600 MHz

Deployment

T-Mobile identified 1.2 million square miles where 600 MHz spectrum is available for deployment as of 2017. The first map below shows all areas where T-Mobile notified low power TV stations about commencement of operations. The areas are Partial Economic Areas ("PEA") defined by the FCC for the purpose of issuing 600 MHz licenses. A notification about deployment in an area does not mean the whole area will soon be covered by 600 MHz network.

T-Mobile markets 600 MHz band 71 network as Extended Range LTE-600 MHz.

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. This agreement and agreements with other stations will allow T-Mobile deploy 600 MHz in 2018 to 38 million people more in addition to 62 million who live in the areas already clear for deployment. See Q3 Investor Factbook. Neville Ray confirmed early deployment of 600 MHz network in Puerto Rico.

600 MHz launch dates listed below are preliminary and subject to change. See the third map for the planned areas of deployment.

Approved early relocations
 Market    Station(s)  Relocation   600 MHz launch
 NYC  WWOR  03/05/2018  Q4
 Springdale, AR KWOG  04/01/2018  Q3
 Miami, FL  WAMI-DT, WJAN-CD,  WBEC-TV  06/01/2018  Q3
 Grand Rapids, MI  WKAR-TV  05/11/2018  Q3
 Charleston, SC  WCSC-TV  06/01/2018  Q4
 Savannah, GA  WSAV-TV  06/01/2018  Q3-Q4
 Jackson, TN  WJKT  06/01/2018  Q3
 30+ miles around St. Louis, MO
 KEFN-CD, KETC 06/01/2018 Q2
 Portland, OR KOIN, KOXO-CD 06/01/2018 Q3
 Santa Barbara, CA KVMM-CD 06/01/2018 Q4
 St. Cloud, MN KPXM-TV 06/01/2018 Q3
 North Texas KXAS-TV 06/01/2018 Q3
 Green Bay, WI  WPNE-TV, WGBA-TV  07/01/2018  Q2-Q3
 Puerto Rico  all 19 stations  08/01/2018  Q3
 U.S. Virgin Islands  WZVI  08/01/2018  Q3
 La Crosse, WI WXOW 08/01/2018 Q3
 Lexington, TN WLJT-DT 08/01/2018 Q3
 New Orleans, LA WLOX 08/31/2018 Q3
 Baton Rouge, LA WBXH-CD 08/31/2018 Q4
 Augusta, GA WBPI-CD 09/14/2018 Q3
 Sioux Falls, SD  KDLT-TV  11/30/2018  Q4
 Jackson, MS  WDBD, WLOO  11/30/2018  Q4
 
Map of notifications and early relocations
http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/t-mobile-600-mhz-band-71-deployment.html

Map of cities and towns where 600 MHz is available as of February 2018 according to T-Mobile

Map of 10,000 sites where 600 MHz is planned to be deployed by the end of the year

http://www.spectrumgateway.com/600-mhz-spectrum/600Mhz-2018-year-end.png?attredirects=0

Relocation of TV stations

11 TV stations that won reverse auction bids to go off air went off air by 10/25/2017. Out of 132 stations that agreed to share a channel in exchange for cash 26 exited the business instead, 46 either started sharing or went silent by 1/23/2018 deadline while the remaining 60 were granted extensions to stay on their current channel till 4/23/2018.

Two stations, DKHPB-CD and DKHLU-CDcancelled their licenses, one station KPOM-CD relocated earlier than planned and one station KPPX-TV convinced the FCC to remain on the current channel. 40 stations (see the table above), WFSG and KKAF-CD are relocating earlier than originally planned.

Relocation of other 935 US and 62 Canadian 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 or rearranged within VHF and low UHF 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

Compatible phones

T-Mobile phones

All T-Mobile phones support Wi-Fi calling  since September 2014.

Unlocked phones

Upcoming phones

The following phones recently passed FCC certification with band 71 support. Their names were guessed. They may be sold only through T-Mobile or directly by the manufacturer or both ways. 
  • LG Aristo 2 Plus LM-X212TA
  • Moto Z3 Play XT1929-4 with 6.1" screen
  • Moto E5 Play XT1921-3 with 5.2" screen and 2800 mAh battery
  • Moto E5 Plus XT1924-7 with 5000 mAh battery
  • Moto G6 Plus XT1926-1 with 3200 mAh battery. May not be released. No full certification filing but only a reference to its existence.
  • Samsung J3 2018 SM-J337T
  • LG Q7 LM-Q710TS
  • Samsung J7 2018 SM-J737T

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
  • 4+4+71
  • 2+66+71
  • 66+66+71
In October 2017, T-Mobile and Ericsson started working on Dual Connectivity (DC) configuration 71+n71 that will allow aggregation of LTE and NR carriers broadcast by two basestations in band 71. n71 is an NR FDD band in the same frequency range as LTE band 71.

On December 20th, 2017, 3GPP released the first set of 5G NR specifications that include n71 band, DC 66+n71, DC 66+n257, DC 71+n71, and CA n71+n257 configurations.

As of January 2018 T-Mobile, Samsung and Ericsson are working on the following NR carrier aggregation combinations covering most T-Mobile's spectrum holdings except 700 and 850 MHz:
  • n2+n71, n2+n257, n2+n260
  • n66+n71, n66+n257, n66+n260
  • n71+n257, n71+n260
  • n257 intra-band, n260 intra-band
n257 is an NR TDD band covering 27.5-28.35 MHz range in the US. n260 is an NR TDD band covering 38.6-40 GHz range in the US.

Auction results

   The 600 MHz auction, also known as the Broadcast Incentive Auction, comprised of two parts: one which determined 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

Speculators    $2.9B
http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/speculators-600-mhz.html

Comcast    $1.7B
Comcast's 600 Mhz winning bids

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

Regional carriers    $180M
http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/regional-600-mhz.html


Verizon and Sprint didn't acquire 600 MHz spectrum. AT&T won some spectrum but is now selling it to Northwood Ventures and Columbia Capital. These pending transactions have been incorporated into the Speculators map above. The FCC holds spectrum in the blue areas shown on the final stage 4 demand map.

The auction by the numbers:
  • Gross proceeds after bidding on generic blocks: $19,632,506,746
  • Assignment phase proceeds: $135,930,632 
  • Gross proceeds: $19,768,437,378
  • Net proceeds: $19,318,157,706
  • 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 billion
To see stage 4 status visit this page.


References: