A Visual Guide to 700 MHz
Verizon really whipped out its wallet in Auction 73. It spent a whopping $9.4 billion in this auction.
Verizon won the most prized spectrum in the auction: the Upper 700 MHz C block. This particular slice of spectrum is valuable for two reasons: geography and bandwidth.
First, the FCC offered the Upper C block in just a handful of very large regions: six licenses cover the entire continental US. Verizon snagged all six, plus Hawaii.
AD article continues below...
Second, the Upper C block is a full 22 MHz wide, compared to 12 MHz for the other major blocks. That extra bandwidth means extra capacity, for handling more voice calls and/or more data.
(The Upper C block is the only Upper 700 MHz block successfully auctioned off to date, since the Upper D block failed to sell in Auction 73. Therefore any other blocks discussed in this article are in the Lower 700 MHz band.)
Verizon didn't stop there, though. It also picked up scattered extra licenses in the Lower A and B blocks in Auction 73. In some areas, it picked up both, giving it a grand total of 46 MHz of fresh 700 MHz spectrum in those areas, which include LA, Chicago, and Miami.
Verizon Wireless 700 MHz Licenses
Each of these blocks is set up slightly differently. Besides the bandwidth difference mentioned above, the Lower A and B blocks are divided into different, smaller geographic areas. The Lower A block is divided up by EAs, while the Lower B block is divvied up by the much smaller CMAs. For example, Verizon's new A-block license for the LA area stretches all the way into Arizona, while their new B-block license for LA just covers LA and Anaheim.
Having 700 MHz spectrum completely nationwide gives Verizon the unique opportunity to launch a whole new national network with relative ease, which is extremely rare. Although they haven't announced specific plans, it would be perfect spectrum for Verizon to launch its new LTE network.
T-Mobile Says It Will Start Using 600 MHz Spectrum This Year
Apr 13, 2017
"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.
T-Mobile to Deploy 5G On 600 MHz Spectrum Starting in 2019
May 2, 2017
T-Mobile today said it plans to use some of its recently acquired 600 MHz spectrum to support a future 5G network. 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 earlier this year.
T-Mobile to Light Up 600 MHz LTE This Summer
Jun 15, 2017
T-Mobile today said it plans to begin testing its newly acquired 600 MHz spectrum as soon as this summer. The FCC granted licenses for the spectrum this week following the years-long incentive auction process.
Google Turning On Pixel Visual Core in All Pixel 2 Handsets
Feb 5, 2018
Google today said it is fully activating the Pixel Visual Core co-processor in its newer Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. The Pixel Visual Core allows the Pixel 2 devices to make use of advanced machine learning to improve HDR+ photography.
FCC Relaxes Rules Governing 800 MHz Spectrum
Mar 24, 2017
The FCC this week made it easier for carriers to add LTE to their 800 MHz spectrum holdings. Rules concerning the 800 MHz band (CDMA Band Class 0, LTE Band 5) have been in place since 1981 and limit how much power carriers can use to transmit wireless signals across those airwaves.