Light Reading

T-Mobile: Channel-51 Interference a Non-Issue

Sarah Thomas
1/6/2014
50%
50%

Interference with the channel 51 broadcast TV spectrum is a big concern in the low bands, but T-Mobile says its new 700 Mhz footprint will affect less than half of the population it will cover when it closes its acquisition of Verizon's block A assets.

In a conference call discussing T-Mobile US Inc. 's bid to acquire $2.3 billion worth of lower 700 MHz A Block spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless , T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that the acquisition will give the carrier low-band spectrum covering 150 million people in major markets like NYC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, DC, and Detroit, and that more than half of the population covered will be outside of channel 51's range. (See T-Mobile Spends $2.4B on Verizon Spectrum .)

Channel 51 is the broadcast TV channel that's adjacent to the lower A block portion of the 700 MHz frequency band. It has caused significant interference issues in the past and is the reason AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) used to cite for not supporting band 12 in its devices. AT&T changed its tune back in September, and now T-Mobile is downplaying the issue as well. (See AT&T Closes $1.9B Verizon Spectrum Buy.)

Legere said that T-Mobile has more than 15,000 cell sites outside of channel 51 markets, and it will be able to begin deploying service on it in several major markets just as soon as the Verizon deal closes. CTO Neville Ray also added that there are mitigation techniques available today that will help further shrink the impacted areas.

"These interference issues will be fully resolved in the near- to mid-future," Legere said on the call, adding that FCC actions should also help the issue.

AT&T is also working on achieving interoperability in the 700 MHz bands, which Ray said makes the A-block licenses much easier to deploy. He said the carrier is keen to partner with AT&T and others to grow the compatible handset ecosystem and promised initial devices that support the A-block on T-Mobile before the end of the year.

"This isn't a new band we need to push through 3GPP and get approval on," Ray noted. "It's out there, and we can move quickly on it. It's a fairly mature marketplace in the US."

He added that there are already multiple options on antenna sizes and form factors, and that T-Mobile has a lot of flexibility in how it attacks growing the ecosystem. BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk agrees that low-band interference issues aren't as significant as they once were, but his optimism for T-Mobile is tempered by the size of its bet on the low band.

"The interop deal should help to get vendors on board for developing the products that work with these interference issues," Piecyk tells Light Reading. "But it's hard to ignore the lack of networks that have been built since this spectrum was auctioned in 2008 and the cheaper price paid relative to the adjacent B-Block spectrum."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/6/2014 | 3:19:28 PM
Biggest uncarrier move yet
All the T-Mo men called this transaction the biggest in T-Mobile's history. They say it will result in a net gain in its spectrum position in major markets, complement its mid-band spectrum, cover 70% of its customer base, and improve its gross-add prospects.

And, T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter also reiterated that the AWS and PCS spectrum it will transfer to Verizon as part of the deal will not impede its "ability to roll out 20x20 LTE to 90% of the top metro areas in 2014 and beyond."
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones