600 MHz

Deployment

T-Mobile identified 1 million square miles where 600 MHz spectrum is available for deployment. T-Mobile plans to launch 600 MHz network this year in Wyoming, Southwest and Northeast Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia and Eastern Washington. The map below shows all areas where T-Mobile notified low power TV stations about commencement of operations (network testing and tuning).

http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/t-mobile-600-mhz-band-71-deployment.html


On October 10th T-Mobile announced a partnership with Fox Television Stations to accelerate relocation of WWOR-TV in New York City by 16 months.


Relocation of TV stations

11 TV stations that won reverse auction bids to go off air must do so by 10/25/2017. 132 stations that decided to share a channel must go off air by 1/23/2018. For details see "Ready To Pay" Public Notice and the list of stations.

Relocation of the remaining 987 TV stations, also known as repacking, is organized into 10 phases. During the first phase that is scheduled to be finished by 11/30/2018 the stations shown below will be relocated to lower channels:

Phase 1 of repacking

Use the navigation above the map to explore other phases. The schedule of the phases is as follows:

 Phase Testing starts  Ends by 
1  09/14/2018 11/30/2018
2  12/01/2018 04/12/2019
3  04/13/2019 06/21/2019
4 06/22/2019 08/02/2019
5 08/03/2019 09/06/2019
6 09/07/2019 10/18/2019
7 10/19/2019 01/17/2020
8 01/18/2020 03/13/2020
9 03/14/2020 05/01/2020
10 05/02/2020 07/03/2020

The following map shows all stations remaining on channels 38-51 after phase 1. Use the navigation above the map to see stations remaining after other phases.

Stations remaining after phase 1


Special thanks to Trip Ericson of RabbitEars.Info

Band 71 plan

The band consists of 35 MHz of contiguous uplink spectrum between 663-698 MHz adjacent to the lower 700 MHz uplink and corresponding 35 MHz of downlink spectrum between 617-652 MHz. The band is logically broken down into seven 5+5 MHz blocks A through G. TV stations will remain on channels 36 and below. Channel 37 will continue to be used for radio astronomy and wireless medical devices. In addition, the remaining 14 MHz of unlicensed spectrum will be available for wireless microphones and new innovative uses.


T-Mobile initiated the work on the 600 MHz band specification in February 2017. The new band was proposed to be assigned the next available FDD band number 71. T-Mobile estimated the specification would be ready for approval in September 2017. Read the work item description document for details. In May 2017 3GPP either endorsed or approved proposed specification changes. Approval means the decision is final, endorsement means the change is technically correct but there are may be other solutions. The only change not endorsed at that time was a change of 25.466 UTRAN specification which was not critical.

On 9/4/2017 3GPP released version 1.0 of Technical Report 36.755 "US 600 MHz Band for LTE" and 14 Change Requests to existing specifications. Everything was approved two weeks later and has been incorporated into LTE release 15.

As of October 2017 Qualcomm, Mediatek and Skyworks are working on the following carrier aggregation configurations involving band 71:
  • 2+71
  • 4+71
  • 66+71
  • 2+2+71
  • 2+4+71
  • 2+66+71
  • 4+4+71
  • 66+66+71
T-Mobile and Ericsson have started to work on Dual Connectivity configuration 71+n71 that will allow aggregation of LTE and NR carriers broadcast by two basestations in band 71. n71 is an NR band in the same frequency range as LTE band 71.


Compatible phones

Samsung and LG plan to release first compatible phones in the forth quarter of 2017. As of 10/13 we know the name of the first phone: LG V30. Only T-Mobile model supports band 71. Other models (Unlocked, AT&T, US Cellular, etc.) do not.

LG V30 went on sale in October.

Snapdragon X20 and modified X16 modems are Qualcomm solutions for 600 MHz to be available this year (X16) and early next year (X20).


Auction results

   The latest FCC spectrum auction, the Broadcast Incentive Auction, comprised of two parts: one which includes determining how much broadcasters were willing to sell their spectrum currently used for TV (the “Reverse Auction”) and another part to determine how much wireless carriers and other bidders were willing to pay for that spectrum (the “Forward Auction”). The auction continued with the reduction of spectrum available in stages until the price set by broadcasters effectively met the price bidders were willing to pay for the spectrum. The auction concluded on March 30th, 2017 clearing 70 MHz (35 + 35 MHz) of spectrum for commercial mobile radio services.

For reverse auction results and TV station relocation information visit RabbitEars.info.

Six interactive maps below show winning bids of the major wireless carriers and other telecom companies. Click on the areas to see how many spectrum blocks (5 + 5 MHz) each bidder got.

T-Mobile    $8B
T-Mobile's 600 Mhz winning bids

Dish    $6.2B
Dish Network's 600 Mhz winning bids

AT&T    $910M
AT&T's 600 Mhz winning bids

Comcast    $1.7B
Comcast's 600 Mhz winning bids

US Cellular    $329M
US Cellular's 600 Mhz winning bids

C Spire    $19M
C Spire's 600 Mhz winning bids

Verizon and Sprint didn't acquire 600 MHz spectrum.

The auction by the numbers:
  • Gross proceeds: $19,768,437,378
  • Assignment phase proceeds: $135,930,632 
  • Gross proceeds after bidding on generic blocks: $19,632,506,746
  • Unsold spectrum: $648,916,000 (valued at the current prices. It will be auctioned again later)
  • Cost of unreserved spectrum: $0.93 / MHz×POP
  • Cost of reserved spectrum: $0.921 / MHz×POP
  • Cost of unreserved nationwide 5+5 MHz block: $2,909,837,934
  • Cost of reserved nationwide 5+5 MHz block: $2,880,689,670
  • Payout to broadcasters: $10,054,676,822
  • US Treasury revenue (estimate): $7.2 billion
To see intermediate stage 4 status visit this page.