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.
Masayoshi Son Would Consider Selling Sprint Spectrum
SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son indicated he'd be willing to sell some of the company's 2.5GHz spectrum assets to keep Sprint funded. Sprint gained a massive amount of 2.5GHz spectrum holdings when it purchased Clearwire.
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.
Sprint, T-Mobile Want FCC to Eye AT&T's Spectrum Spree
Sprint, T-Mobile, and others want the FCC to "carefully scrutinize" a number of AT&T's proposed low-band spectrum acquisitions. AT&T has asked the FCC for permission to purchase 700MHz spectrum from a range of small companies around the country.
T-Mobile and Verizon Agree to Another Spectrum Swap
T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have petitioned the FCC for permission to swap AWS and PCS spectrum licenses in 92 counties and/or 41 Cellular Market Areas around the country. The companies propose to switch spectrum licenses, but not cellular assets or customers.
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.