Tmo won’t bid in January U.S. government spectrum auction

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Following news that T-Mobile would be selling off 66 million shares in order to raise money for purchasing spectrum, the tech world’s became intrigued as to exactly how it would spend the estimated $1.8-$2 billion raised. Turns out, the H-Block spectrum on auction at a planned January auction isn’t on the list.

As reported by Reuters:

“NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc said on Tuesday it would not participate in a spectrum auction the U.S. government plans to hold in January but still left investors in suspense over how it will use the proceeds from a roughly $2 billion stock offering.”

So while we don’t know exactly what the carrier is planning to buy with the money raised, we know what it isn’t planning to spend on. I wish I could bring you more clarity than that. We all like to know our favorite carrier is being wise but ambitious with its spending. Right now we know little except that T-Mobile’s share value dropped as soon as news of stock sale reached the web.

In the long run however, this is just another move by the company’s chiefs that’ll help the company grow and become a genuine contender. If coverage growth and increase in subscribers from the past 6 months is anything to go by, that is certainly a possibility.

Via: Reuters

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  • varun

    “$1.8-$2 million raised”

    Billion, perhaps? Million won’t cover coffee at the FCC.

    • sidekicker89

      yup!

    • timmyjoe42

      That’s 2 articles in a row with million in it.

      • KingCobra

        Reuter’s says billion in the article.

        • funnyretweets

          It looks like @timmyjoe42:disqus has his account being moderated and can’t post without approval. Way to go Tmonews. Good job on taking this place down even further. Maybe you should spend more time proof reading your articles and less time moderating comments…

    • http://benpike.net/ Ben Pike

      Give him a break – they’re on the metric system ;-)

      • MastarPete

        I lol’d

    • Cam Bunton

      Yep. Typo. Apologies. Fixed.

      • ChristianMcC

        Like the new pic; last one wasn’t flattering, too “fluorescenty”…

  • vrm

    That is for PCS and it is not unexpected because they do not need any more. They already have EDGE/GPRS running on PCS all over and got more from metroPCS.

    I expect them to buy AWS and 700 Mhz bands from whoever is willing to sell. That will complement their n/w, work with current devices and play into their strategy to lure at&t/verizon users with their iphones etc.

    • sidekicker89

      That’s a good assumption! I heard AT&T is launching LTE on their PCS band too… From what I read that won’t increase the speeds just help capacity/reliability.

    • KingCobra

      Reuter’s says that Tmobile plans to buy spectrum with the $2 billion from an unidentified private party. Probably will be named later.

      • taron19119

        I think it is going to be LightSquared who is selling spectrum as part of their bankruptcy proceedings

        • J-Hop2o6

          It wont be LS spectrum since what they hold is for Satellite airwaves, not for Cell Tower airwaves. LS already tried to, but was blocked since it interrupts/interferes with GPS signals. So no, Tmo won’t go for that. Isn’t what this January action is for? For LS’s spectrum? Or is it the PCS auction?

      • Chris

        This makes more sense, because going into an auction you have to have large sums of cash in the first place to pretty much outbid the competition. But buying from a third party, they would be getting more bangs for their bucks.

    • Alex Zapata

      I don’t think they need any more AWS, but I also can’t think of any companies willing to sell any 700MHz chunks either. I could be wrong though.

  • taron19119

    I think it is going to be LightSquared who is selling spectrum as part of their bankruptcy proceedings

    • CPPCrispy

      Why would T-Mobile want LightSquared spectrum? Its not low frequency and it interferes with GPS.

      • J-Hop2o6

        This. The 600MHz auction is later 2014 or early 2015. Hopefully 2014.

    • mloudt

      Nah Dish is looking to buy LightSquared spectrum it will compliment them but not T-mobile.

    • Adrayven

      Why go down a road that already has killed one company? That frequency was already killed by FCC as it interferes with GPS.. Not even sure why anyone would want it at this point; FCC might as well as give it over to GPS, as they just sloppily broadcast on it anyway.

    • Alex Zapata

      With all the problems they had with that spectrum I highly doubt it.

  • CPPCrispy

    I wonder if they are stock piling cash for the 600MHz auction or if they will be going after one of the smaller carriers.

    • xmiro

      nah, the 600Mhz auction is not a done deal. TV stations are resisting it because of huge costs associated with moving, and also interference from the re-pack

      • J-Hop2o6

        Re-pack?

        • xmiro

          TV stations that are in the 30-50Mhz range will be moved down to the 14-30Mhz range, packed closely together or on the same frequency with some stations going away completely.

        • J-Hop2o6

          So this messes with OTA TV right? And what channels are on the 600MHz spectrum?

        • xmiro

          probably not the big 4 stations ( ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) but it may, if some of them are forced to share a channel – like a FOX and a CBS station, which happens in some markets already. So you won’t get the maximum quality with the current ATSC spec.

          There’s ATSC 2.0 on the way, and they’re working on ATSC 3.0 that will allow for more than 19Mbps in a 6Mhz TV channel, perhaps mimicking or utilizing LTE technology, including video on demand.

          We’ll see, but so far many station owners are resisting the re-pack. DTV is already bad in many areas, many station owners spent just spent $5-7 million just for DTV upgrades. Some stations had to erect new antennas. Plus, there are only about 5 crews in the US from what I’ve read, who can maintain TV towers.

          The whole 600Mhz transition is scheduled for a 10yr timeline. And that’s assuming TV station owners don’t challenge the FCC in court, like low-power stations might because they’re effectively going to be forced to go dark

        • J-Hop2o6

          Interesting. Thanks for the info!

  • Alex Zapata

    Hmmm, now I’m curious.

  • vinnyjr

    Mr Legere has my complete trust. This guy is a Freaken Cowboy and I like it. Mr Legere is just the guy that T-Mobile USA needs.

  • Deceptive Smiles

    Smart move, I feel trying to buy from the auction is hustling backwards. U have the risk of the price being ran up in spirit of “competition” so that the $2billion won’t stretch as far. I’d much rather prefer that they had kept this under wraps unless the agreement between them and the selling party was in black and white

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Whatever John is up to must be good but I am hoping for some some low spectrum in the near future

    • Adrayven

      Yeah, the 1700/2100 just doesn’t break through.. The 1700 part isn’t bad, but AWS relies on 2100 too, as I understand it, and that just doesn’t break through.

  • Richard Finzel

    Personally I would rather see rural 4g coverage expansion, but that is just me.

    • Chris

      Hence, why they want to buy more spectrum.

    • Dakota

      Im sure more people live in urban areas so thats probably a priority…Before going into total rural areas, they probably need to focus on suburbs and areas outside the city

    • Zach Mauch

      They’ve hit most cities. I would hope for highways to be the next focus. It really depends on how rural you are talking. They won’t hit Verizon level for several years.

      • Richard Finzel

        I’m talking T-Mobile hitting areas of 30-45 mins outside of a big city… For crying out loud my city has even Sprint putting in LTE… T-Mobile is way behind in crippled over crowded EDGE. Also T-Mobile has way more than enough spectrum to use, they are just choosing not to…

  • sushimane

    i have full faith on john on what he planning to do with tmobile people complain about coverage maybe this would be the key.

  • funnyretweets

    What if the customers want more spectrum?

    • fentonr

      Why would customers care about more spectrum? What they want is more coverage and more spectrum doesn’t necessarily equal more coverage. I’m just tossing out an idea here but maybe Tmo is raising funds to build out what they already have and purchase spectrum from competitors to fill in the gaps. Buying a chunk of non-contiguous spectrum isn’t necessarily the best way to get better coverage. I don’t know that, just a thought.

      • xmiro

        because spectrum matters for building penetration, capacity, and coverage in rural areas where it’s too expensive to put towers for 1900mhz spectrum vs 700,800,900mhz

        • fentonr

          Kind of missed the point of what I was saying. :) Just having spectrum doesn’t do any good and considering t-mobile can’t just throw money at the problem until it goes away there might be a better way to improve coverage.

        • Adrayven

          Can’t improve coverage in areas you have no spectrum. They need it, bad. Until then, expansion of 3G/4G to new areas simply won’t happen, no matter what they plan and scheme.

  • Dakota

    Maybe they’ll use the money so that they can offer the Nexus 5 as the same price as Google Play?

  • Jay J. Blanco

    hmmm did a little investigating and Cricket has AWS spectrum in some area T-Mobile has neglected maybe T-Mobile will invest in expanding coverage. Or T-Mobile might be trying to launch Advance LTE by January 2014. I think LTE-A is what T-Mo is shooting for with this though. 600mhz auction is out of the question because yahoo finance spilled the beans on that. T-mo also could be targeting Cable companies spectrum holdings. We’ll just have to see though

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      They only have LTE-10, so they already have that.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        LTE 10 and LTE-A plays hand in hand. LTE-10 is just to provide higher bitrates thats all.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          Ah. Interesting. Thank you.

        • fentonr

          I’d be thrilled to see LTE-Advanced, the spec is for some crazy speeds, still, I’d rather better coverage. Either way, improvements are improvements.

    • Delusion_FTL

      ATT bid 1.2 B for Leap, maybe T-mo is going to try and outbid? I doubt it because Legere has said they’d rather take leap customers via churn than a buyout, but Leap has a reasonable amount of AWS and PCS licenses that are tempting.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Maybe so but leap has already voted to be taken over by the death star.

    • Alex Zapata

      LTE-A is about soooo much more than just faster bitrates. There’s so many awesome features it makes my head spin.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        indeed indeed.

  • mmmaxheadroom

    all of us cellular anyone?

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Maybe so… We’ll have to see

      • Mark

        Given that US Cellular already has LTE in my area, I’d support that!

        • Jared Wolfe

          I hope so! I travel to Omaha from Denver often. US Cellular is pretty decent in the Midwest.

  • S. Ali

    T-Mobile will not be able to afford 600mhz spectrum because ATT and Verizon will put up the cash to buy as much as possible. I’d rather see them try to get 700mhz and expand coverage to and replace 2G towers along highways and expand to top 1000 markets.

    • nycplayboy78

      AMEN!!!

    • Sexual Harassment Panda

      Yep, plus if you bid and win, you buy down a large block. TMo has always leased blocks from others

      • TMOTECH

        Wow you really speak without knowing. T-Mobile does not lease spectrum.

    • TMOTECH

      Replace towers? A tower costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. That would be an enormous waste of money. Why wouldn’t they just add to the existing towers? Or build new ones instead if replacing what they already have?

  • superg05

    good pass 600mhz or nothing

  • iansltx

    The H block has little value to T-Mobile, since it’s not adjacent to any of their holdings (PCS G is in the way) and they don’t currently run LTE on PCS anyway.

    Plus, they would get in a bidding war with Sprint for the block if they tried…Sprint would either win anyway or T-Mobile would pay way too much for a small swath of spectrum.

    And, now that T-Mobile isn’t a sworn enemy of Sprint, they don’t want to do things to Sprint just to spite ‘em.

    Better to save the cash for 600MHz.

    • taron19119

      The h block is the 600MHz

      • philyew

        No. It’s in the PCS (1900 Mhz) band.

    • Alex Zapata

      Carrier aggregation would make the H block work just fine, but I don’t think TMO is hurting for any high frequency spectrum.

  • terryjohnson16

    Would be crazy if sprint only bought into this

  • Roger Sales

    From what I understand it’s to buy Verizon’s 700 mhz A block spectrum…..meaning T-Mobile may be looking to gobble up the smaller carriers that deploy that in the long run. Color me very intrigued if this goes down.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      hmm 700mhz A that means we need new phones in the future. or would it?

      • Roger Sales

        No matter what spectrum T-Mobile buys(and obviously they are looking for spectrum under 1ghz), we would need new handsets to support that frequency, but your old handset will pick up reception from the rest of the network just fine. If they do go for the 700 block, its to increase building penetration and go for customers who have trouble getting reception where they work/live so have had to turn to AT&T and Verizon.

        Honestly, as long as the A block doesn’t have interference issues it’d be great for T-Mobile to have.

      • Alex Zapata

        Unless they magically get some band 17 or convince the handset manufacturers to send out baseband updates, everyone will need a new phone.