Verizon is appealing to the Federal Communications Commission to prevent T-Mobile from getting its hands on leases of more 600 MHz spectrum. T-Mobile applied for instant spectrum leases with Channel 51 License Company and LB License Co. to lease 600 MHz spectrum in a number of major markets, including Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle, among others. Channel 51 and LB License Co. had been lending 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile to help the carrier boost its network during the Covid-19 pandemic.
There’s a huge opportunity for fixed wireless access (FWA) growth around the world, and that opportunity has been especially highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Counterpoint Research Senior Analyst Tina Lu said only 45% of households worldwide had broadband at the end of 2019. But if Chinese households are removed from the equation, only 28% of global households are connected to broadband. “This is the primary drive to the growth of FWA,” said Lu. “Also Covid-19 is making broadband a priority. It’s not just a luxury.
Altice USA reported that total unique residential customer relationships grew +1.8% year over year during its second quarter 2020. That number drops to growth of 1.4% when adjusted to exclude customers greater than 90 days delinquent due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Altice reported its best-ever residential broadband net additions of 70,400 in Q2 2020 compared to 13,000 in Q2 2019.
T-Mobile has applied for instant spectrum leases with Channel 51 License Company and LB License Co. to lease 600 MHz spectrum in a number of major markets, including Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle, among others.
The days of Dish and T-Mobile playing nice may be coming to an end. On March 13, during the height of the coronavirus crisis, Dish lent its portfolio of 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile at no cost for 60 days in order to bolster wireless capacity during the pandemic. Recently, T-Mobile asked Dish for an extension of its 600 MHz spectrum loan until June 30. T-Mobile says the continued use of Dish’s spectrum is necessary to support the needs of customers who are still working and learning from home.
The nation’s internet service providers, both for fixed and mobile services, are beginning to see the economic impacts from their pledge to not disconnect customers during the COVID-19 crisis.
CenturyLink’s Chief Technology Officer Andrew Dugan said that some European regulators asked two groups of internet content providers to slow down their traffic in response to increased network loads stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. The two groups of content providers are over-the-top (OTT) video companies and gaming companies. EU Industry Chief Thierry Breton had urged streaming platforms including Netflix and YouTube to cooperate with telecom providers and temporarily downgrade the quality of video streaming by offering standard definition rather than high definition video.
The transport infrastructure for 5G is just as important as the other elements of the 5G network, and transport technologies are having to be updated for this next generation of wireless. Shane McClelland, VP of transport products at Ericsson North America, says that the way mobile backhaul has been handled up until now, won’t suffice in the 5G era. “The industry has created new architectures for [Radio Access Network] RAN,” said McClelland. He said, “We used to have just a couple of simple interfaces in a distributed RAN world.
In the United States prior to coronavirus, total home internet traffic averaged about 15% on weekdays. But it started growing in mid March, and by late March it had reached about 35%, clearly connected to all the working and learning from home due to stay-at-home orders. This doubling of work-from-home traffic mirrors the events in China. But it’s too soon to tell if home traffic in the United States will increase permanently even after the crisis has passed. “The data suggests remote working will remain elevated in the U.S. for a prolonged period of time,” wrote analysts at Cowen.
Dish said it will be lending 20 MHz of its AWS-4 (Band 66) and all of its 700 MHz spectrum to AT&T, starting immediately. Dish will provide the spectrum to AT&T at no cost for 60 days. AT&T will be able to deploy the AWS-4 spectrum quickly and easily using its AWS-1 and AWS-3 equipment. In addition, AT&T can use Dish’s 700 MHz E-Block in conjunction with the D-Block that AT&T has started deploying in some markets.
Analysts are speculating that these loans during a time of crisis might later be turned into ongoing leases.