A Visual Guide to 700 MHz
Your complete guide to the 700 MHz spectrum just auctioned off by the FCC to Verizon, AT&T, and Qualcomm.
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The U.S. government recently auctioned off a large, important band of radio spectrum aptly named the "700 MHz band". The name may be simple, but digging into the details of this band, things get complicated quickly, so we've created this handy guide to explain all the nitty-gritty details.
The auctions for the 700 MHz band were conducted by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission,) the arm of the government responsible for (among other things) regulating radio spectrum and the industries that use it.
Since the beginning of the decade, the FCC has been working hard to rid the airwaves of inefficient analog television broadcasts, and replace them with a variety of more efficient digital services. This includes digital television, of course, but digital television - even in high-definition - is efficient enough that the move to digital will free a significant amount of radio spectrum for things other than television, such as new cell phone service.
The 700 MHz band is some of that newly-freed spectrum. It spans 698 - 806 MHz, which used to be UHF TV channels 52 - 69.
What the FCC just auctioned off in "Auction 73" is only part of the 700 MHz band. Some parts of the 700 MHz band were already sold off in earlier auctions, but it all dovetails together. If we only talked about Auction 73, you'd only get half the story, so we'll be covering the whole 700 MHz band in this article.
The following pages explore the details of the new 700 MHz band in depth. We're going to skip some of the basics of radio frequency bands in this article, but that doesn't mean you should. If you haven't read the primer we created for the last major FCC auction (the AWS band,) or you think you could use a refresher, be sure to go through the first three sections of our Visual Guide to AWS before going any further:
Now, for the rest of this article we'll assume you know all about bands, blocks, CMAs, and Hertz. Ready?
T-Mobile Says It Will Start Using 600 MHz Spectrum This Year
"T-Mobile now has the largest swath of unused low-band spectrum in the country," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the company's 600 MHz auction winnings. The company successfully won an average of 31 MHz (ranging between 20 MHz and 50 MHz) of the 70 MHz low-band spectrum auctioned off by TV stations and the FCC.
FCC Says AT&T Can Buy 700 MHz Licenses from Peoples
The FCC has approved AT&T's request to purchase two Lower 700 MHz C Block licenses from Peoples Wireless in Texas. The transaction gives AT&T 24 MHz of contiguous, paired Lower 700 MHz spectrum in two cellular market areas.
AT&T Seeking 700MHz Spectrum from Peoples Wireless
AT&T has asked the FCC for permission to purchase two Lower 700 MHz C Block licenses from Peoples Wireless in Texas. If granted, AT&T would hold 24 MHz of contiguous, paired Lower 700 MHz spectrum in the two cellular market areas in question.
Verizon's 1900 MHz Spectrum In NYC Now Entirely LTE
Verizon Wireless has completed refarming its 1900 MHz spectrum in the country's largest city, an effort first begun in 2014. The company recently converted the last remaining 10 MHz block from CDMA 3G to LTE 4G, which means Verizon is running LTE on 20 MHz of its Band 2 spectrum in New York City.
We're busy with CTIA right now, but right after the show, we'll dig into that and have a map and breakdown for you guys.
So what does this mean for ATT?
Still, it is hard to imagine them launching a really major technology that excludes most rural regions and even whole states.
I would guess that they w...
Does 700 MHz improve reception?
However, 700 MHz is not much different than 850 MHz. In fact, 850 (cellular) almost starts where 700 ends. Therefore you won't see much difference compared to cellular networks.
You might see a difference compared to an al...
When are they required to launch it?
I looked through the FCC rules and the ten-year-rule seemed to be the applicable one...right from the rules for this auction. I'll have to look into it closer after C...
Does Verizon's total 700 MHz holdings equal more than AT&T's?
I was unsure whether that map you made with AT&T's holdings represented EVERYTHING, including the Aloha purchase, or just what it won in auction 73?
I had been under the impression that it's B block purchases in combination with the Aloha purchase and other snap ups actually came to a larger (and complete) national coverage then Verizon. Is that not true?
It is much less than Verizon's in both geography and bandwidth. (Even though they may have paid slightly more when you add up auctions and all of the private purchases.)
Question about the maps
Is there any such diagram detailing the carriers current licenses for other bands like Cellular and PCS?
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