Wireless

Unofficial Notes from Hogan Lovells’ 2017 Winnik Forum

LINK: Unofficial Notes from Hogan Lovells 2017 Winnik Forum (13 pages) Executive Summary Hogan Lovells hosted the 2017 Winnik Form, named after a late partner, Joel Winnik, on Thursday November 9th in their Washington, D.C. office. This year’s event was a half-day, focused on “Convergence and Competition.” It’s seems trite to say, but the number […]

Industry Data Shows FCC Overstated Mobile Traffic . . . and Spectrum Demand

While an industry White Paper on spectrum demand is being offered to support the accuracy of FCC’s spectrum demand projections used in its National Broadband Plan, the data actually shows just the opposite.[i] It is difficult to ascertain the exact numbers in the graphs in the paper. However, comparing the actual numbers in the FCC projections […]

2014 CTIA Wireless Industry Survey Suggest Maturing Industry

The CTIA recently released its annual wireless survey including 2014 results. This year’s survey is full of data suggesting a rapid maturation of the US wireless industry. Seven key data points: Annual Data growth slowed to 26%, growing from 3.23 trillion MB in 2013 to 4.06 trillion MB in 2014. This is the slowest data […]

Downstream Implications of AWS-3 Auction

While there has been extensive discussion about the AWS-3 auctions, there has been less discussion about the long-term industry impacts of the auctions: 1)    Upcoming 600 MHz Auction Prices – Higher transaction prices from the AWS-3 auction could imply higher prices for the 600 MHz auction. However: With the telecom industry spending ~$45B on the […]

New Draft Paper on Spectrum Demand Forecast Error

Aalok Mehta (PhD candidate at USC ) and I just finished a draft of a paper we are scheduled to present at the Telecom Policy Research Conference (TPRC) next month. The paper, “Overestimating Wireless Demand: Policy and Investment Implications of Upward Bias in Mobile Data Forecasts,” is about forecast error in demand estimates for spectrum. […]

FCC Auctions May Disappoint – Supply of Money Less than Supply of Spectrum

There’s a legitimate question as to whether the wireless industry has enough money to pay historical prices for spectrum the FCC intends to auction over the next 18 months. The FCC intends to auction approximately 150 MHz of spectrum between the AWS-3 and the Broadcast Incentive auction (assuming 65 MHz at AWS-3 and 85 MHz […]

The Road to Approval for a Sprint/T-Mobile Merger May Run Through DISH Network

It’s no secret that Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) have been exploring a potential merger and that there are significant concerns over whether such a merger would be approved. Sprint and T-Mobile argue that the US wireless market is a near-duopoly dominated by ATT (T) and Verizon (VZ) with a combined market share of approximately […]

Three Downstream Implications of a Sprint/T-Mobile Combination

While there has been significant industry discussion about a possible Sprint/T-Mobile combination, there has been little discussion about potential implications for other areas of the industry. Here are three: 1) Broadcast incentive auction (and other upcoming FCC spectrum auctions) could suffer. T-Mobile, having essentially no spectrum below 1 GHz was expected to bid aggressively in […]

“The Spectrum Handbook” 2013 Released

Summit Ridge Group,LLC is please to announce the publication of The Spectrum Handbook 2013. This 182 page book is available in hardcopy and e-book version through major on-line resellers. Executive Summary This Handbook has three objectives: 1) to serve as a primer for explaining the complex issues around the use of electromagnetic spectrum; 2) to […]

New White Paper: Right-sizing Spectrum Auction Licenses: The Case for Smaller Geographic License Areas in the TV Broadcast Incentive Auction

Summit Ridge Group, LCC  just completed a white paper covering a significant issue related to the upcoming FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction. The paper, Right-sizing Spectrum Auction Licenses: The Case for Smaller Geographic License Areas in the TV Broadcast Incentive Auction was sponsored by the Competitive Carriers Association.  The Executive Summary is below. Executive Summary The wireless […]

Takeaways from CCA Convention in Las Vegas

The Competitive Carriers Association held their annual convention earlier this week in Las Vegas.  A few takeaways: 1) Concern over LTE upgrade cycle. Small to mid-sized carriers appear anxious about the costs and benefits of LTE. They seem to realize they will need to do it eventually in order to remain competitive. But they are […]

“The Spectrum Handbook 2013” Released

Summit Ridge Group, LLC is pleased to announce the release of its publication, The Spectrum Handbook 2013. The 182-page publication provides an overview of spectrum-related issues globally from technical, regulatory and business perspectives while acknowledging the many public policy issues. The Handbook is intended to be a useful resource for new attorneys, bankers and government staffers […]

Why the Wireless Tower Operators Haven’t Participated in the 2013 Market Rally

Why the Wireless Tower Operators Haven’t Participated in the 2013 Market Rally The S&P and the NASDAQ are up approximately 20% year to date. Yet the three largest tower operators (American Tower [AMT], Crown Castle [CCI] and SBA Communications [SBAC]) have not participated in this rally (YTD returns between 1% and -11%) despite the rapid […]

Is there an Attractive Business Model for Shared Spectrum?

The telecom industry has seen a tremendous increase in interest in unlicensed shared spectrum over the past year or so. Wi-Fi has been an amazing success, now carrying nearly 50% of wireless traffic. Moreover, the U.S. government has over 400 MHz of additional spectrum in the NPRM stage that it is planning to make available […]

Conference Summary – More Weak Arguments from Big Companies

I attended the Optimal Coevolution of Mobile Broadband Technology and Spectrum Policy workshop in Washington D.C. on Friday.  A number of leading spectrum policy and technology figures were present. Key takeaways: 1)   Blair Levin (Aspen Institute Fellow and an author of the National Broadband Report) indicated that earlier drafts of the National Broadband Plan included a […]

Wireless Industry Lobbying Mutes Alternative Views

The wireless industry invests roughly $30 billions of dollars annually in capital expenditures building out their networks and acquiring spectrum. The major carriers average $5 billion to $10 billion in capital expenditures each. Given that the industry is heavily regulated, it would be irresponsible for them to not protect their investment with appropriate political lobbying […]

Putting the State of the U.S. Wireless Industry in Perspective

I’ve neglected this blog for a while as I am working on my forthcoming “Spectrum Handbook 2013” which I expect to release in a few weeks. Please contact me if you’d like a copy. But I did have a chance to attend the Winnik International Telecoms and Internet Forum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and […]

Unbelievable Lack of Consensus on Spectrum Supply & Demand

I’ve recently spoken at several wireless industry conferences where I’ve had a chance to informally discuss various topics with a number of well-regarded U.S. industry experts. In the course of these conversations, the discussion often turned to the issue of supply and demand for wireless spectrum. While it’s normal for opinions about the future to […]

Could Incumbents Wireless Cos Dominate Unlicensed Spectrum?

Significant amounts of government spectrum are headed towards being made available for shared unlicensed use. However, industry commentators have barely analyzed the potential impact on the industry structure from the availability of this new spectrum. The common initial reaction, and one suggested in the PCAST Report is that new entrepreneurial unlicensed providers will emerge to […]

Unlicensed Spectrum and the Challenge of Finding Investment Capital

White spaces use is becoming increasingly visible way to use spectrum more efficiently and jumpstart the use of new services. However, the industry will need significant investment in order to build a substantial industry. Traditional telecom service providers have FCC spectrum licenses that can serve as collateral for investors. White space service providers don’t have […]

The Shifting Balance Between Infrastructure vs. Service Providers Now Favoring Infrastructure

In the wireless industry hardware providers seem to be gaining the upper hand over the wireless service providers. Examining the wireless value chain, its clear that hardware and spectrum are the only areas with increased demand. The wireless service infrastructure consists of 1) spectrum; 2) network hardware; 3) network integration and management; 4) marketing, billing […]

Takeaways from Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar

Takeaways from Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar The reverse incentive auction webinar took place at Pillsbury Winthrup’s Washington DC offices yesterday December 19th.  A replay is available at  http://www.tmcnet.com/webinar/crossfire/incentive-auctions.htm  (note: paid registration required, CLE credits may be available). In addition to the opening remarks, there were three panels – Legal, Valuation and Policy. The key takeaways […]

Discount Code for Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar

A previous post (see: http://wp.me/p2Jv6Q-o4) describes an upcoming 3-hour webinar on the reverse incentive auction. If you enter the code: AMWEB, you will get a 36% discount on the $150 price, bringing it to $95. The webinar is about the FCC TV Incentive Auction (Spectrum Act 2012). We have Coleman Bazelon, The Brattle Group; Barlow Keener, Keener Law; Mark Fratrik, […]

Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar – December 19th

I’ll be moderating a valuation panel discussion as part of a three hour webinar on the FCC’s Reverse Incentive Auction process. Here is a link to the site describing the event: http://www.tmcnet.com/webinar/crossfire/incentive-auctions.htm : Incentive Auctions: What Broadcasters Need to Know A 3 Hr. a Video Virtual Event (Webinar). December 19th starting at 8:45 AM EST The discussion […]

Implications of Expected FCC Limits on DISH’s AWS-4 Spectrum

BACKGROUND The FCC recently indicated it was leaning towards limiting DISH’s use of its 40 Mhz of AWS-4 spectrum it acquired from Terrestar and DBSD North America to prevent interference with the H-block which runs from 1915 MHz to 1920 Mhz and 1995 MHz to 2000 MHz. DISH’s spectrum currently runs between 2000 Mhz and […]

Spectrum Property and Spectrum Valuation Presentations

We’ve just added two presentation to our website that might be of interest: 1) An Introductory Framework for Wireless Spectrum Valuation 2) Broadcasting Licenses: Ownership Rights and the Spectrum Rationalization Challenge: Why the Government is Buying Back its Own Spectrum. The first presentation is what the title implies — It outlines a basic framework for analyzing […]

Wireless Consolidation’s Impact on the Incentive Auctions

Since the discussion of the television broadcast incentive auctions began a few years ago, the US wireless industry has significantly consolidated. In the past 12 months the following major transactions have reshaped the industry: Verizon’s buys Spectrum Co, signaling the probably end of the cable industry’s interest in entering the industry; T-mobile buys MetroPCS and […]

Incentive Auction NPRM & Plight of Low Powered TV Stations

While there has been a lot of discussion about the FCC’s October 2nd Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the incentive auctions, the plight of low powered television stations has been somewhat neglected. These stations hold secondary licenses and are allowed to operate on their frequency allocation subject to them not interfering with the primary […]

Foreign Wireless Companies bBuying their US Counterparts….

The past few weeks we have seen two major wireless transactions announced.  First Deutsche Telecom backed  T-mobile announced an acquisition MetroPCS and late last week the Japan’s Softbank announced it was paying $20 billion for a 70% interest in Sprint.  Why does foreign firms find US wireless companies so attractive?  On first blush, it does […]

Super WiFi Summit Takeaways

I just returned from the “Super WiFi Summit” in Austin, TX (Oct 3-5).  The range of speakers – from major companies including Microsoft and Texas Instrument to start-up entrepreneurs and various policy experts (including Blaire Levin and Michael Calabrese as well as some international policymakers)  indicated a robust WiFi industry.  A general theme was ne of disappointment in the […]

Second Paper on TV Broadcasters’ Property Rights in their FCC License Published

My second paper on television broadcasters’ potential property rights in their spectrum was recently published in the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. This paper is a detailed legal analysis of the subject.  My prior paper on the subject, was a policy-oriented paper about potential equitable solutions to the dilemma of reallocating television spectrum. Broadcasting Licenses: […]

Television Broadcast Spectrum Reclamation Through Eminent Domain Paper Published

My paper “How the Traditional Property Rights Model Informs the Television Broadcasting Spectrum Rationalization Challenge” has been published in the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal – 34 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L.J. 145 (2012). While some of the issues have been overshadowed by recent incentive auction legislation, the conceptual framework is likely to be […]