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FCC Greenlights Tidal Wave of AT&T Spectrum Deals
As Carrier Pushes Toward Deploying LTE Via WCS Spectrum
by Karl Bode 04:49PM Friday Dec 21 2012
The FCC has given full approval for AT&T's acquisition of a massive chunk of WCS spectrum the carrier intends to use for LTE services. According to an FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order (pdf), the FCC has approved numerous spectrum acquisitions in the AWS and 2.3 GHz WCS bands. AT&T's been on a spectrum spree since the collapse of the T-Mobile deal (showing that contrary to AT&T's claims, killing a competitor wasn't necessary for their survival), including a for $600 million acquisition of Nextwave and their rich WCS spectrum assets.

The FCC had bundled regulatory approval of more than forty different AT&T deals into one, giving AT&T the full green light in deploying LTE over WCS. In a blog post AT&T lauded the FCC for the move, after months earlier deriding the agency for blocking the T-Mobile deal and being sluggish with spectrum deal approval:
quote:
We applaud the FCC Chairman and Commissioners for their commitment to fostering innovative spectrum solutions that unlock under-utilized spectrum bands to serve the growing demands of American consumers. Repositioning the WCS band for LTE deployment is a significant accomplishment which will spur aggressive investment by AT&T and create good paying jobs across the wireless and technology eco-systems. This is also a win for our customers, who will benefit from today’s Order for years to come as we realize the spectrum’s full potential to enhance our wireless broadband offerings.
AT&T says that ctually deploying LTE over WCS could take three years or more, since the carrier needs to have the 2.3 GHz band added to the LTE standard through the 3GPP.

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Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

Is this any news to people? ATT lies to a Federal entity and NOTHING no repercussions are encountered. Guess their money has found its way into the right hands to ensure passage without penalty this time. W.A.S.S.
The FCC has joined the ranks of the IRS, FBI, CIA and NSA, ICE in my mind.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

exactly what is your issue with this?
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

I am going to guess he doesn't like the fact that At&t is getting more spectrum when they already have a lot on hand and right after they lied to the FCC about needing T-mobile.

I see this point. There are a lot of smaller carriers that would benefit from having more spectrum instead of At&t. However, if we give more spectrum to smaller providers will it really spur competition? Not really. Most of the regional carriers I have seen price just slightly below the big boys. And their networks usually suck, regardless of spectrum. Look at US Cellular's 4G network. In many places you can't push more than 5Mbps on their LTE network. That's crap. And it is not because of their spectrum shortage, it is because of the crap backhaul they are using. Allowing them to buy more spectrum won't fix their problem or many of the problems that plague smaller carriers. They need to get more experienced network engineers and better phone selections.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by silbaco:

I am going to guess he doesn't like the fact that At&t is getting more spectrum when they already have a lot on hand and right after they lied to the FCC about needing T-mobile.

I see this point. There are a lot of smaller carriers that would benefit from having more spectrum instead of At&t. However, if we give more spectrum to smaller providers will it really spur competition? Not really. Most of the regional carriers I have seen price just slightly below the big boys. And their networks usually suck, regardless of spectrum. Look at US Cellular's 4G network. In many places you can't push more than 5Mbps on their LTE network. That's crap. And it is not because of their spectrum shortage, it is because of the crap backhaul they are using. Allowing them to buy more spectrum won't fix their problem or many of the problems that plague smaller carriers. They need to get more experienced network engineers and better phone selections.

Once Sprint gets the rest of Clearwire spectrum they'll have more than Verizon an At&t combined. No one seems to have an issue with this. T-mobile not only got spectrum from at&t after the failed merger they just got some from Verizon. once again no one complained about that.

Most people use one of the big 4 and people want unlimited data or something close. Well guess what that isn't going to happen without more spectrum. And for companies like Net10 or Straight Talk that piggyback off the networks of the Big 4 they aren't going to get access to the 4G networks unless the Big 4 gets more spectrum. Otherwise they'll use it for their own customers. which is really going to hurt Straight Talk Net10 and other once the big 4 start refarming their 2G and 3G spectrum for LTE.

JasonOD

@comcast.net

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

You are overestimating sprint. Clearwire has 2.5ghz spectrum, so against VZ and ATT's deployed LTE, sprint will be bringing a knife to a gun fight.

sprint will also be softbanks nextel, a weight which will drag them down billion by billion.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
The spectrum Sprint will gain is essentially a junk band in the context of cell phones.

It requires higher power devices that often times have large external antenna ( and often even line of sight )

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by DataRiker:

The spectrum Sprint will gain is essentially a junk band in the context of cell phones.

It requires higher power devices that often times have large external antenna ( and often even line of sight )

for metro area where you can put mini towers( for lack of a better term ) on every streetlight it's fine.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 edit

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

On every streetlight? LOL, that is exactly why it is considered a junk band. That is extremely impractical, not to mention unbelievably expensive.

Once you get above 2100 Mhz, your done as far as becoming practical for cellular devices.

For devices with out battery or antenna concerns you can go above 2100

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by DataRiker:

On every streetlight? LOL, that is exactly why it is considered a junk band. That is extremely impractical, not to mention unbelievably expensive.

Once you get above 2100 Mhz, your done as far as becoming practical for cellular devices.

For devices with out battery or antenna concerns you can go above 2100

Then what's the point of Sprint buying out Clearwire then?
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
said by DataRiker:

On every streetlight? LOL, that is exactly why it is considered a junk band. That is extremely impractical, not to mention unbelievably expensive.

Once you get above 2100 Mhz, your done as far as becoming practical for cellular devices.

For devices with out battery or antenna concerns you can go above 2100

This is why Verizon got first dibs on 1800 & 1900mhz spectrum way back when.. If Sprint were smart, they'd revamp their entire network for 700mhz wide-band spectrum. For AT&T to have as much spectrum as Verizon, they need almost twice as much bandwidth above 2ghz. IIRC, Verizon operates ptt on some 900, 1850/1900mhz frequencies depending on which version of the legacy ptt equipment you have.

Let's be clear about what the spectrum is for.. DATA, the entire network is data driven. The more bandwidth & bits they can push over the air, the more money they make and the less spectrum for competitors. It's an easy slippery slope to see 3 wireless carriers emerge from this mess-- after the eventual merger of Sprint/Tmobile (2017) as neither company has the assets to build a national network in over 4k cities, suburban outlays and rural towns.
What there should be a push for is to evolve LTE to be interop at any carriers' frequency for all services (voice, data, text, ptt, etc) on roaming each others' network the way analog roaming used to way back when.. then a smart-phone will finally be a "SMART NETWORK (DATA) PHONE"

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by tmc8080:

This is why Verizon got first dibs on 1800 & 1900mhz spectrum way back when.. If Sprint were smart, they'd revamp their entire network for 700mhz wide-band spectrum. For AT&T to have as much spectrum as Verizon, they need almost twice as much bandwidth above 2ghz. IIRC, Verizon operates ptt on some 900, 1850/1900mhz frequencies depending on which version of the legacy ptt equipment you have.

Ok first of all Verizon says it will refarm it's 1X and 3G spectrum for 4G by 2012. Now could they do it sooner? sure but if they don't that's 8 years from now.

Second anything about 2000MHz is bad yet in less than a year Verizon will be rolling out 4G over 1700/2100 MHz. In fact phones that have 1700/2100 MHz radios in them will be on sale within a few months. 2100 is above 2000 last time I checked. Someone better tell Verizon they are wasting their time.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

Who said anything above 2000 Mhz is bad?

2100 Mhz represents that last usable band for cell phones.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
You realize they were not using anything at all of the actual bandwidth they have in the 2.5 ghz band?

The length of the signal will suck, but they could literally drive a couple hundred mbit a person AT LEAST if they used all the mhz they have available.

Look:


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by Metatron2008:

You realize they were not using anything at all of the actual bandwidth they have in the 2.5 ghz band?

Yea....we just spent a whole thread discussing why that won't ever happen for cell phones at least.

The propagation properties generally require external antenna's and high power output.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

And you still have Yet to explain then why Sprint would want to buy Clearwire out for the spectrum if the spectrum is useless. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by 88615298:

And you still have Yet to explain then why Sprint would want to buy Clearwire out for the spectrum

Fixed Wireless.

What else would it have been for? Just because people erroneously implied it would be used in cell phones does not mean you have to believe it.

I have serious doubt ATT can make 2300 Mhz work for typical cellular usage, but it would make an awesome fixed wireless band.
zephxiii

join:2012-12-12
Fort Wayne, IN

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

WiMax was being used in 2.5ghz band on cell phones

The 2.3ghz band can very well used by AT&T on their cell sites and cell phones. 2.3ghz can be used to offload lots of data congestion from 700/AWS networks with those in enough range to use it. It would be especially valuable in extremely dense data traffic areas where it is harder to get the most out of a slim band of spectrum (700mhz).

With VZW's and T-mobile's recent AWS acquisitions, AT&T is behind in the 4G spectrum race. 850/1900 is already too congested for re-farming in dense areas.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits

Re: Attention: your FCC as been pimped out

said by zephxiii:

WiMax was being used in 2.5ghz band on cell phones

Firstly Sprints WiMax in Kansas City was primarily in the 2.6 Ghz band. Sprint is no longer releasing WiMax enabled phones for a reason. We are literally saturated with WiMax in Kansas City and you can't even hold a connection inside a car with an EVO4G.

At one point they were giving away 4G/Wimax access point for peoples homes so they wouldn't return their devices.

Sprint is now focusing on developing the 1900 Mhz band.

99% of Wimax uses fixed receiver base stations with significant power to reach the multi-mile point. (In exactly the same way you can achieve multi-mile access over wifi - minus interference )

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
Even if it's for fixed wireless that still help mobile. For example Verizon currently uses 700 MHz for both mobile and it's fixed wireless Homefusion service. No doubt the fact that some bandwidth has to be used for fixed service limits how much can be used for moible. If Verizon had HomeFusion on another band that would free up bandwidth for mobile on 700 Mhz. Thus Sprint using 2500 MHz for fixed wireless means they are not having to use spectrum they also use for cell phones thus leaving more bandwidth for mobile.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net
My issue is their relationship with the Feds is just too sleazy for my tastes. Who else can make false statements to the Feds and not have any repercussions or meaningful penalty? ATT is getting their "wants" rubber stamped by Julius and we get our Internet funneled to "who knows where" for review no warrant
no questions asked and no protest. It's a wonder what great lobbying and probe bribery can do to enhance the bottom line.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Where's all the restrictions?

You know, service rollout deadlines? Maximum power transmission limits? "Buffer bandwidth" to "prevent interference"?....

OH WAIT. It's AT&T, not competition. NM. Nothing to see here. Move along.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Where's all the restrictions?

There are no doubt requirements. There are requirements on all spectrum.

They are not going to have near the requirements of Dish. At&t is not trying use satellite spectrum for LTE.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
You do realize it is in at&t best interest to actually use the spectrum.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Where's all the restrictions?

Oh yes, I'm VERY sure it's in at&t's best interests to do a lot of things that do.

The rest of us... not so much.

RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1

Horrible range

2.3 Ghz will have lousy range, especially in rural, mountainous and heavily forested areas like mine. I take it this is mainly for urban areas and towns?
--


cchhat01
Dr. Zoidberg

join:2001-05-01
Elmhurst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·RCN CABLE
·Earthlink Cable ..

1 recommendation

Re: Horrible range

said by RR Conductor:

2.3 Ghz will have lousy range, especially in rural, mountainous and heavily forested areas like mine. I take it this is mainly for urban areas and towns?

My thoughts exactly, 1900 Mhz should have been a lesson enough. WHY won't these carriers understand that its in THEIR best interest to invest in spectrum in the 700 to 800 Mhz band because of the range they offer. Less deployment, less equipment...
--
"Look at me, I'm Dr. Zoidberg, homeowner."

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Horrible range

said by cchhat01:

said by RR Conductor:

2.3 Ghz will have lousy range, especially in rural, mountainous and heavily forested areas like mine. I take it this is mainly for urban areas and towns?

My thoughts exactly, 1900 Mhz should have been a lesson enough. WHY won't these carriers understand that its in THEIR best interest to invest in spectrum in the 700 to 800 Mhz band because of the range they offer. Less deployment, less equipment...

You do realize that spectrum in the 700 MHz range is limited. there's only 100MHz of 700 MHz. And Verizon has 22 MHz of it. And 2 MHz is reserved as guard band. How do you expect them to offer unlimited data with 20 MHz?

Their 800 MHz spectrum is currently being used for 3G. Do you realize the uproar if Verizon suddenly get rid of 3G? That's why they stated it may take until 2021 to use it for 4G.

They should get some in the 600 MHz range when the FCC has their auctions for that of course the OTA TV people are complaining about that.

cchhat01
Dr. Zoidberg

join:2001-05-01
Elmhurst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·RCN CABLE
·Earthlink Cable ..

And here we go with more 4G fragmentation

So each time the 3GPP tries to come to terms with creating a new generation of Wireless Standards to draw the networks more towards a truly unified single spectrum, something or the other (read AT&T) goes ahead and tries to ratify new "bands" for that particular deployment.

How much more fragmentation is there.. I mean seriously.
With GSM: it was 1900 Mhz in the USA where elsewhere it was 900 and 1800 (primarily 900 for range and the 1800 was used for data and backhaul).
Then we wisened up a little and got 2.5G but still primarily on 1900 MHz.
Then the Big T did the only smart thing in their history. 850Mhz. Decent range. Thats what happened to 3G. 850/1900. Then T-Mo got their own AWS band. So now phones need to support 850/900/1700/1900/2100 for 3G. The first pentaband phone was the galaxy nexus (yes Nokia N8 was there but it doesnt count).

Now with 4G. already we see 700 Mhz (Verizon and AT&T).
Then we'll most likely see more deployment by AT&T and T-Mo on the AWS spectrum.
Now there is a 2.3 Ghz band for more LTE.
The entire approach is so screwed up.
Am i supposed to carry one phone for when Im in the sticks as opposed to another when Im on the road and then another when im at home?

...
--
"Look at me, I'm Dr. Zoidberg, homeowner."

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: And here we go with more 4G fragmentation

Here's the issue everyone wants there to be dozens of carrier in the us all of which are suppose to have nationwide 4G and unlimited. Now between 700 MHz and 899 MHz is a total of 200 MHz. There is no way that is enough for a dozen nationwide carriers to use on 4G. Even with just 5 carriers that would be only 40 MHz each and some of that would have to used for guard bands.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Hats off to the knowledgable ones on DSLR

This is why I come to DSLR, to get information form those who are more knowledgable than I. This helps to get a bit of clarity on the BIGGER picture. Thanks all!

a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY

For all ya armchair network engineers sitting in the wings..

I hope you DO realize that WCS isn't intended for CELLULAR coverage in rural areas. Also, in major urban areas, using 700 or 800 MHz would amount to technological suicide... the sheer amount of traffic (and limited available bandwidth at that range of frequencies) would easily overwhelm such a network. With the development of "cellular base stations in a box" and optical RF from network cards to antennas (something companies like T-mobile have been deploying aggressively lately), it makes a LOT more sense to get lots of WCS / AWS spectrum and deploy mini and micro-cells on lighting infrastructure already in place, and in corners of buildings, and provide massively more bandwidth in population centers.

In rural areas, WCS and AWS also have their use... in line-of-sight FIXED LTE service... a cantenna fixed to the roof of a house, along with an LNA block can easily allow for a good signal and at least 10 - 20 Mbps throughput via LTE at that frequency, since load tends to be much less on rural cell towers. 700 and 800 MHz services will also be used in rural areas, but they are much more useful for the uplink path on MOBILE devices, which are far more transmit-limited (battery life and heating concerns.)
--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.

••••
marctronixx

join:2003-09-08
Los Angeles, CA

Lurker here...

I have been a viewer of this site for years, and I love to see datariker and bf69 posts. You gentleman know your stuff.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Lurker here...

said by marctronixx:

I have been a viewer of this site for years, and I love to see datariker and bf69 posts. You gentleman know your stuff.

I believe you just insulted datariker by mentioning me and him in the same sentence. And I'm pretty sure I'm one of the "armchair network engineers" he's talking about. Which I'll take as a compliment.