Measuring Concentration in Radio Spectrum License Holdings

9 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2012

See all articles by Coleman Bazelon

Coleman Bazelon

The Brattle Group

William P. Zarakas

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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.

Suggested Citation

Bazelon, Coleman and Zarakas, William P., Measuring Concentration in Radio Spectrum License Holdings (August 15, 2009). TPRC 2009, Available at SSRN:

Coleman Bazelon (Contact Author)

The Brattle Group ( email )

44 Brattle Street
3rd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138-3736
United States
202-955-5050 (Phone)

William P. Zarakas

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics