T-Mobile Prepared to Buy Lots of 600MHz Spectrum
T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said the Uncarrier is making plans to participate in next year's incentive auction and it will be on the hunt for low-band spectrum. Carter indicated the company has as much as $10 billion to spend on spectrum, though it expects to spend much less than that to get what it needs to expand coverage. T-Mobile is being aided by the FCC, which set aside 30MHz of spectrum for smaller companies. "Never in the history of the U.S. has there been an auction where there has been a set aside of spectrum for the competitive carriers," said Carter. "It's such a victory for us" and "sets up amazing pricing dynamics. I think this will be a robust auction." T-Mobile hopes to score enough 600MHz spectrum to fill in the coverage gaps where it doesn't already have 700MHz low-band spectrum. T-Mobile's 700MHz A Block allows it to cover approximately 190 million people with LTE. The company's grand plan is to be able to provide a national footprint.
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.
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.
T-Mobile Implores FCC to Set Aside More Low-Band Spectrum
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray filed a letter with the FCC asking it to raise the amount of spectrum set aside for competitive carriers in the forthcoming 600MHz reverse auction. The FCC has already agreed to reserve 30MHz of spectrum for carriers other than AT&T and Verizon.
FCC Likely to Side with AT&T and Verizon in Spectrum Fight
The FCC is close to making a final decision regarding how much spectrum to set aside for smaller carriers in next year's 600MHz auction and T-Mobile isn't going to be happy. The FCC has already set aside 30MHz of the airwaves in question for smaller carriers, thereby limiting how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon — the nation's two largest carriers — can acquire.