How to Format Mobile Broadband Subscription Data

Mobile Broadband Subscription Data (MBS) refers to the count of subscriptions to the mobile service provider’s broadband service offerings by state. 

Filers should report subscriptions that the provider (including its affiliates and mobile virtual network operators (or MVNOs)) equips to enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction. 

MBS Data can be submitted using one of two methods: 

  • By entering the MBS Data row-by-row within the “Data Entry” tab, which is located at the top of the MBS page, next to the “Upload Files” tab 

              OR 

  • By uploading a valid file in Comma Separated Value (CSV) format that contains the following 5 required fields: 

 

Field 

Header 

Data Type {number of characters} 

Example 

Description / Notes 

State 

state 

Text {2} 

01 

2-digit FIPS Code for the state.  A list can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture State FIPS Codes webpage at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/?cid=nrcs143_013696. 

Minimum Downstream Speed 

min_download_speed 

Decimal 

35.0 

Minimum downstream speed of the service offering in Mbps.  If the downstream speed of the service offering is advertised in a range, enter the low end of the range or the minimum speed of the service offering.  If no downstream speed is mentioned in marketing, enter the minimum downstream speed subscribers to that service offering should expect to receive.  Enter up to 3 digits after the decimal.  (For example, 768 kbps would be entered as 0.768.) 

Minimum Upstream Speed 

min_upload_speed 

Decimal 

3.0 

Minimum upstream speed of the service offering in Mbps.  If the upstream speed of the service offering is advertised in a range, enter the low end of the range or the minimum speed of the service offering.  If no upstream speed is mentioned in marketing, enter the minimum upstream speed subscribers to that service offering should expect to receive.  Enter up to 3 digits after the decimal.  (For example, 768 kbps would be entered as 0.768.) 

Total Subscribers 

total_subscribers 

Integer 

100 

Subscribers in the state where the device and subscription allow the user to access lawful internet content of the user’s choice at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction.  If an individual account includes multiple connections that meet these criteria, each connection should be counted as a separate subscriber.  Do not include connections where the subscriber’s content is restricted to only customized-for-mobile content.  Include connections with a data plan that allows the user to transfer, on a monthly basis, either a specified or an unlimited amount of data to and from the internet via a mobile network.  Such data plans may be purchased as a bundle with a voice subscription, as an add-on to a voice subscription, or for a non-voice mobile device.  Include directly-billed subscribers, prepaid subscribers, and subscribers served via resellers. 

Total Consumer Subscribers 

consumer_subscribers 

Integer 

57 

Of the total number of subscribers, the number that are not billed to a corporate, non-corporate business, government, or institutional customer account.  Note that you should enter the number of subscribers rather than a percentage of the total. 

 

If we were to place the values in the “Example” column from the table above into a CSV format for upload, they would make a single data row (record) like this: 

01,35.0,3.0,100,57 

The data row above can be translated as saying that at the time of the “as of” date for the filing in state 01 (Alabama), the filer has a total of 100 mobile broadband subscribers, of which 57 subscribers are not billed to a business account, in service with an advertised bandwidth of 35.0 Mbps downstream and 3.0 Mbps upstream. 

Records must be unique by state, minimum downstream speed, and minimum upstream speed.  For example, if a provider has mobile wireless broadband subscriptions in service in a particular state at two (or more) different minimum downstream speeds, then there should be two (or more) records for that state.  

An Example 

Say that your company currently has subscribers to two mobile services that offer access to the internet at bandwidths of at least 35/3 Mbps and 20/1 Mbps in a number of states in the southeast U.S. If you tally your subscribers by state and by service, you find the following: 

State Code (FIPS) 

Downstream  Bandwidth (Mbps) 

Upstream  Bandwidth (Mbps) 

Total Subscribers 

Consumer Subscribers 

01 

35 

3 

201 

195 

12 

35 

3 

233 

320 

13 

35 

3 

323 

321 

22 

35 

3 

2454 

2097 

28 

35 

3 

54 

50 

45 

35 

3 

201 

201 

51 

35 

3 

454 

204 

01 

20 

1 

401 

395 

12 

20 

1 

522 

520 

13 

20 

1 

623 

521 

22 

20 

1 

454 

96 

28 

20 

1 

74 

50 

45 

20 

1 

604 

601 

51 

20 

1 

654 

604 

 

Then save the data as a comma separated value (CSV) file. When opened in a text editor like NotePad, the file should look like this:

 

Screen_Shot_2022-04-11_at_8.10.48_AM.png

Additional Resources

Mobile Broadband Subscription Data

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