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Friday, October 18, 2013

Effect of WiFi Off-loading

For the past month I have been examining the effect of WiFi off-loading based upon my usage habits.  To do this leave WiFi turned off so my phone only receives data service from a commercial carrier network.  This was not a simple task because the Smartphone network optimizer will continue to request to have WiFi turned on and whenever you are using location services (Google+) not having WiFi provides a notification "to improve you location, please turn on WiFi".

My typical monthly data usage averages around 1.3 GB per month with WiFi enabled.  I travel infrequently and have WiFi both at home and work.  I think it is important to note that my work WiFi doesn't block YouTube, Pandora, Facebook, or WatchESPN, but I typically use a WiFi only tablet for music streaming or the watching a major sporting event e.g The America's Cup or the MBL playoffs.

In the month of September, I ran 5.7 GB of data in what I consider to be a typical work month.  What this equates to is 3.4 GB of data that was off-loaded from the carrier network to the WiFi network for which I also pay.  Another way to look at it is that my carrier only sees 1/3 of my usage.

Using some of the wholesale data rates that have been thrown around in the trade press, $5/GB; the cost to support my data usage through a WiFi Off-loading provider would be $17/month.  If I am paying my carrier $30/month for my data usage and they pay a Wi-Fi off-loading provider $17/month, they only end up with $13/month to offset their operational expenses (site leases, backhaul costs, employees...)

When you consider the "true" smartphone usage and where the majority of that traffic is handled today, it is clear why cellular carriers have been reluctant to purchase wholesale access to data or a WiFi off-loading partner.

Check back next month.  After my billing period closed, I spent the weekend out of town, so streaming two college football games on Saturday (Dish Anywhere) and 1 NFL game on Sunday will all be part of my October usage.  With just 9 days on my billing cycle, I have already consumed 3.3 GB.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Verizon's AWS Deployments

With the news that Verizon is beginning to turn up some of their AWS spectrum with LTE, I will examine the spectrum available for those LTE deployments in the Top 5 CMAs with the Spectrum Ownership Analysis Tool.

New York:

Verizon clearly holds 20 MHz of AWS spectrum.  To see how this spectrum will affect their total LTE capacity I have evaluated the LTE channels that Verizon can deploy based on their stated direction.  Based upon Verizon's stated direction I have eliminated any 700 MHz 5x5 LTE channels, any cellular LTE channels, and any PCS LTE channels.

With this analysis, it is evident that Verizon will top out at 223 Mbps across all of the counties in the New York CMA.

Los Angeles:

 In Los Angeles, I would expect Verizon to be deploying a 10 MHz LTE channel until AT&T has shifted its LTE usage of this AWS channel to it "new" 700MHz B band holding.

 At this point Verizon is limited to 2 - 10x10 channels or 146 Mbps throughout the Los Angeles CMA.


In Chicago, Verizon holds a 20x20 AWS channel.

This combined with Verizon's 700 MHz C-band (10x10) channel will provide 223 Mbps throughout the Chicago CMA.


In Philadelphia, the largest channel Verizon can form is a 10x10 channel.  When AT&T gets control of the Leap spectrum assets, I would expect a three-way spectrum trade to allow Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T to rationalize their AWS spectrum positions.

For the throughput analysis, the additional 5x5 channel that Verizon can form in the AWS frequency band is included with the 2 - 10x10 channels (AWS and 700) for a total metro throughput of 183 Mbps.


In Detroit, Verizon can again form a 20x20 AWS channel.

In the Detroit CMA, Verizon can achieve a metro through put of 223 Mbps.