Measuring Concentration in Radio Spectrum License Holdings
9 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2012
Date Written: August 15, 2009
For this analysis, we identified in each county: 1) the licensees which hold spectrum; 2) larger corporate affiliations, if applicable; and 3) the amount of spectrum controlled for each of the above referenced bands, including the effects of spectrum partitioning, dis-aggregation and/or leasing. We started with information from the FCC’s ULS data base on the ownership of spectrum licenses in each band. This information, including information on spectrum license partitions and disaggregations, was translated into GIS format for further geographic manipulation. Information from the FCC’s ownership data base was used to group licensees by related corporate affiliations.
To illustrate the usefulness of this analytic approach, we use these data to analyze the concentration of spectrum for geographic markets in their entirety. (The data could be used for many different analyses, including calculating the spectrum holdings of any given firm or set of firms.) Specifically, we use the above spectrum data to estimate HHI indices based on shares of MHz-pops for each county in the U.S. We also estimate HHI indices for each state in the U.S. and for the country as a whole. Comparisons among these indicate the degree to which estimates of spectrum concentration are sensitive to market definitions. Finally, we show the level of concentration in each spectrum band and then show how the latest round of licensing by the FCC– in the 700 MHZ band– has impacted spectrum concentration.
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