AT&T Doesn't Like 600MHz Auction Rules, May Skip It
AT&T indicated to the Federal Communications Commission this week that it disapproves of proposed rules for the upcoming incentive auction for 600MHz spectrum. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has floated a plan that would reserve spectrum in each market for companies that don't already have low-band spectrum. Thanks to its 700MHz spectrum holdings, AT&T would be restricted from bidding in about 70% of U.S. markets for the 600MHz spectrum. Wheeler's proposal has yet to be officially implemented, but AT&T's Joan Marsh said, "If the restrictions as proposed are adopted, AT&T will need to seriously consider whether its capital and resources are directed toward other spectrum opportunities that will better enable AT&T to continue to support high-quality LTE network deployments to serve its customers." If AT&T doesn't participate in the auction, it could hinder the FCC's goal of generating money to build a public safety network. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the incentive auction rules by May.
Sprint to Sit Out AWS-3 Auction
Sprint today confirmed that it will skip an upcoming spectrum auction. "Sprint has decided not to participate in the FCC's AWS-3 auction, but will continue to evaluate the opportunities presented by the upcoming 600MHz incentive auction," said Sprint spokesman Jeffrey Silva to Bloomberg.
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 Keeps Auction Reserve at 30 MHz
The FCC today finalized its proposed rules for next year's 600 MHz spectrum auction and kept the reserve for smaller carriers at 30 MHz. T-Mobile and others petitioned the FCC to raise the reserve to 40 MHz, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler believes the 30 MHz cap offers plenty of opportunity for those who may bid.
Sprint Hopes 600MHz Auction Permits Joint Bidding
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure recently suggested the company might participate in the forthcoming auction for 600MHz spectrum if it is allowed to bid jointly with smaller carriers. Claure made the remarks during a roundtable discussion at the Competitive Carrier Association's Global Expo in Atlanta.
FCC Suggests No Joint Bidding for Largest Carriers
The FCC wants to prevent the country's Tier 1 operators from filing joint bids in future spectrum auctions. The FCC recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking covering the matter, and is looking for comments on its belief that powerful carriers shouldn't be allowed to collude on spectrum purchases.
Sounds like someone's having a temper tantrum