32.273 Telecommunication management; Charging management; Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service (MBMS) charging

 

Full Verizon PR on 4G Venture Forum below:

Verizon Joins With Leading Global Auto Companies To Establish 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Verizon today announced the formation of the 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars, a group of leading global automotive companies brought together by Verizon to accelerate the pace of innovation across the automotive and telematics 4G LTE ecosystem.

BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors and Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. are joining Verizon as the initial members of the Forum.  Professor Sanjay Sarma of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also joins the Forum, providing members a link to track important advancements in related academic research.  The group will collaborate and explore ways to deliver connectivity to vehicles of all types, by leveraging open standards and discussing ways to accelerate development of the 4G LTE ecosystem across automotive OEMs, suppliers, device manufacturers, application developers and content publishers.

“There are many challenges to designing next generation telematics and infotainment solutions, including supporting safe and responsible driving, advancing vehicle-to-vehicle solutions and improving sustainability, among others,” said Tami Erwin, chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.  ”As an innovator in the technology industry, Verizon is a natural impetus for this collaboration, which we all expect will include other companies and spur results that will benefit not only the industry, but millions of consumers around the world.”

Telematics is a growing opportunity that integrates telecommunications and information into vehicles to provide functionality to drivers and passengers.  The 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars will help discover ways to increase the value of services, ranging from embedded cloud-connected solutions to mobile applications; help define features and explore safety systems; and encourage third-party developers in this space.

Verizon has a strong commitment to collaboration and innovation through its Innovation Program, and through the 4G Venture Forum, which was created in 2009 to identify and support new ideas related to advanced wireless networks and to provide market validation for innovative companies.  The 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars complements and extends the approach of the 4G Venture Forum, focusing exclusively on the automotive space to address the specific needs of this growing market.

Verizon Wireless has the largest 4G LTE network, now available in 258 markets and covering more than two-thirds of the U.S. population.  The Forum may support and fund advancements regardless of underlying network technology; companies will not be obligated to work with Verizon and are not precluded from working with other service providers.

March 21st FCC kicked off an industry discussion with their FCC Docket No. 12-69

Promoting Interoperability in the 700 MHz Commercial Spectrum

Last Friday, (1st of June), Qualcomm shoots over some comments to the FCC in response. Specifically, a document titled:

Promoting Interoperability in the 700 MHz Commercial Spectrum

Interoperability of Mobile User Equipment
Across Paired Commercial Spectrum Blocks in the 700 MHz Band

12-69 06-01-2012 QUALCOMM Incorporated 7021921420

So normally I see things like this come and go and I don’t utter a word, however I would like to point out a few things about Qualcomm’s position that I feel like should be made more clear.

Below is a diagram of the lower 700MHz spectrum. A key problem for everyone today is there are DTV broadcasts in many urban areas with extremely high power transmitters. The current FCC requirements allow DTV stations on Channel 50 and 51 to spew interference into the lower portions of the 700MHz spectrum (See Channel A, B and C.) Furthermore, there are 2 blocks, the D and E block in the lower 700MHz that also allow high power (think 50KW of RF power) to be broadcast. For LTE this could be a huge issue to both devices and base stations. Fundamentally, this is an unfair situation to those that purchased spectrum in the lower 700MHz areas and ultimately a problem for end users due to the limitations this places on what we can or can’t do now.

OK so Qualcomm didn’t create this problem but they are aware of it as they have been working on providing components to handset OEMs that utilize this spectrum. So they are trying to facilitate the use of multiple radio bands into the devices we love so dearly but it’s complicated. See their list of spectrum’s they are interesting in building to:

  • 700 MHz 3GPP bands (Band Classes 12, 13, 14, 17);
  • 850 MHz cellular band (Band Class 5);
  • Original PCS band (Band Class 2);
  • PCS Block G (Band Class 25);
  • AWS-1 band (Band Class 4);
  • Potential AWS-4 band (Band Class 23);
  • Original 800 MHz iDEN band (Band Class 26); and
  • BRS band (Band Class 41). 
So Band 12 is the original band plan, that is channels A, B and C of lower 700MHz that 3GPP put into their specification to allow the use of this portion of the spectrum. ATT later came back and requested/received a different plan. The just happened to purchase mostly B and C channels in the auctions, so their proposal was to create a band around B and C called Band 17. The 3GPP approved it so it’s part of the build specifications in the devices. Unfortunately it’s not fashionable to support Band 17 and Band 12. Qualcomm’s document to the FCC explains their logic on why this can’t happen. Therefore, components from Qualcomm today support Lower 700MHz Band 17 (ATT), Upper 700MHz (VZW) and now Band 25 (Sprint), with AWS support (Band 4) for others like Metro etc… If you are not ATT, VZW, Sprint, or AWS spectrum holder, you are not supported for LTE essentially.
Qualcomm developed more stringent filter requirements for Band 17 than Band 12, partially by utilizing the Channel A/Band 12 as a guard band of 6MHz, but there is more to it than just that. 
Their justification looks like this:
Qualcomm’s tests and analyses demonstrate that consumer devices operating on the Lower B and/or C blocks using the Band 12 filter will suffer harmful interference from E Block and Channel 51 signals, while the Band 17 filter provides these devices with an effective defense. More specifically, these comments will show that without the Band 17 filter:
  • High-power E Block signals would cause blocking interference to consumer devices seeking to receive a 5 MHz signal on the B Block or a 10 MHz signal on the B and C Blocks;
  • High-power E Block signals would cause intermodulation interference to consumer devices seeking to receive a 5 MHz signal on the B or C Block or a 10 MHz signal on the B and C Block; and
  • Channel 51 television signals would cause reverse intermodulation interference to consumer devices seeking to receive a 5 MHz signal on the C Block or a 10 MHz signal on the B and C Blocks.

…blah blah…

In fact, Qualcomm’s innovations and ongoing work with carriers and manufacturers demonstrate that there is no need for any FCC mandate.7 Because of the difficult interference challenges described herein, the fact that existing technology does not offer a solution to these challenges, and Qualcomm’s ongoing innovation and collaboration with all carriers and manufacturers, the Commission should not require mobile equipment to be capable of operating over all paired commercial spectrum blocks in the Lower 700 MHz band

In reviewing their document it’s clear that they are protecting their interests, that is they are developing and have been shipping products around Band 17 and Band 13, where their orders have been coming from. I read it as they (QCOM) are not interested in the 700MHz Band 12 spectrum holder issues as much since these smaller interests represent a greater deal of complexity and will have less payback than serving the larger operators. The issue they hold up as the big fish is the fact a large signal from Channel 51 or D/E block causes blocking and IM at the device receivers.

Sooo naturally

 part of the American experience (IMHO) is the fight for the little guy. If Qualcomm is allowed to ignore Band 12 issues and only sell to the big guys then big business wins and the little guy loses. 

It doesn’t have to be this way, there is a way to get what you want but some things will have to change. 

Let me take a moment to crow, and eat crow. I wrote a series of posts deriding Apple for its design choices regarding the Qualcomm transceivers. I only went off of publicly available information to keep everything on the up and up. 

Apple, I’m sorry for putting it all on you. It wasn’t all your fault. My last post I did say you needed to get off your duff and fight for the little guy by making your own transceiver and or doing some band stitching solutions but it’s not all your fault.
My original Posts:

On the other hand, I was right about everything I said in the corrections on the Qualcomm parts. My assertions are backed up in Qualcomm’s document. The reason I say that is because this story is possible to resolve amicably and my assumptions are built on some truths.

Key point is new components such as Qualcomm’s WTR1605L make Band 12 deployment possible, just not supported without changes to the propagation environment of the broadcasters thanks to Qualcomm not wanting to go any further on the solution development.

Recommendations!

  1. FCC doesn’t need to mandate the world to use Qualcomm’s products, much less the WTR1605L, the MDM9615/MFM8930 etc… There’s already a huge challenge getting multiple suppliers in the space and layers and layers IPR issues that haven’t even been made public yet….
  2. The rules on the side skirts of the Channel 51 and D and E block spectrum holders is causing harm to a greater number of people than changes to these rules would. Make the roll off’s sharp such that interference is minimized. Be more fair and only make it an optional mitigation to be whipped out in case an operator actually wants to deploy in the A, B or C blocks (Band 12) and not just for Band 17.
  3. Qualcomm could feel free to improve the Band 12 filter.
  4. Baseband interference cancellation would be a good part of a solution too.
  5. Utilize a small cell strategy to target users very effectively. It’s one thing dealing with interference from a 1000′ tower to the users served by your 200′ tower and another when the device and base station are within 100 meters of each other. I can help you do this if you don’t know how to make it happen.
  6. Lower 700MHz spectrum holders can consider a fixed deployment instead of mobile. It’s less difficult to null out interferers.
  7. If all else fails, just contact me directly. I will sell you TX filters to reduce the transmission of the interference and help you work it out with the broadcasters to boot.

  At the end of the day, it’s up to the little guy to fight the power. People need to voice their opinions on this matter. Do you want better LTE data coverage? Do you want more companies to be able to offer LTE? More devices? Are you completely confident that Verizon and ATT will pass any device savings on to you that they could get from locking out variations?

Contact the FCC and let them know what you think.

 

BTW, Mariam Sorond, VP of Technology Development at DISH networks states that TX filters are sufficient to allow normal operations and no FCC rule changes like reducing TX power of D/E block (DISH broadcast) is required…. See her response.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view;jsessionid=f796PTRD1w7bWhL1w1BnJdbpT1jT52XDGhMGQzMqsGvb0QMQxlGj!-1221852939!-1969853125?id=7021921464

I admit, I love the chutzpah of Verizon at times. They are offering, for the FCC’s benefit, to sell their Lower 700MHz A/B spectrum in exchange for having their purchase of AWS (2100MHz TX) spectrum from the cable companies (SpectrumCo) approved. They own 24 A block and 54 B block licenses that they purchased at auction for around $4B.These are 6MHz TX and RX (FDD) pairs so with one you could deploy up to 5MHz and with 2 up to 10MHz LTE channels.

and  The flip side of this is they are selling their 12MHz presumably in the $4B range in exchange for 20MHz at $3.6B and simultaneously acknowledging that they have no intention to support their competitors struggles with getting devices for lower 700MHz. Don’t forget about the challenges such as Channel 51 interference for Channel A and some to Channel B spectrum holders that the FCC has not really helped resolve that’s why devices have been nearly nonexistent so far.

If I were ATT I would lobby the FCC to be able to purchase it at the auction prices paid by VZW. By doing so ATT could match it up with their C block holdings and potentially have more lower 700MHz spectrum for current Release 8/9 LTE than VZW, as they are owners of C block, 15MHz channel worthy 700MHz is nothing to sneeze at. 

ATT has also purchased the unpaired lower 700MHz spectrum from Qualcomm so there is a potential of around 20MHz for lower 700MHz for LTE Advanced (Release 10) if they can purchase the spectrum. Funny to me how ATT just gave away their AWS spectrum as a penalty for the failed TMobile USA bid. 

Another thing that strikes me as odd is the fact it will take in the neighborhood of 4X more cell sites for VZW to have equivalent coverage density between 2100MHz and 700MHz. They will be hard pressed to consider AWS outside of urban and hotspot in the suburban areas due to the discrepancy, on the other hand they already have Upper 700MHz C block so this could be a good fit for their LTE – Advanced plans in the long term and mid term a supplement for overloaded urban sites like airports. 

Super regionals like MetroPCS, USCellular and CSpire should be very interested in VZW’s spectrum too. They could get lucky if the FCC doesn’t take back the 700MHz spectrum and forces ATT to deal with VZW, which a deal would be doubtful. Then VZW will be sitting on all the spectrum they promised to sell with no real existing operators willing to pay what they paid…ok except for 1 guy, Philip Falcone at LightSquared/Harbinger Capital

…but other than that, the spectrum could get discounted and that would be good for the super regionals.

Stay thirsty my friends….

Full PR below:

Verizon Wireless to Conduct Spectrum License Sale

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Verizon Wireless today announced plans to conduct an open sale process for all of its 700 MHz A and B spectrum licenses in order to rationalize its spectrum holdings.  The licenses cover dozens of major cities across the country, as well as a number of smaller and rural markets.

Verizon Wireless obtained the 700 MHz A and B licenses, as well as nationwide 700 MHz upper C licenses (with the exception of Alaska which has since been acquired), in FCC Auction 73 in 2008.  Verizon Wireless is deploying its 4G LTE network, which currently covers more than 200 million people, on its nationwide 700 MHz upper C spectrum.  If Verizon Wireless is successful in acquiring additional AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum licenses, it will use AWS spectrum in conjunction with its 700 MHz upper C band spectrum to deploy additional LTE capacity.

Accordingly, the sale of the A and B licenses is contingent on the close of Verizon Wireless’ pending purchases of AWS licenses from SpectrumCo (an entity jointly owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks), Cox and Leap Wireless. These transactions are at varying stages of review by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and are expected to close by mid-summer.

The company is announcing the sale plans now and will begin the process of soliciting interest from potential buyers to ensure the process can move forward quickly once the AWS license transfers have been completed.

“Since wireless operators, large and small, have expressed concern about the availability of high-quality spectrum, we believe our 700 MHz licenses will be attractive to a wide range of buyers,” said Molly Feldman, vice president of Business Development for Verizon Wireless.  “Moreover, provided our acquisition of AWS spectrum is approved, our open sale process will ensure these A and B spectrum licenses are quickly and fairly made available for the benefit of other carriers and their customers.”

Stephens Inc., a nationally recognized, independent financial services firm based in Little Rock, Arkansas, has been engaged to manage the offering process.  Interested parties may contact Stephens Inc. at [email protected] or 501-377-8134. Stephens Inc. will later release information about efforts to reach out to potential bidders, including minority-owned and female-owned businesses, to participate in the process.  All sales will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves nearly 108 million total wireless connections, including 92.2 million retail customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with nearly 82,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

 

 

 

 

SOURCE Verizon Wireless

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 I’m still irritated about the LTE iPads being carrier specific. Looking at what public information has been let out here and there, there’s nothing I can discern that really makes me feel a lot better. Let me explain: 

The baseband is most likely the Qualcomm MDM9615. This 28nm processor supports LTE (FDD and TDD), DC-HSPA+, (assuming 1xRTT up to…) EV-DO Rev-B and TD-SCDMA. Essentially most 3G + LTE technologies on one floor plan. Interesting to me is that Qualcomm also points out they have Qualcomm’s Interference Cancellation & Equalization (Q-ICE) algorithm implemented. So no challenges there.

Next, the RF front end (RFFE) or RF interface , the 65nm Qualcomm WTR1605L is a single wafer with a radio transceiver with multi-mode (LTE FDD, LTE TDD, CDMA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, GSM, GPS/GLONASS) and multi-band support. Piecing through the various Apple specs, Qualcomm PRs, etc… the bands supported are: GPS, PCS, AWS (Band 4), Lower (Band 12/17) /Upper 700MHz (Band 13) and Cellular (Band 5.) What is unclear is if this revision support for PCS is Band 2 only or includes the G Block as Band 25. Sprint is deploying in Band 25 so this is important. I am going to hazard a guess here, this is a SVLTE capable architecture, it seems to be SVDO capable from the specs. I don’t know if the WTR1605L is dual transceiver or you need to have a 2nd WTR1605L. I suspect it’s dual transceiver, either way Band 13 and Band 17 don’t seem to require anything separate. So there’s enough here to have a voice path too! OK, we don’t explicitly need that so there is enough with the MDM9615 or MDM9625 (It’s shipping NOW!) + WTR1605 to solve the problem of consolidating the design to a single design fits all (but Sprint.) 

The long and short of it is there seems to be no physical reason why Verizon (Band 13) and ATT (Band 17) need to be in different iPad SKUs. Is this problem caused by Qualcomm, perhaps not coming clean on their specs at the behest of the operators? Is this problem caused by Apple in collusion with the operators?

Our world should have a single SKU for iPad supporting all networks, thus allowing us to purchase a single unit which further gives us the flexibility to switch providers over time (I’m ok with contract fees etc…the carriers can trade a subsidy for a penalty.) Heck, why not allow us to tether to this and use it as a hotspot in a pinch. It’s not like I’m going to power up my iPad and leave it in a fixed location for along time to provide WiFi for more than a pinch of time. Furthermore, why not allow me to subscribe to multiple carrier LTE networks so I can switch to the best one in the area, I may be willing to pay them both or all for that privilege. 

It’s not clear who is causing this situation but this is serious BS my fellow consumer!! At the worst case, there should only be 2 SKU’s, a Sprint model and rest of world only until Qualcomm revises its WTR1605L to support Band 25 for Sprint.

Brief Update:

Of course The New iPad is a data only device, thus the RF plumbing is sufficient with the MSM9615 for VZW/ATT support. Assuming Qualcomm updates the WTR1605 to support band 25, then nothing substantially new except a new HW spin will get you to ATT/Sprint/VZW single iPad. If this doesn’t happen in a timely fashion or Apple is willing to invest another $10-$15/unit, they could add other manufacturer parts such as the Fujitsu’s MB86L11A.  This little beast of a transceiver is only 6.6×6.6mm and does most of what the WTR1605 does with the inclusion of Band 25 and others. This is not that hard. The $10 or so of increased cost could be offset with fewer SKUs while the power could be controlled just as effectively so there is not any showstoppers why this isn’t a viable solution to the Band 25 issue. 

For the curious, the Fujitsu MB86L11A data sheet is here.

Now, for the icing on the cake, if Apple was able to score the MSM9625 they would also support Clear (TDD-LTE) and China Mobile (TD-SCDMA/TDD LTE.) Since Qualcomm is shipping this part now there is no need to do anything radical. What this all means is that with a revision to the WTR1605 or different RFFE such as the Fujitsu MB86L11A and plus the MSM6225 instead of the MSM6215, Apple could have a truly single world iPad for the rest of us.

Note regarding iPhone: mostly the same comments apply! It’s 2012, only need 1 device! Since it’s voice device and CDMA needs SVLTE, then I would add a 2nd transceiver. Since takes more cash, more space, more heat and more battery, I would take a serious look at using their Apple modded Cortex processor instead to create a soft transceiver and put some RF HW in front of it first. They have it off the shelf to begin with, secondly they could add RF chains for things like using DUAL polarized diversity antenna in the devices to give us a better user experience (higher rates, fewer drops) to differentiate their premium products. If that’s too tall of an order, then look to other OEM SDR parts second and lastly the tried and true approach of discreet HW as above for the iPad. 

Ok NOW that’s it. I’m done fixing the broken.

 I don’t normally talk about device rumors, however Apple has been in a class by itself this past few years and I am interested in how it will drive the LTE ecosystem. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that the iPAD 3 is LTE capable on Verizon and ATT. It’s worth noting that the Qualcomm MDM96xx series is technically able to operate in Band 13 (VZW) upper 700MHz and Band 17 (ATT) lower 700MHz and of course Sprint’s PCS G/Band 25. Apple had resisted the multi-chip approach that the Samsung’s etc have taken to launching LTE enabled tablets based on power consumption. This chipset would be a milestone in power consumption for LTE devices but I don’t think it would meet Apple’s expectations unless they agree to go with slightly higher consumption. On the one hand I’m thinking why is this so important yet I hope this pans out!

Links: WSJ, macrumors.com

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