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.
Verizon and Sprint didn't acquire 600 MHz spectrum.
The auction by the numbers:
The maps below show final stage 4 demand and population weighted spectrum cost. Click on the images to see the interactive maps. The areas where not all spectrum blocks have been sold are colored blue. On the map of demand changes gray color marks areas that didn't change category (stayed over/under supply) while red and blue colors are used for areas that changed category towards increasing or decreasing demand correspondingly.
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 innovative uses.
T-Mobile initiated the work on the 600 MHz band specification in February 2017. The new band is proposed to be assigned the next available FDD band number: 71. T-Mobile estimates the specification will be ready for approval in September 2017.
Read the work item description document for details.
On March 23rd, 2017 Nokia announced completion of the first pre-standard testing of 600MHz on commercially-available hardware, creating a test bed for terminal ecosystem development and availability. Nokia is one of two primary network equipment vendors for T-Mobile.
Snapdragon X20 and modified X16 modems are Qualcomm solutions for 600 MHz to be available this year (X16) and early next year (X20).
Relocation of TV stations
For reverse auction results and the latest TV station relocation information visit RabbitEars.info.
Not all spectrum in 617 - 698 MHz range is currently being used by protected TV stations. T-Mobile estimates at least one 5+5 MHz spectrum block is available for deployment across 1 million square miles.
The relocation of 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:
Use the navigation above the map to explore other phases. The schedule of the phases is as follows:
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.
Stay tuned for more maps.
Special thanks to Trip Ericson of RabbitEars.Info