FCC rejects T-Mobile's request to hold more spectrum for smaller carriers bidding in 2016 auction

FCC rejects T-Mobile's request to hold more spectrum for smaller carriers bidding in 2016 auction
With the government set to auction off low frequency spectrum that belongs to television broadcasters, T-Mobile has been pushing for more spectrum to be held aside for smaller carriers. The low-frequency airwaves in the 600MHz band travel farther and more easily penetrate buildings, traits which makes these airwaves quite valuable. And while there will be some spectrum held aside in each market for the smaller mobile operators, T-Mobile says that this amount is not enough. But following a vote held Thursday by the FCC, it appears that the upstart mobile operator could be running out of options.

Yesterday, the FCC rejected T-Mobile's request to expand the amount of spectrum held for smaller carriers by a unanimous 5-0 vote. The FCC's ruling was not much of a surprise considering that the agency's chairman, Tom Wheeler, said back in June that he would recommend to FCC commissioners that they vote down T-Mobile's request.

T-Mobile is not so much worried about purchasing spectrum for itself as it concerned with keeping Verizon and AT&T from using their wealth to add to their large portfolio of spectrum. Now that it has officially displaced Sprint as the third largest carrier in the U.S., the self proclaimed Un-carrier has loftier goals.

The auction is expected to take place in March. Unless there is a late change brought on by a court order, the FCC will hold aside 30MHz of the spectrum in each market for carriers that are not nationwide, or own less than one-third of the low frequency spectrum in that market. T-Mobile and Sprint both would qualify under the latter requirement. T-Mobile has been requesting that 40MHz be held aside in each market, instead.

As you might expect, T-Mobile CEO John Legere put his own spin on the FCC action. Legere said that the FCC will be monitoring the auction closely so that Verizon and AT&T "can't game the system." The Pied Piper of wireless (or is it Peter Pan?) added that T-Mobile's goal is to show up at the auction, play hard, and walk out successful.


source: Reuters

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14 Comments

1. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Just face it, most of the spectrum as usual will go to AT&T/Verizon simply because they have more money and influence to buy larger amounts. Smaller carriers don't have the same advantage.

12. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Indeed, ATT and VZW have more money to buy larger amounts of regulators, who strangely find employment with them or with mobile industry associations, where Wheeler came from.

2. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

American capitalism for ya.

3. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

The correct title is.....FCC rejects Douche Telekom's request to hold more spectrum for smaller carriers bidding in 2016 auction.

4. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Exactly sir! It's less about American capitalism than the guy above you is saying and more about not letting a company in another country control more spectrum

5. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

So, its about American nationalism ...

6. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Keep it in the country and I'm really okay with that. No reason to allow another company outside the US to own a ton of spectrum within the US.

13. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Such inanity coming from someone whose avatar is the VW logo...

14. Mobilephile

Posts: 166; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Could be about nationalism but I highly doubt that, seeing foreign countries are buying up America and own trillions in the US Treasury. Murica is a country in debt of epic proportions.

7. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

FCC - Mafia

8. drtrigsman

Posts: 55; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

AT&T is the only GSM carrier, so Verizon isn't really valid. It's apples to oranges. That make T-mo the only competition to AT&T... who price gauges their customers, caps data, and is known for horrible customer service. Not even sure how the whole merger effects the whole conversation. What I do know, is based on the way T-mo has treated it's customers (good Cust svc, fast speeds, low prices, cheaper data), they deserve to play ball and get wider US coverage

9. drtrigsman

Posts: 55; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Another point though.. what's with huge companies like T-mo acting broke? If they handle their budget in US market separate from their overall company budget... that's on them. They are not little.

10. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

The more money they spend on spectrum, the less money they can spend on being "uncarrier". They're already trimming a bit with the unlimited data. Slowly. Creeping back to the middle. http://www.phonearena.com/news/T-Mobiles-new-family-plan-Unlimited-talk-text-data-10GB-of-4G-LTE-each-as-low-as-30-a-line_id71540

11. whatRUthinking

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 07, 2015

Don't most of you people realize if Att and verizon buys all the spectrum up that it leads to smaller companies task of competing even harder?? What happens if sprint and tmobile are? That leaves the US only two carriers that can charge basicly what they want cause their is less competion involved. Just look at cable companies as an example. Most places only have one or two choices to pick from and probably don't offer great deals.

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