Verizon expands C-band tests with Samsung, Ericsson

Verizon is looking to expand tests in C-band spectrum, a further indication of the operator's interest in obtaining more midband licenses for 5G.

Verizon's newest request for C-band testing with the FCC lists Ericsson and Samsung as equipment vendors for the effort. The tests mostly focus on an area west of Los Angeles on the California coast.

As reported by FierceWireless, Verizon earlier this year sought permission to test C-band transmissions using equipment from Ericsson in Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Westlake, Texas; Sunnyvale, California; and Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan.

"Verizon Wireless hereby requests an experimental authorization to use the 3.7 – 3.8GHz band," the operator writes in its latest application with the FCC. The 100MHz sought under this STA [Special Temporary Authority] is a subset of the recently expanded flexible use C-band in the ranges of 3.7 to 3.98GHz range, which will be auctioned at the end of the year."

Verizon is expected to dominate the C-band spectrum auction, scheduled to start in December. The event promises to release a vast amount of midband spectrum for 5G in the US; such spectrum is considered highly valuable given that it can support both broad geographic coverage and blazing-fast speeds.

The Wall Street analysts at Wells Fargo recently speculated that Verizon could spend between $10 billion and $16 billion in the C-band auction. New Street Research recently forecast that the C-band auction could generate up to $50 billion in total bids, which would make the event the FCC's biggest spectrum auction ever.

Lightshed recently speculated that Verizon spent around $2.7 billion on 40MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum in the FCC's recently concluded CBRS spectrum auction. That event raised a total of $4.6 billion in gross proceeds; the FCC is expected to release the identity of the auction's bidders as early as later this week.

Ericsson and Samsung have been named in Verizon's C-band equipment tests. Absent is Nokia, Verizon's other big equipment vendor – that's noteworthy considering some analysts believe Verizon is replacing Nokia with Samsung.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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