T-Mobile accuses AT&T of trying to stifle competition for the government's 600MHz spectrum auction

T-Mobile accuses AT&T of trying to stifle competition for the government's 600MHz spectrum auction
Last month, we told you how a report from the Center for Public Integrity said that Verizon and AT&T are both relentlessly lobbying the FCC. The top two carriers in the U.S. are trying to influence the agency as it writes the rules for next year's auction of 600MHz spectrum. The main issue revolves around whether or not the FCC will put a cap on the amount of spectrum that one carrier can win. With plenty of money in the vault and plenty of influence in Washington, Verizon and AT&T are trying to get the FCC to allow any carrier to win as much spectrum as it can pay for. Sprint and T-Mobile, on the other hand, want to see a cap placed on the amount of spectrum one carrier can win at the auction.

The reason for this hot and heavy battle has to do with the low-band 600MHz spectrum. Such low-band airwaves can travel for longer distances than higher band spectrum, and can more easily penetrate buildings. Verizon and AT&T control 74% of such low-band spectrum, while Sprint owns 12% and 2% belongs to T-Mobile.

AT&T's vice president of federal regulatory, Joan Marsh, wrote on the company blog on Wednesday that T-Mobile and Sprint should not be worried. Besides trying to persuade the FCC not to impose a cap on how much spectrum can be won by one carrier, AT&T does not want the government to set aside some of the valuable spectrum for smaller companies. Marsh wrote that based on the winning bids from the last auction, it would take $20 to 30 billion for one carrier to dominate the upcoming auction. The executive says that this is too high a price tag for one, or even two companies, to pay. As for the "set-aside," she says that holding spectrum for smaller carriers would only force AT&T and Verizon to bid against each other for a smaller amount of spectrum, raising costs in the industry. That could eventually lead to higher prices for consumers to pay for cellular service. She also wrote that by adding a cap on the amount of spectrum that can be won in the auction, the FCC would actually be minimizing the amount of revenue being raised by the government.

Kathleen Ham, vice president of federal regulatory affairs at T-Mobile, responded to Marsh's post by writing that only an auction with multiple bidders of every size will result in a competitive industry that benefits consumers. She added that AT&T continues to repeat the same message, which is that "sacrificing competition for duopoly is good public policy."

The FCC has a very tough decision ahead. No matter which way it decides, two carriers are going to feel like losers even before the auction starts.
source: AT&T via FierceWireless



30. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Does anyone know why AT&T was broken up by the government years ago? It was because AT&T controlled the telecom industry with well over a million employees. The government seemed fit to protect the consumer from a monopoly. So while the bell system was broken into small groups, AT&T was not exactly pleased as to let go of the power. The size was broken up but the financial wealth still remained. Verizon was one of the beneficiaries of this group with wealth and together, both VZW and AT&T have been a force of one. Exchanging assets and using their financial cushion to purchase their way to the top. Gobbling up small carriers and their subs left and right. Not actually building out networks but acquiring them. This leaving the smaller, less financially strong carriers to fend for themselves. Consumers spending more money with the larger making the two even more wealthy today. Sprint and Tmo are in a do or die situation that equates to far more work and money to build out their own infrastructure. With all this said, I don't blame TMO for lashing out for wanting a good look at fairness. VZW and AT&T already control roughly 80% of the indusrty and prime spectrum. Those that are cheering for VZW and AT&T to gobble up even more spectrum, should becareful what they wish for. Soon we will all be paying for it if this happens. The two smaller carriers will never obtain competitve angles or size to defend against the two larger. John B.

31. andynaija

Posts: 1268; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Very well said Mr. B

29. tokuzumi

Posts: 2024; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

It's just a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo. AT&T and Verizon will just raise costs anyway. LTE is cheaper for the carrier, but we pay more for data than ever before. I might have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night.

27. genkidama20

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Always supporting the underdog and always will. And when the underdog becomes the alpha male, I'll switch sides. That's how it should always work. Keeps it interesting. Go T-Mo! (at least until they become the major player, then I'll switch back).

26. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

Commmoonnneeee Sprint!!!! Spark it up Baby!!!

22. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

If I was Dan Hesse, I'd drop the whole T-Mobile buying thing and just tell Mr Son that they need to buy huge chunks of that spectrum. That is EXACTLY what you guys need to solve your coverage issues.

28. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

That's what they're doing with their 800mhz from the Nextel shutdown, so adding 600 wouldn't be improving much and it certainly wouldn't be worth the entrance fee to get it

17. Galen20K

Posts: 585; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Wow, listen to all this unfounded hate by Att and Verizon fanboys. It's comments like these that ruin YouTube and most other tech sites comment sections, the immature nature of online folks is sickening.

18. robert26101

Posts: 107; Member since: Mar 21, 2014

Sounds like you're a fanboy of T Mobile. Stay mad!

20. papss unregistered

No a worse thing is the crypt keeper that dogs the competition and changes their minds more than a child with five sweets in front of them. T-Mobile doesn't exactly instill confidence with their customers and non customers alike.. BlackBerry back peddling, employee discount policy changing twice in a week. I say karma sucks and I hope they learn a lession.

14. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

The majority of you commenting here are fools. How can you complain about T-Mobile's service on one hand, but don't want them to get the spectrum they need to improve the service? Makes absolutely no sense and just reeks of sheer fanboyism.

16. suavemezie

Posts: 98; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

When you call someone a fool for voicing out his opinion, I wonder what you are!

23. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

Certainly not a fool like you are, that's for certain. @SS Clown.

11. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

I have Tmobile & coverage is great in my area & price is awesome! Btw In order for Tmobile to improve service they need more spectrum.

9. papss unregistered

Glob has become the crybabies of cell service.. geez.. they take employees discounts then add them back..

8. mike2959

Posts: 700; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Just like TMO crying about Dish Network wanting to climb in the sandbox with the big 4! Big John is a big cry baby. Oh.. TMO... FIX YOUR COVERAGE!

4. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010


3. GadgetsMcGoo

Posts: 168; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

All is fair in love and war T-Mo. Now suck it up.

2. robert26101

Posts: 107; Member since: Mar 21, 2014

Screw T Mobile! Get that spectrum At&t and Verizon.

5. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

It's corporate butt kissers like you who ruin this country.

6. robert26101

Posts: 107; Member since: Mar 21, 2014

I'm not kissing their butts. I just hate T Mobile!

7. Sauce unregistered

Or anarchist brainwashed baboons like you.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

your thinking really shows who is brain washed. When you stop questioning and asking why then you lose the very thing that you value the most. Below is quotes from another brain washed baboon in your opinion I bet right? Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." Why cheer lead the very people that fight to make laws to rob your pockets as if they are your best friends? If they could they would pick your bones dry and brag about how they fleeced you.

10. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

i agree hope att gets it tmobiile already sucks inside buildings thats why i left em

12. andynaija

Posts: 1268; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

But then if T-Mobile gets the spectrum they won't suck as much inside buildings anymore.

13. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

One of the things that T-Mobile doesn't operate is the 850MHz band which is only available through roaming on ATT's network. They have 700MHz from VZW that probably won't rollout until the end of the year. So they'd need some of that 600MHz spectrum to have better building penetration and improve their service yet you people want it all to go to ATT so that you guys can continue to complain about TMo? I don't get it... "Yeah, they already suck indoors so let the other guy get it so that they continue to suck indoors." That's retarded and childish. I guess you all LIKE paying more for service that's gonna keep your prices high and and services limited instead of wanting the carrier that's stirring up the industry and causing change to continue to do so. Makes no sense at all.

15. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

i was a tmobile customer 4 years i just got TIRED that everytiime i went to the mall or a building dwtwn tmobile went to no service i live in los angeles and tmobile craps out in lots of stores buildings sure tmobile has wifi calling but many buildings dont have wifi some do and its locked so your screwed. Now att on the other hand u dont need wifi to call cuz att usually always has signal in the same building tmobile has nada , i hate paying more and not having unlimited data on att i really do hate it but hey i can at least make calls in places with tmobile i couldnt.

25. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

lamo @ not having unlimited Data!!! Pfhuck that shlt!!!

21. alouden unregistered

Exactly. Their argument makes no sense.

24. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

THANK YOU!!!!! again, WHY in the world pay more??

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