700 MHz spectrum

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700 MHz spectrum

The 698-806 MHz range of TV channel frequencies (UHF 52 through 69) that were made available when the U.S. switched from analog to digital TV in June 2009 (see digital TV transition). The FCC auctioned most of the remaining blocks in this spectrum from January 24 to March 18, 2008 (see chart below), which is expected to be used for high-speed Internet and data services for mobile devices.

Coveted Frequencies
The advantage of the 700 MHz spectrum is that the signals travel longer distances than the higher frequencies used by many other wireless systems. Networks using this spectrum require fewer cell towers to reach the same geographic area. In addition, like TV broadcasting, signals in this spectrum penetrate walls easily.

The Results - $19.6 Billion in Winning Bids
Verizon and AT&T were the big winners. For USD $9.9 billion, Verizon won 109 licenses nationwide in the A, B and C blocks; each C-block license covering a huge geographic area. AT&T won 227 B-block licenses for $6.6 billion. Dish Network won 168 E-block licenses for $712 million, while competitor DirecTV did not bid at all, and King Street Wireless picked up 152 licenses in various A and B blocks. The remaining licenses were won by several other organizations including Paul Allen's Vulcan Spectrum LLC, which secured A-block licenses in Oregon and Washington State.

Google Lost and Won
Google did not win any licenses, but bid high enough to trigger rules that require C-block licensees to open their networks. Under FCC rules, a $4.6 billion bid for the C-block would ensure the creation of a network open to third-party devices and applications.

The 700 MHz Auction
In 2008, more than a thousand regional licenses in the 700 MHz spectrum were won at auction. Nobody bid the USD $1.3 billion minimum for the D blocks next to the Public Safety blocks. Owners of the D-Public Safety blocks would have nationwide access and the right to use Public Safety spectrum when available.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Un-carrier today confirmed its Extended Range LTE, or 700 MHz low band spectrum, which now carries T-Mobile s LTE signals both farther and deeper indoors than before, is now live throughout Philadelphia.
Table 3: APT 700 MHz plan - adoption in Asia-Pacific 11
NYSE: MSI) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have announced a USD26m contract for the implementation of an ASTRO25 mission-critical Phase 2 700 MHz digital radio system that will expand P25 interoperability throughout Clark County and Southern Nevada.
The UAE TRA last week said that it planned to release spectrum in 700 MHz - 800 MHz band for mobile broadband services.
The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced its band plan for 700 MHz and the release of spectrum in the 800 MHz band for mobile broadband services.
While the 700 MHz band is not unoccupied, Brazil's 4G operations are currently using the 2.
The 700 MHz band in the USA and the 800 MHz band in Europe are today used for commercial LTE services.
One is whether the military can yield 700 MHz bandwidth for use by 4G operations by July of 2013.
The report*, released by the GSMA and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), states that if governments allocate the 700 MHz band for Mobile Broadband deployment, it would bring much greater economic and social benefits to Asia Pacific than if allocated for services such as broadcasting.
Under a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule, anyone who uses a wireless microphone (or similar device) that operates in the 700 MHz band will have to stop using it no later than June 12, 2010.
FreeWave Technologies, an independent provider of high performance spread spectrum and licensed radio products and services, and Arcadian Networks, a wireless communications carrier serving energy companies have announced that they have delivered a new 700 MHz wireless radio to serve the energy industry.
TV stations are continuing their move to digital and off 700 MHz airwaves by early 2009.