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Commnet Wireless Gets Verizon in a Vise!

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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
April 30, 2004 2:12:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

I came across this in my search for nearby FCC applications. Verizon forgot
to license two of their sites in NM at ownership change, and now are in
danger of not getting those licenses because of overlap from a recent site
added by those crazy upstarts, Commnet Wireless, aka Excomm, fka Chama
Wireless. These two sites are in the Taos and Red River ski areas and have
been operating since 1996.

It seems Commnet (dba Excomm, was Chama) does not need to approve the
overlap and can deny Verizon the re-licensing of these sites, originally
built by US West NewVector, (later, Airtouch) who seems responsible for the
oversight. After 6 months of negotiating, VZ can't get Commnet to approve.
Will VZ have to actually turn off the sites?

FCC URL at end of app.

FCC Form 601
Exhibit A
Page 1 of 1
REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF SPECIAL TEMPORARY AUTHORITY, AND
PUBLIC INTEREST EXHIBIT
Pursuant to Section 1.931(a)(4) of the FCC's rules, Verizon Wireless (VAW)
LLC ("Verizon Wireless") hereby requests that the FCC grant a 180-day
extension of its
special temporary authority ("STA") (call sign WPYW297) to continue to
provide
cellular radiotelephone service at sites known as Red River and Taos Ski in
the New
Mexico 1-San Juan (Block B) RSA.1
Verizon Wireless holds call sign KNKN264 to provide cellular service in the
New
Mexico 1-San Juan (Block B) RSA. In late 2003, the company determined that
its
predecessor in interest had not filed an application to provide service at
these sites. On
November 6, 2003, Verizon Wireless filed an application for an STA.2 The FCC
granted
the application on November 13, 2003. The STA expires on May 12, 2004. As
noted in
the original application for STA, Red River and Taos Ski have been
operational since
February 21 and March 27, 1996 respectively. These sites are part of Verizon
Wireless'
nationwide network and carry significant wireless traffic. The service areas
of the Red
River and Taos Ski sites are depicted in the Service Area Map Exhibit of the
original
application3 and of this instant application.
Chama Wireless, LLC ("Chama") is the licensee of call sign WPRS845. Chama
is authorized to serve a portion of the areas served by Red River and Taos
Ski. Chama
currently is not providing service to any of the area served by Red River
and Taos Ski.
Pursuant to a special condition on the STA, Verizon Wireless is required to
eliminate any
interference within 30 days of notification from Chama. Verizon Wireless has
not been
notified that it is causing interference to Chama.
Since grant of the STA in November 2003, Verizon Wireless has been engaged
in
negotiations with Chama in an attempt to find a mutually agreeable
resolution that would
allow Verizon Wireless to continue to serve Red River and Taos Ski. Verizon
Wireless
has requested that Chama consent to two contour extension agreements
covering the Red
River and Taos sites.
As discussed above, these sites already provide service to the public and
any loss
of service would not be in the public interest. Chama currently is incapable
of providing
service to the areas served by Verizon Wireless. Given these extraordinary
circumstances, pursuant to Section 1.931(a)(4) Verizon Wireless requests
that the
Commission grant this extension of the STA for an additional period of 180
days.
Further, the 180-day period will provide Verizon Wireless with additional
time in which
to negotiate the necessary contour extension agreements with Chama. Finally,
grant of
this STA is in the public interest because it will allow Verizon Wireless to
offer
uninterrupted service to its customers. Neither the FCC nor any other entity
will be
prejudiced by grant of this STA.
1 Taos Ski's coordinates are 36-35-50/105-27-07. Red River's coordinates are
36-42-16/105-23-33.
2 ULS File No. 0001508821.
3 Id.

https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/attachments/attachme...
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 5, 2004 2:01:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

"Bill Radio" <BR@MountainWirelessNOSPAN.com> wrote in message news:<1093kh9621rc9d4@corp.supernews.com>...
> I came across this in my search for nearby FCC applications. Verizon forgot
> to license two of their sites in NM at ownership change, and now are in
> danger of not getting those licenses because of overlap from a recent site
> added by those crazy upstarts, Commnet Wireless, aka Excomm, fka Chama
> Wireless. These two sites are in the Taos and Red River ski areas and have
> been operating since 1996.
>
> It seems Commnet (dba Excomm, was Chama) does not need to approve the
> overlap and can deny Verizon the re-licensing of these sites, originally
> built by US West NewVector, (later, Airtouch) who seems responsible for the
> oversight. After 6 months of negotiating, VZ can't get Commnet to approve.
> Will VZ have to actually turn off the sites?

Below, I have written a relatively basic primer on Cellular licensing
& construction requirements:

Upon original grant of a Cellular license, a licensee has exclusive
domain over the entire Cellular Market Area (CMA) during the first
five years, a construction period otherwise known as Phase 1. At the
end of Phase 1, the Cellular Geographic Service Area (CGSA) of the
licensee is fixed as the composite sum of all 32 dBu signal
propagation contours of all AMPS radio sites or as the entire CMA -
whichever is lesser. Upon expiry of Phase 1, the unlimited Phase 2
period commences. During Phase 2, any unserved area - any area not
included in the established CGSA - may be claimed via application.
Any interested party - a new entrant to the CMA or the original
licensee - may/must submit application to construct/extend service to
any unserved area once the market has transitioned to Phase 2.

In a moment or perhaps at a later date, I will address how this is
relevant to the VZW licensing snafu in northern New Mexico.

Andrew
--
Andrew Shepherd
cinema@ku.edu
cinema@sprintpcs.com
http://www.wirelesswavelength.com/
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 5, 2004 3:29:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Andrew,
Yes, it would be nice to explain further. After this post, Commnet
contacted me and had quite a bit to say, some on the record, some off, but
all friendly. It was helpful to hear the other side of the story. Without
revealing any of our discussion, I'm lead to believe that this, and other
similar situations, can be amicably solved.

It does lead me to wonder how often the powers that be at Verizon, or any
carrier, really slap themselves up side the head and say, "why didn't we put
a cell site there first?" Possibly never.

I would also like to hear more from other users who have actually roamed on
to Commnet sites. It was actually worrisome to hear of Commnet sites that
had so little traffic, they were in danger of being removed (my words, not
theirs).

-Bill


"Andrew Shepherd" <cinema@ku.edu> wrote in message
news:33e89561.0405042101.4a8ba3ed@posting.google.com...
>
> In a moment or perhaps at a later date, I will address how this is
> relevant to the VZW licensing snafu in northern New Mexico.
>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 5, 2004 3:53:59 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

"Bill Radio" <BR@MountainWirelessNOSPAN.com> wrote in message news:<1093kh9621rc9d4@corp.supernews.com>...
>
> FCC URL at end of app.
>
> FCC Form 601
> Exhibit A
> Page 1 of 1
> REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF SPECIAL TEMPORARY AUTHORITY, AND
> PUBLIC INTEREST EXHIBIT
> Pursuant to Section 1.931(a)(4) of the FCC's rules, Verizon Wireless (VAW)
> LLC ("Verizon Wireless") hereby requests that the FCC grant a 180-day
> extension of its
> special temporary authority ("STA") (call sign WPYW297) to continue to
> provide
> cellular radiotelephone service at sites known as Red River and Taos Ski in
> the New
> Mexico 1-San Juan (Block B) RSA.1
> Verizon Wireless holds call sign KNKN264 to provide cellular service in the
> New
> Mexico 1-San Juan (Block B) RSA. In late 2003, the company determined that
> its
> predecessor in interest had not filed an application to provide service at
> these sites.

VZW's "predecessor in interest" or actually "predecessors" plural
would be US West NewVector, AirTouch, & finally Vodafone AirTouch. As
the oversight dates to 1995-1996, it would appear that the mishap
occurred under US West NewVector's watch. W/ call sign KNKN264, US
West NewVector was the original grant licensee of CMA553B - New Mexico
RSA 1 - San Juan. The FCC ULS is not clear on the grant date of the
license, but rest assured that it was greater than five years previous
to 1995.

> As
> noted in
> the original application for STA, Red River and Taos Ski have been
> operational since
> February 21 and March 27, 1996 respectively.

As such, the "Red River" & "Taos Ski" sites were established during
Phase 2, effectively claiming previously unserved area for US West
NewVector. However, US West NewVector inexplicably failed to submit
an application to the FCC. Since no approval was obtained, the two
sites in question, therefore, have been operating illegally for nearly
the past decade, the Cellular equivalent of unlicensed pirate radio.
Thus, formally in the eyes of the FCC, the two sites have never
existed, their 32 dBu contours have not extended the CGSA for the
license, and the area technically remains unserved.

> The service areas
> of the Red
> River and Taos Ski sites are depicted in the Service Area Map Exhibit of the
> original
> application3 and of this instant application.
> Chama Wireless, LLC ("Chama") is the licensee of call sign WPRS845. Chama
> is authorized to serve a portion of the areas served by Red River and Taos
> Ski. Chama
> currently is not providing service to any of the area served by Red River
> and Taos Ski.

Unfortunately, the contour maps submitted by both VZW & Commnet are
simply quite atrocious, practically illegible.

http://tinyurl.com/2ldb6
http://tinyurl.com/36wdv

Below are links to relevant extractions from the PDF contour maps & a
consolidated ULS GIS map of the four sites in question:

http://people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/CMA553B_vzw_excom...
http://people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/CMA553B_vzw_excom...

Despite the poor quality of the map transfers, and though the two
distinct pairs of sites are separated by some distance, it is fairly
apparent that the VZW unlicensed "Red River" & "Taos Ski" sites are in
conflict w/ the Commnet application. The VZW sites may actually be
inside the proposed 32 dBu contours of the Commnet application. Even
if not, certainly the existing 32 dBu contours of the VZW sites
themselves project well into the unserved area claimed by the Commnet
application.

But part of the conflict seems to reside in the contour calculation
process itself. From FCC 47CFR22.911:

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(2) and (b) of this
section,
the distance from a cell transmitting antenna to its SAB along each
cardinal radial is calculated as follows:

d = (2.531)(h^0.34)(p^0.17)

where:

d is the radial distance in kilometers
h is the radial antenna HAAT in meters
p is the radial ERP in Watts

The contour calculation method assumes average terrain. The Rocky
Mountains of northern New Mexico are anything but average.

> As discussed above, these sites already provide service to the public and
> any loss
> of service would not be in the public interest. Chama currently is incapable
> of providing
> service to the areas served by Verizon Wireless.

If I read VZW's argument correctly, the proposed Commnet 32 dBu
contours are specious. Though the contour maps indicate otherwise,
the mountainous terrain fully prevents Commnet from providing service
to the areas served by the unlicensed VZW sites or vice versa. And
such could be VZW's saving grace.

As the Commnet application was submitted last fall six weeks before
VZW realized its mistake - or perhaps VZW only realized its mistake
because Commnet submitted its application - Commnet's claim should
rightfully take primacy. At the time of the application, the FCC
viewed the area as unserved. However, since VZW already has
operational sites in the so-called unserved area, as possession is
proverbially nine-tenths of the law, and because the FCC is mandated
to adjudicate toward the greater public good, I suspect that VZW will
be allowed to maintain & postdatedly license the two sites but perhaps
not w/o concessions or punitive action. For its part, Commnet appears
to have acted in good faith, such that VZW may have to reduce ERP of
one or both of the sites in order to concede CGSA to Commnet. But if
only VZW is truly capable of providing service to the direct
vicinities of "Red River" & "Taos Ski," then the FCC is unlikely act
against the public good by forcing the sites removal from service.

Andrew
--
Andrew Shepherd
cinema@ku.edu
cinema@sprintpcs.com
http://www.wirelesswavelength.com/
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 5, 2004 4:08:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

http://people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/CMA553B_vzw_excom...

As a note of explanation about these extractions, the Commnet 32 dBu
contours on the left depict the unserved area claimed by its
application. On the right, the VZW contours marked by an "X" indicate
its fully established & recognized CGSA. The "Red River" & "Taos Ski"
sites are designated by the markers "25" & "24," respectively. While
the contours of the unlicensed sites are completely illegible,
synthesis of the two maps shows that assuredly the contours two VZW
sites technically encroach upon the Commnet application.

Andrew
--
Andrew Shepherd
cinema@ku.edu
cinema@sprintpcs.com
http://www.wirelesswavelength.com/
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 6, 2004 3:57:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

The good and bad news may be that Alltel serves both locations with SID 1499
which is in Verizon's PRL. So all may not be lost if Verizon must give up
their sites, at least at current power levels, which are relatively low.

Real world coverage is that both Verizon towers are located fairly low, well
below the rim of the mountains, so there really is little or no overlap.
However, a skier at the top of either area could conceivably be within range
of the other carrier's site(s). My guess is that Verizon has much to offer
in the way of concessions, that may or may not apply in this specific area.
However, they indicate that six months of negotiations have produced no
agreement. Somebody is either not talking, or not negotiating.

As much as I chide Commnet for only skimming roamers, I was thrilled to see
them install a site in an area with no service that I frequent, even if only
analog. I will also note that the two Commnet sites in question now have
1900 MHz TDMA and GSM service. From famine to feast for the locals,
however, they need to somehow sign up for service elsewhere. A daunting
task for an area with low income.

-Bill


"Andrew Shepherd" <cinema@ku.edu> wrote in message
news:33e89561.0405042253.7e39c9da@posting.google.com...
> But if
> only VZW is truly capable of providing service to the direct
> vicinities of "Red River" & "Taos Ski," then the FCC is unlikely act
> against the public good by forcing the sites removal from service.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 8, 2004 9:21:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

"Bill Radio" <BR@MountainWirelessNOSPAN.com> wrote in message news:<109jkutpvq24d47@corp.supernews.com>...
>
> As much as I chide Commnet for only skimming roamers, I was thrilled to see
> them install a site in an area with no service that I frequent, even if only
> analog. I will also note that the two Commnet sites in question now have
> 1900 MHz TDMA and GSM service. From famine to feast for the locals,
> however, they need to somehow sign up for service elsewhere. A daunting
> task for an area with low income.
>
> -Bill

Thanks for the report, Bill.

I am not surprised that AMPS + TDMA/GSM 1900 but not CDMA 800/1900
have been deployed by Commnet at the pair of sites in question.
Judging by the 32 dBu AMPS contours - which may or may not though be
indicative of any CDMA radiation pattern & ERP - my immediate reaction
was that the extensive overlap of the contours might preclude CDMA but
was highly suggestive of the FDMA air-interfaces (e.g. AMPS, IS-136
TDMA, GSM). As the frequency-division technologies cannot reuse
channels in adjacent or proximate cells, the overlap is not
problematic. But for the unity frequency-reuse of CDMA, the excessive
overlap between the sites would likely degrade Ec/Io.

http://people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/CMA553B_vzw_excom...

The Commnet PCS spectrum is a PCS B4 10 MHz partition & disaggregation
acquired summer 2003 from AT&TWS' El Paso-Albuquerque MTA039 PCS B 30
MHz license in seven selected counties in Farmington, NM-Durango, CO
BTA139 & Santa Fe, NM BTA407.

http://www.commnetwireless.com/Taos_PCS.jpg
http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?l...

Andrew
--
Andrew Shepherd
cinema@ku.edu
cinema@sprintpcs.com
http://www.wirelesswavelength.com/
!