FCC to Count Sprint's 2.5GHz Holdings In Spectrum Screens
The Federal Communications Commission plans to adjust the way it accounts for the spectrum holdings of companies when calculating spectrum screens. The government typically limits companies to owning one-third or less of the spectrum in any given market around the country. The FCC uses this screen to assess mergers and acquisitions. The FCC plans to reclassify 128.5MHz of airwaves that were previously reserved for religious and other groups so it can be counted amongst the airwaves owned by mobile network operators. Of the 128.5MHz, 101MHz is held by Sprint. The result of this reclassification will directly impact Sprint because its 2.5GHz spectrum holdings will be counted against it for the first time. According to The Wall Street Journal, the addition of its 2.5GHz holdings to its existing spectrum totals will put Sprint at the one-third mark or higher in many major markets around the country. This will directly impact Sprint's ability to acquire other companies, such as T-Mobile. The FCC plans to vote on the matter at a meeting scheduled for May 15.
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.
AT&T Closes Acquisition of FiberTower, Gains mmWave for 5G
AT&T today said it has finalized its acquisition of FiberTower and in the process gained a foothold in the spectrum needed to deploy 5G. Specifically, AT&T now owns 375 MHz of 39 GHz spectrum in the top 100 markets around the country.
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.
T-Mobile, US Cellular Named FCC Incentive Auction Winners
The FCC today marked the official end of the incentive auction for 600 MHz airwaves. The agency said 50 wireless companies bid a cumulative $19.8 billion on some 70 MHz of spectrum that was put on offer by 175 television stations.
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.