T-Mobile takes on Verizon in Spectrum Wars

T-Mobile takes on Verizon in Spectrum Wars
In the old days, verbal knockdown dragout fights used to take forever. Snail mail battles had to wait for the actual pickup and delivery of the words. But this is a much different age we live in and thanks to Twitter, a few timely tweets will assure that the whole world knows where you stand on an issue. Back in February Verizon and T-Mobile got into a battle of words when Big Red said that it was using its spectrum more efficiently than the nation's fourth largest carrier. Tweets were exchanged, words were said, but so far no one has lost an eye.

In a press release issued Wednesday, T-Mobile attacked Verizon's reasoning behind comments it made against T-Mobile in support of Big Red's purchase of  AWS spectrum from a group of cable firms. Last month, the FCC told Verizon that it wanted the carrier to prove that it needed the additional spectrum next year, and wanted the three cable firms selling the licenses to explain why the trio could not use the spectrum for themselves. The Feds gave Verizon a March 22nd deadline and we are still waiting to hear from the FCC on whether it will green light the purchase by Verizon.

Big Red has justified its purchase of the spectrum by saying it is one of the most efficient carriers in the world and is twice as efficient as T-Mobile. The latter has taken exception to this comment and shows where Verizon has gone wrong with its math. The latter divides each carrier's total subscribers by a average amount of spectrum. According to T-Mobile, this analysis is flawed because it is done on a nationwide basis when it should be done market-by-market because of the way that spectrum holdings and market share vary greatly in different markets.

Additionally, T-Mobile claims that in Verizon's calculations of T-Mobile's network, the mobile operator used spectrum that the latter has not taken possession of yet which makes T-Mobile look like it has much fewer subscribers than Verizon has for the same amount of spectrum. The spectrum being added to T-Mobile's total by Verizon is coming from AT&T as consolation for pulling out of the deal to acquire the company, and is awaiting FCC approval to have the appropriate license transferred. Ironically, in its calculations for its own figures, Verizon doesn't include the spectrum that it is waiting to hear about from the FCC which in effect gives the carrier the look of a much more efficient mobile operator.

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T-Mobile also points out that smartphones use 35 times as much data as featurephones and that T-Mobile has a higher percentage of smartphone customers than Verizon. Additionally, Verizon has a majority of its spectrum in frequency bands under 1GHz which is more efficient than bands over 1GHz, which is where all of T-Mobile's spectrum lies.

Taking all of these conditions into account, T-Mobile says it is more efficient than Verizon in the Top 5 markets, 8 out of the top 10 and 31 out of the top 49. On average, says T-Mobile, it is 50% more efficient than Verizon which is a much different story than what Verizon is telling the FCC. And while T-Mobile is refarming its PCS and AWS technology for next-gen LTE service, it will still require more spectrum to have a national LTE rollout. As the carrier says, "As competitors like Verizon roll out LTE, it is important that T-Mobile be right there as well – bringing competition and choice to consumers."

T-Mobile says that the FCC should not allow Verizon to sink its hooks into the last block of currently available LTE enabled spectrum since Verizon would most likely sit on the spectrum whereas others, like T-Mobile, would put it to use immediately.

source: TmoNews

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