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Monday, November 25, 2013

700 MHz A Block Owners (Map) and Top 20/50 Analysis

With the recent industry press indicating that T-Mobile was positioning its self to purchase Verizon's 700 MHz A Block, I decided to dive into the Spectrum Analysis Tool to see what kind of geographic area Verizon's licenses would provide T-Mobile with low band spectrum.  
Clearly it would not be a spectrum purchase to provide coverage in rural areas since it doesn't address the rural areas in the western United States with the exception of western Colorado.  Looking at it on a Cellular Market (CMA) basis, this spectrum would provide T-Mobile with low band spectrum in all 15 of the Top 20 markets but only 25 of the Top 50 markets.  This includes both the Verizon spectrum and T-Mobile's 700MHz spectrum acquired from MetroPCS.

To acquire the remaining 700 MHz A block spectrum in the Top 20 markets, T-Mobile will need to be talking to:

Leap - Chicago
US Cellular - St. Louis
McBride Spectrum - Pittsburg
Cox - San Diego
Vulcan - Seattle


  1. What's the likelihood of T-Mobile acquiring the whole nationwide block 700 A licenses? How much do you think that would cost them?

  2. I haven't seen any signs that T-Mobile or Sprint has the appetite to begin a low band build out across the country. Sprint holds a block of SMR (800MHz) spectrum nationally but isn't focuses on adding towers in rural areas to use it. I think T-Mobile has the same reluctance. Both T-Mobile and Sprint rely heavily on AT&T and Verizon to provide their "National" coverage. I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T and Verizon made data roaming more expensive or unavailable once the current roaming contracts expire.


    According to this article on fierce wireless T-Mobile purchased some spectrum. Do you know any further information about this and where the spectrum is?

    "Legere said it has entered into agreements with other companies to buy A Block spectrum covering an addition 8.7 million POPs for $55 million."

    1. It makes sense that T-Mobile buys out some of the other A block spectrum owners. AllNet's Spectrum Analysis Tool for August will include any transactions filed before 8/1/2014. As you can see on the map T-Mobile is missing quite a few large cities. Do you want me to contact you when I get the transaction information?

    2. That would be great, thanks for your contributions and hard work!

    3. The only transactions received at the FCC currently relate to the I-700 spectrum in KY, IN, and IL. In the next few days, I will be posting a Ownership Map and a listing of the remaining 700MHz - A block owners for purchase.

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  5. Wow, it is crazy looking back at this and seeing how much spectrum T-Mobile has picked up since their initial Verizon purchase. You are spot on in your comments too about where they need to get it but I feel a few of those spots are not going to happen now, but a couple will.

    Leap's spectrum must be sold as part of AT&T's purchase of them as stated by the FCC. Question is whether they will allow T-Mobile to buy it. Since it hasn't happened yet, I'm guessing that they are sitting on it waiting until the last moment or are trying to find other buyers.

    US Cellular is using their spectrum, so I don't see T-Mobile getting any spectrum from them. Perhaps they could do some good roaming agreements, but that is only a partial solution unless done very well.

    Cox sold their licenses to AB License Co and I have no clue what is going to happen with it now.

    As for Vulcan and McBride, they are in the process of being bought by T-Mobile and will be huge for them.

    I'm happy as I'm in Michigan and T-Mobile now own 700Mhz Block A for all of the lower peninsula as well as the eastern upper peninsula.

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