T-Mobile wants the FCC to stop Verizon from bidding for spectrum in 12 markets next year

T-Mobile wants the FCC to stop Verizon from bidding for spectrum in 12 markets next year
T-Mobile has been trying for some time now, to keep Verizon and AT&T from using their riches to become richer during next March's FCC auction of 600MHz in low frequency spectrum. What makes these airwaves so valuable is their ability to travel farther and penetrate buildings better. For some time now, T-Mobile has tried to get the FCC to make sure that smaller carriers get to participate in the auction, so that the larger carriers don't end up purchasing the vast majority of the spectrum available.

To help the small carriers, the FCC set aside a spectrum reserve. In certain markets, some of the 600MHz spectrum is being held aside for bidding by carriers that own less than 45MHz of spectrum in that market. T-Mobile has filed with the FCC, requesting that the agency prevent Verizon from bidding on the spectrum reserve in 12 markets where it might be able to qualify as a bidder. Verizon is the nation's largest carrier, which makes it hard to see the FCC allowing it to bid on the spectrum reserve. After all, the reserve was instituted in order to prevent Verizon and AT&T from buying up all of the available spectrum.

The 12 markets that T-Mobile is asking the FCC to disallow Verizon from bidding on the spectrum reserve include:
Oklahoma City, Okla. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 44.83MHz),
Brownsville, Texas (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 44.97MHz),
Springfield, Mass. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 45.92MHz),
Bozeman, Mont. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 45.41MHz),
Galesburg, Ill. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 46.97MHz),
Great Falls, Mont. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 45.09MHz),
Yankton, S.D. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 44.88MHz),
Farmington, N.M. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 47MHz),
Sheridan, Wyo. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 44.94MHz),
Minot, N.D. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 46.82MHz),
Kanab, Utah (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 46.96MHz),
Valentine, Neb. (Verizon’s population-weighted holdings equal 45.02MHz).

Back in May, even after the FCC agreed to the spectrum reserve plan in order to make the playing field for the auction more level, T-Mobile and Sprint asked that even more spectrum be held aside from AT&T and Verizon. At that point, the FCC made it sound as though they had heard enough whining from Sprint and T-Mobile. Sprint, by the way, has dropped out of the auction, saying that it already owns enough spectrum.


As soon as the FCC makes a ruling on the T-Mobile filing, we will pass along the results. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is selling some assets in order to raise money for the auction. Today, the nation's third largest carrier sold 600 cell towers to Phoenix Tower International, according to the buyers. With T-Mobile planning to be aggressive bidders during the auction, this is one way for John Legere and crew to raise cash.

source: FCC, PhoenixTowers via TmoNews (1), (2)

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11 Comments

1. suavemezie

Posts: 95; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

Someone is being grumpy

4. bambamboogy02

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Why are they being punished? Why only in the spectrum bidding is this restricted THIS much?

5. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Ya John le gere CEO of t mobile... Bad mood.. lol

2. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Weird that t-mobile is whining yet again about a competitor

3. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Reject!. Why tmobile has special privilege? Fair market, play fair.

6. daddyd302

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 17, 2008

So you want Verizon to own all the spectrum? What do you think they're gonna do if that happens? Fair market? You see how much Verizon wants for the LG Urbane second edition? $450 on contract, and $500 off contract. AT&T charges $300 for theirs and you can use it on T-Mobile but I'm not sure you can use it on Verizon. Fair market? Try asking a Comcast customer about their cable bill and how Comcast is starting to cap their data at 300G a month.

7. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Since both ATT and VZW got cellular spectrum for free in the 800MHz band, they should be banned from any auction for spectrum below that band. Fair market, not players favored by the government with gifts that others have to pay for.

8. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

To go with this. They likely had a deal with the gov to have up a certain amount of towers within a certain period of time. The gov wants the infrastructure in place. They set deadlines for lte to be in place(2012). Don't get it twisted the gov will take over the network if ever needed. That's why they wanted it in place. There more too it. The kick backs were for the LTE.

9. StanleyG88

Posts: 240; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

The Cell carrier business has never been a fair market. that's why we have so many network holes & dropout areas.

10. ejcapri

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

Wait; Verizon has the Government Contract. Do you really expect the FCC to limit them on spectrum? Now that's some funny ish.,,, Good luck with that T-Mobile; did you guys study the effects of "Conflict of Interest" because the FCC has a complete conflict of Interest with Verizon Wireless that doesn't work out in your benefit.

11. ShadowHammer

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Which could be a reason why T-Mobile is complaining. I agree that Verizon will still get special treatment though.

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