Sprint, Too, Will Skip H Block Auction
Sprint today followed in T-Mobile's footsteps by announcing that it will not bid in the upcoming auction for H Block spectrum. The Federal Communications Commission plans to begin auctioning off a 10MHz slice of 1900MHz PCS spectrum in January. Sprint was tagged as a potential bidder due to the proximity of the H Block spectrum to its own 1900MHz holdings. "Sprint is focused on gaining access to more low-band spectrum to add to the company's spectrum portfolio, so we have opted not to participate in the upcoming H Block auction," the company said in a statement. "With the launch of Sprint Spark, Sprint is working to deploy its 2.5GHz licenses along with licenses in 800MHz and 1900MHz to provide customers greater network speeds and capacity. We expect to offer Sprint Spark in approximately 100 of the largest U.S. cities by the end of 2016." Sprint may be eyeballing the 600MHz-band spectrum that the FCC is hoping to wrest away from broadcast television providers through a separate incentive auction. Cell signals propagate better and farther in lower spectrum bands.
Sprint to Skip 600MHz Incentive Auction
Sprint today said it will not participate in the 600MHz reverse auction planned for next year. The company believes its spectrum position is "sufficient to provide its current and future customers great network coverage." Sprint owns significant amounts of spectrum, but much of it is concentrated in the 2.5GHz range.
AT&T Seeking 20MHz Block of 600MHz Spectrum
AT&T is making plans to participate in next year's incentive auction, according to CFO John Stephens. "Spectrum is a scare asset, and so we would expect to participate," said Stephens, speaking at technology conference.
Verizon Might Skip 600MHz Incentive Auction
Verizon Wireless said it is comfortable with its spectrum holdings at the moment and may not bid in next year's auction for 600MHz airwaves. Verizon is only using 40% of its licensed spectrum for LTE, which gives it plenty of room to add capacity.
FCC Commish Uses Sprint As Launch Point to Bash Auction
Following Sprint's decision to skip next year's 600MHz incentive auction, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai had harsh words for the FCC's plans. "Sprint's decision highlights the folly of the FCC's attempt to pick winners and losers before the auction begins," said Pai, in reference to the rules being assigned to the auction.