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Thread: Explain Like I'm Five: Wireless Spectrum in Canada

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    Post Explain Like I'm Five: Wireless Spectrum in Canada

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    Breaking news from Industry Canada: April, 2015 will see yet another auction of wireless spectrum in the 2500MHz band. Apparently Minister Moore et al couldn't wait until the upcoming 700MHz auction was over and done with before spilling the beans on the one after that.

    I must confess that of my various competencies in mobile technology, LTE spectrum expertise is probably the most lacking. From what I understand the Big Three currently offer LTE service on Band 4 / 1700MHz AWS, and both Bell and Rogers additionally offer 2600 MHz LTE via Band 7. Beyond this, I get confused pretty quick. And I can't be the only one.

    So Imma go ahead and ask some dumb questions so that the other spectrum n00bs amongst us don't have to. Be gentle...

    1. Why 2500MHz and not 2600?

    According to Wikipedia, Band 7 looks to be an LTE standard for Europe and much of Asia — Rogers has even issued press releases trumpeting its roaming agreements with 2600MHz-compatible LTE carriers. So is 2500MHz at all compatible with 2600MHz? And if not, why would any Canadian carrier want spectrum that wouldn't yield them that sweet, sweet roaming revenue?

    Similarly, why would any globe-trotting Canadian want a handset with an LTE radio they can't use anywhere else?

    2. Doesn't Bell already use 700MHz LTE?

    The Bell MiFi I used up until a short time ago ran on 700MHz LTE — that's what the spec sheet on Bell's website says... If Bell is already using this spectrum, where and how did they get it? And if they've already got it, why do they need more?

    3. Did the new entrants not see LTE coming?

    If only Dave Dobbin were a forums member and would answer this...

    Again from Wikipedia, LTE was finalized as a standard in December of 2008, so Mobilicity and WIND must have figured that the Big Three would be aggressive in building out support for it in the years to follow. Should they not have been doing the same? If the Big Three can run LTE on AWS, why can't Mobilicity and WIND?

    There may be additional questions from other forum members; I encourage you to share them here. Knowledge is power, right? Let's spread some around!
    My mobile memoirs — free ebook available here.
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    I can only answer 3 for Wind mobile as it's the only one I'm familiar with.

    Wind absolutely saw LTE coming. However, they could not buy enough spectrum to launch both 3G and LTE. As it is, in markets like Toronto, they're over saturated as it is. Not only that, but all the hardware Wind deployed is LTE ready. They just have to flip a switch (well, maybe a bit more complicated but you get the idea). They just don't have enough frequency to do it.

    Mobi purchased HALF the bandwidth that Wind did, so yeah.

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    Lightbulb Canadian BRS, MBS, AWS Spectrum Explained...

    acurrie,

    1. Because it is Industry Canada! LOL FCC does that too The existing Broadband Radio Service (BRS) spectrum is in the "2500MHz" frequency RANGE in this context, a "product" of remapping of the MCS and MDS spectrum back then, BEFORE the corresponding reference of LTE Band 7 (2600) appears by convention.



    2. No Canadian carrier is currently deploying the mobile service in the 700MHz Mobile Broadband Service (MBS) spectrum. We have only got to the moment where 700MHz MBS spectrum is going to be auctioned soon. So all the existing devices on the market offered by the any Canadian carrier - both handsets and modems that are supporting certain 700MHz bands, namely Band 13 (for Verizon) and 17 (for at&t) - are actually targeted the much bigger operators in the US. We are not that a really big market in the eyes of the device manufacturers Anyway, the Big-3 like Bell can have the US roaming support as well as a little future-proof when the 700MHz spectrum become commercially available. BTW, do not expect too much with the 6x6MHz, 5x5MHz blocks in the MBS vs the relatively "fat" blocks in the BRS spectrum. (more on that shortly)



    3. Regarding the mobile service deployment in the AWS spectrum... We have to understand deployment of a particular mobile network take years of planning EVEN the standards, governmental regulations are ratified and settled. Infrastructure and subscriber equipments were not widely available for a then-new technology and frequencies used only in one region. LTE was still on trial basis with the bigger operators which have more resources and even at this very moment, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) has not become available in most places. Another factor that is mentioned by tracer99: the amount of spectrum the new entrants have licensed...



    The wider 10x10MHz pairs in the A, B and F blocks are mostly picked up by the Big-3 in the most strategic markets with higher POPs, except WIND is able to get it in Southern Ontario, while Videotron gets it in the Quebec service areas. But again, LTE without voice is not going to be a viable option, especially when you have only got the 5x5MHz pairs to begin with. So launching 3G UMTS network in the AWS spectrum by Wind, Mobilicity and Videotron is by nature of immediate availability and economic reality rather than by choice or being in the technological frontier.

    If you have been to the Mobilicity party in 2011, Dave had also commented about why we could not have better choices of subscriber devices sooner.
    Last edited by HC - NO "i"; 01-11-2014 at 12:13 PM. Reason: add video link to HoFo Mobilicity 2011 party

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    Keep it up guys.. I am going to make up some popcorn and keep reading...
    Always love to read things like this as I have no clue how it all works either
    Thanx

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    Publics network is LTE capable while Winds+ Mobilicitys networks are capable of much faster speeds then experienced.
    Spectrum for LTE is like a buggy while 3G is the Horse. The LTE buggy may allow you greater carrying capacity while respecting its load limit. Backhaul is like the food needed to feed the horse. Faster horse with a buggy requires more moola. Does the buggy or horse come first if you can only afford one?

    Dave Dobbin was a member and may have taken a vow of silence. Dave's Not Here.
    Data Audio Visual Entertainment was a Hook and the imagined data Chopz never came to fruition (yet). What was not anticipated was 3 stooges lowering their prices and their paid minions propagandising them.

    Mobilicity and Wind should have formed an alliance like Hellus and shared ownership of the horse in different markets while saving for the buggy. Did egos take precedent over mindfulness?
    I still feel and for all intensive purposes it appears it was Mobilicitys intentions to play defence and flip for a profit. Hellus doesn't offer to save jobs, customers and Spout Righteousness unless they felt pressure from not fulfilling their end of a Gentlemen's agreement.
    Let's raise a toast to Imbecility!

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    Last edited by TelecomZombie; 01-10-2014 at 11:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracer99 View Post
    ... all the hardware Wind deployed is LTE ready. They just have to flip a switch (well, maybe a bit more complicated but you get the idea). They just don't have enough frequency to do it.
    Thanks for this. It makes sense that the new entrants wouldn't need any special permissions from government to light up LTE networks... The big three certainly didn't!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HC - NO "i" View Post
    Canadian network operators are simply supporting certain 700MHz bands, namely Band 13 (for Verizon) and 17 (for at&t), which are actually targeted the much bigger operators in the US.
    So Band 17 would be what LTE-enabled iPhones sold in this country use, correct? And the 700MHz auction is to distribute more frequency in this same band?

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    acurrie,

    1. Industry Canada has not mandated the spectrum licensees to a specific mobile technology / air-interface. For example, part of the BRS spectrum once have got the WiMAX networks deployed by the Inukshuk, a Rogers-Bell partnership. Once it has got turned off, Rogers and Bell overlay it with LTE. Similarly, the fate of the Analog AMPS network in the "800MHz" cellular spectrum has sunset to become 2G (GSM, TDMA, CDMA) and 3G (UMTS, CDMA200) networks. The "2GHz" PCS spectrum was more specific about the "digital nature, but not a particular flavour. Again, we have seen the 2G GSM, CDMA networks come and goes, replaced by the 3G UMTS, CDMA2000 networks. Soon, CDMA2000 will also be history.

    2. As the discussion continues, I am also trying to rephrase my reply with the less confusing words...

    No Canadian carrier is currently deploying the mobile service in the 700MHz Mobile Broadband Service (MBS) spectrum. We have only got to the moment where 700MHz MBS spectrum is going to be auctioned soon. So all the existing devices on the market offered by the any Canadian carrier - both handsets and modems that are supporting certain 700MHz bands, namely Band 13 (for Verizon) and 17 (for at&t) - are actually targeted the much bigger operators in the US.
    At this point, Industry Canada is trying to align with what the FCC has allocated in the US. Please refer to http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst...h_sf10598.html. Be it the LTE Band 13 (700, Upper C blocks) or Band 17 (700, Lower B & C blocks), many devices out there will be compatible once everything is settled up here. However, do not expect too much with the 700MHz MBS spectrum with blocks of 6x6MHz, 5x5MHz pairs. It is rather an augmentation in the coverage - especially in the rural area. The LTE Band 7 (2600) in the BRS spectrum is still the "fat pipe" to enhance the capacity.

    Anyway, I highly recommend an commentary by Roger Entner at FierceWireless... http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/...ion/2013-08-30 Though it is addressing to the US readers, we have a situation that is closely resembling with theirs.
    Last edited by HC - NO "i"; 01-11-2014 at 12:59 AM. Reason: add link to Fierce Wireless
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    Inukshuk was originally Microcell and LOOK before both bought out. Tech Leaders gobbled up and forgotten by most
    Bell will be needing spectrum (700?) IF they are to follow Government mandate requiring high speed residential in NWO.Bell using residential money to deploy wirelessly despite mandate. Even though years behind schedule Bell threatened in August 2013 areas would be ignored by them if Competition came to Canada.
    Certainly a market to watch.
    Ring of Fire will be loads of Money for TBay Tel and indirectly Rogers. That's why Bell is redirecting these funds waiting for resource agreements and developments while bluffing about rural investment and risk upsetting the Alliance.
    Last edited by TelecomZombie; 01-11-2014 at 04:09 AM.

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    Five year olds shouldn't be concerned about LTE spectrum & such. Just laugh a lot, run around & get your parents to tickle you.
    If my actions include deeds of philanthropy in charity and acts of loving kindness I am living in my Faith.

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    The sad reality is that kids are getting addicted to electricity and the world in the palm of their hand. Innocence replaced by Immediacy
    Future generations will be lost when their Higher Power goes kaput and there are no cultural references of interaction or activities without electricity. The physical embraceable reality of children and all living things is being whittled away while we idolize a portal.
    Aleister Crowley talked about Actions from a distance. Smart phones are both Actions and Distractions from Afar.
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    5 year olds unless ACurrie meant 5 dog years should still be asleep not dreaming of devices or speed but of Grimm Fairy tales.

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    A lot of great info here so far...

    So this new 2500MHz spectrum will indeed be compatible with Band 7 LTE hardware, correct?

    A simple yes or no will do.

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    acurrie,

    As much as you do not like, it is more than just a simple "Yes" or "No" answer. Consider LTE Band 7 (2600) is just one of the mobile service BANDS used in the "2500MHz" RANGE Canadian BRS spectrum. Do not forget, WiMAX was once overlaid in this spectrum RANGE as well. As for the current situation with the LTE, the corresponding BANDS that is within the Canadian BRS spectrum RANGE include...

    LTE Band 7 (2600)

    FDD-LTE, paired
    Downlink: 2620-2690MHz
    Uplink: 2500-2570MHz

    LTE Band 38 (2600)

    TDD-LTE, unpaired
    2570-2620MHz

    LTE Band 41 (2600 extended)

    TDD-LTE, unpaired
    2496-2690MHz

    Last edited by HC - NO "i"; 01-11-2014 at 11:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TelecomZombie View Post
    Inukshuk was originally Microcell and LOOK before both bought out. Tech Leaders gobbled up and forgotten by most
    Bell will be needing spectrum (700?) IF they are to follow Government mandate requiring high speed residential in NWO.Bell using residential money to deploy wirelessly despite mandate. Even though years behind schedule Bell threatened in August 2013 areas would be ignored by them if Competition came to Canada.
    Certainly a market to watch.
    Ring of Fire will be loads of Money for TBay Tel and indirectly Rogers. That's why Bell is redirecting these funds waiting for resource agreements and developments while bluffing about rural investment and risk upsetting the Alliance.
    TZ,

    I have got the LOOK box somewhere in the locker lol

    BTW, let's see who is the bigger spectrum pirate: Sir Guy or Captain George?


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    Quote Originally Posted by HC - NO "i" View Post
    TZ,
    somewhere in the Foot locker
    is the bigger spectrum pirate: Sir Guy


    HC NO eye : Aarrrrrr Ye salty Swashbuckler
    I don't see whats wrong with a Jolly Good Rogering especially Fido style or when a seaman is blown ashore.
    I suggest ye steer past the Bell Sirens before they plunder all your lot and fill your holds with Bilge.
    Last edited by TelecomZombie; 01-11-2014 at 03:35 PM.

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