T-Mobile yet again petitions FCC to change 600MHz auction rules to promote competition

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In a filing to the FCC published on Friday, T-Mobile yet again put a case forward for how it thinks the next major low spectrum auction should be run. As it stands, T-Mo doesn’t think that the Commission is setting enough spectrum aside for the smaller carriers, or carriers who don’t already have shedloads of hoarded spectrum.

In a blog post bemoaning the current state of spectrum in the US and the recent AWS-3 auction result, Legere stated that  the rules need to promote competition by reserving 40 MHz or at least half of the available spectrum in the next auction for sale to the competition. We’re not asking for a government handout like the Twin Bells got. We’re just asking that the rules level the playing field to sustain a competitive market.” 

T-Mobile is asking for a couple of changes to be made. Firstly, it wants there to be 40MHz or at least half of the available spectrum to be reserved for the competitive carriers. In other words: Not Verizon or AT&T. According to the filing, this incentive auction is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for the FCC to make sure that all carriers are able to get their hands on low-band spectrum.

Secondly, it doesn’t want there to be any kind of bidding where spectrum is kept out of the hands of smaller service providers in favor of companies who can’t even use the airwaves. Rules need to stop this kind of bidding activity, according to T-Mobile.

“The lynchpin of the Commission’s competitive bidding rules is that spectrum auctions should place license in the hands of those who value them most highly and will put them to use. Among the Commission’s tactics to achieve efficient allocation of spectrum licenses is that bidders not be unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged during the bidding process as a result of agreements between participants.” 

To stop this from happening, T-Mo believes that the FCC should only allow participants to enter if they can demonstrate that they have some kind of build-out activity within a year of being licensed, among more fine-tuning of current stipulations.

Thirdly, the Commission is being asked by the carrier not to prevent participants from joint-bidding for spectrum during the auction. This is perhaps key for T-Mo since it was rumoured that it would be siding with Sprint in a joint venture to bid for airwaves. The most recent rule changes would hinder that plan severely.

T-Mobile is also urging the Commission not to delay the beginning of the auction to help Verizon and AT&T save up more cash to swipe away the majority of the licenses on offer.

To read the full petition, head on over to this FCC filing.

Source: FCC

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  • sushimane

    Crossing my fingers that the fcc would consider it if they really want to promote competition. Their not asking for a hand out but looking out for the smaller carriers tmobile,sprint and downwards. But we’re have to wait and see.

    • n900mixalot

      Their job is to protect competition, not promote it.

      The rules need to apply to everyone the same. They can place restrictions on bids but not WHO bids.

      • Serge

        The restrictions do apply to everyone the same. All carriers are restricted to license no more than 30% of all the spectrum. This restriction has been in place for decades.

        The reserved low band spectrum is in line with the general restriction. Only those companies that already licensed more than 30% of low band spectrum in a market are restricted to bid on the reserved low band spectrum in that market.

        • dtam

          I’m starting to think that percentage should be 25% instead. there are 4 major carriers and a bunch of smaller ones.

      • Bravadu

        I thought they wanted to promote competition. If not then AT&T can have 50% of the new spectrum, Verizon can have 50%, and the others can have the rest.

  • TK – Indy

    This from the same guy that said “We got 100% of the new postpaid accounts last year”? Sounds like competition is thriving already without the need for the FCC to help pad his company’s value for its upcoming sale.

    • n900mixalot

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

      Also, a lot of his proposal goes against “free enterprise.” I though everyone wanted LESS regulation, and the market should decide who wins and loses, not regulators.

      Sucks to be on the wrong side of the fence, Legere, doesn’t it. Let’s talk about Music Freedom for a minute. What about streaming services that aren’t available, or other media for streaming like video?

      Data should be data, just like bidding in an auction should be bidding in an auction.

      • GinaDee

        Yes and the reality is that the 600 MHz auction is already poised to be undervalued. The broadcasters will not sell if the likes of AT&T and Verizon are denied entry or the ability to purchase large swaths of high quality low band spectrum.

        Legere is always first to point out how he has more bandwidth and available spectrum per user than the others yet it’s AT&T and Verizon who both support well over 100 million customers and need additional capacity to handle demand. I’m an AT&T, Verizon ad T-Mobile customer so believe me I know.

        Instead of asking for a government handout I believe Legere should leverage a US based investor with deep pockets and compete with cash at the table. He’s done a great job with the resources he has and I’m sure a wealthy US corporation or donor would be more than happy to take up his cause.

        I just do not agree with our US govt. taking sides with T-Mobile or any other for-profit company in order to boost its financial clout or position artificially.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          You forgot the fact T-Mobile didn’t receive nationwide spectrum for free. T-Mobile is just asking for a level playing field. Not asking for much. AT&T & Verizon still is going to walk away with the best licenses

        • Jay J. Blanco

          You forgot the fact T-Mobile didn’t receive nationwide spectrum for free. T-Mobile is just asking for a level playing field. Not asking for much. AT&T & Verizon still is going to walk away with the best licenses

        • Anon

          The same could be said about land that was given to homesteaders after the first World War. Our government always gives away handouts to stimulate the economy. You snooze..you loose.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Spectrum handouts doesn’t spur econony it gave them a large advantage. When DT entered market and set up show they had nothing but mid band spectrum.

        • Anon

          But you are missing the point. The cellular market no longer needs stimulating. So handouts would only aid the profit margins of the cellular companies. None of the top 4 cell companies need handouts to increase their profits. If you want ocean front property, you have to pay for it. If you don’t or can’t pay for it, then the government does not need to give you ocean front property just because someone else has it and you don’t. Neither life nor business are fair. However, it would be appropriate for the government to give away spectrum in areas with NO CELLULAR carriers to promote competition. But if multiple companies already exist, then the government should leave the market to pick winners and losers.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Well that’s good you agree on that, so you would agree on AT&T n Verizon paying for the spectrum they were given.

          T-Mobile doesn’t want free spectrum that’s what you don’t get. They are willing to pay for it.

          It’s not a freaking handout if they reserve 40mhz for smaller carriers. And have the other chunk for the giant two. Everyone will get spectrum and everyone will be happy.

          what do you think t-mobile did? Stimulated the cellular market. Changing prices and driving a price War. People are tired of being charged crazy rates.

        • Anon

          Preventing AT&T and Verizon from being able to bid on ALL of the spectrum would be giving T-Mobile (and Sprint) a handout.

          Frankly I think if they reserve any spectrum, all of the top 4 carriers should be excluded. T-Mobile is large enough that they should be grouped together with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. That would be a fair auction. Let DT pump some money into T-Mobile by giving them the money to pay for quality spectrum.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          It would be fair at all when AT&T and Verizon makes more money then t-mobile do. T-Mobile would need help financially to compete. If DT did give t-mobile the money t-mobile wouldn’t be asking for reserving of spectrum

        • archerian

          True, can’t claim “My major shareholder isn’t willing to help me out, so I need favorable rules” .. but the fact is DT doesn’t seem to be interested in investing further in TMUS, so they are off on their own. JL can’t thrash talk or tweet the FCC into submission, only cold hard cash will help. The FCC will most likely not want to restrict any players from bidding and the TV stations wont either as then their reverse incentive would be far lesser. They are already in a lawsuit over their spectrum.

        • Anon

          This only proves the point that T-Mobile is asking for a handout. T-Mobile (and Sprint) are for profit entities. If T-Mobile or Sprint cannot compete, then maybe they should execute their exit plan and sell off their spectrum. Otherwise they should bid alongside AT&T and Verizon without any government welfare.

        • Serge

          T-Mobile is in fact grouped with AT&T and Verizon. The restriction is based on the current low band ownership in each individual market not on the size of carrier. AT&T and Verizon qualify to bid on the reserved spectrum in some markets.

          If you believe in free market you should also allow DT to cash out any day. They should be able to sell the company to the highest bidder. In fact all carriers should be able to merge into one.

        • dtam

          yeah, DT is not pumping in money. they have been trying to offload the company in fact but weren’t allowed to because the FCC says they want 4 nationwide providers. since we have that established, the only way to have competition is to reserve spectrum for the smaller carriers.

          it’s really one of the other…let tmo/sprint merge or allow them to compete with spectrum

        • analyzethis

          T-Mobile is whining because they don’t have the funds to bid at auction when they are owned by one of the world’s largest companies.

          Talk about crying wolf.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          60% owned big difference.

        • Anon

          In a corporation, 60% owned is a big deal. Usually corporations are pieced together out of little chunks.

          It’s not like this is an American, family-owned business that we are talking about. This is a large foreign owned corporation that wants an unfair advantage to control U.S. spectrum.

          Maybe the lower band frequencies should only be allowed to be owned by companies with a majority U.S. shareholders. The FCC can quote national security concerns.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          T-Mobile is 4 merged US companies Into one company.

          and t-mobile DO NOT HAVE A ADVANTAGE BUT PRICE. Your whole point is pointless. be real.

          AT&T and Verizon having a advantage with nationwide 700mjz and 800mhz is unfair And letting them get all the 600mhz and leave scraps like 700mjz auction would be horrible and unfair. They both have good AWS now they don’t need capacity at all for a while.

          foreign investment is better then anything.

          Your last comment is ridiculous get a grip.

        • Anon

          Do you understand how corporations work? They have shareholders. There is no restriction on who may purchase unless the company is privately owned. However, there are restrictions on how much foreign investment is allowed in critical infrastructure. Any single entity owning 60% of another is a big deal.

          T-Mobile does not currently have the best price for cellular service. That distinction actually goes to an AT&T owned company called Cricket. Currently Cricket offers the best price in the U.S and has the extensive AT&T network.

          T-Mobile could have an extensive network. However, they have decided to only spend money and build out their network in heavily populated areas while ignoring rural areas. This is a choice based on financial strategies and not one due to a lack of spectrum. With the spectrum holdings that they have, they could simply do as Sprint does and have more cell towers. But they do not want to do so. They prefer to complain that they need lower band spectrum rather than improve their coverage using their existing holdings.

          So get a grip of the facts, not just what you want to believe is true.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          1.) T-Mobile has more towers then Sprint.
          2.) And it’s easier for said then done. T-Mobile just got a ruling from Supreme court on 1 tower in Colorado. Even if they did they would run into hurdles like that.
          It’s NOT economically fiasiable to build a national network on 1900mhz. It doesnt penatrate well. Obviously your not a t-mobile customer And have not witnessed this at all. So ain’t no way in Hell they could build put a mid band nationwide network they would go bankrupt.

          Mid band is for CAPACITY CAPACITY not COVERAGE Like lowband. Go do your homework.

        • Anon

          Wrong. You should do your research. You can build out a network on 1900mhz. T-Mobile just does not have the cash to do so properly.

          Actually I am on T-Mobile and have been for a long time. But I am getting tired of their excuses for poor coverage. It’s always AT&T’s or Verizon’s fault.

          It’s time for T-Mobile to put its big boy pants on and spend the time and money to build more towers.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Dude do you know how many towers t-mobile would need. I’ve been to rural part on 1900mhz lte. Soon as tree cover hits service starts to drop. No way in hell that would be economically plausible for tmobile.

          It’s not a excuse it’s the spectrum holdings and you should know that LONG TIME CUSTOMER

          They need more 700mhz and 600mhz spectrum to build a more reliable network.

          Midland is not gone cut it, go do your research. 1900mhz don’t penatrate buildings

        • Anon

          They had a chance to buy 700mhz spectrum and sat out the auction. So T-Mobile should just bite the bullet and pay the big bucks for the 600mhz or build more towers. It’s that simple.

          T-Mobile is a business and needs to act like one.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          That’s why they are buying the scraps of 700mhz. That’s all they would have got if they bidded anyways

        • Anon

          700mhz scraps are still good eating.

          It’s not the size but how you use it.

        • analyzethis

          No it isn’t. They were 74% owned and Tmobile Germany sold stock for the last auction rather than invest in TMUS. I believe they still own somewhere north of 66%.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Somewhere in the 60s…

        • analyzethis

          T-Mobile Germany doesn’t want to spend a dime on TMUS so they can’t get the money to bid at a real auction. Whose fault is that?

        • Anon

          That would be TMUS at fault. It is their duty to convince DT to spend money. Maybe TMUS needs a new leader? It is the primary job of any CEO to raise funds.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          T-Mobile US is a US company that is majority owned by a foreign entity. That is very different than T-Mobile being a subsidiary of a foreign firm, like they formerly were for many years.

          Ideally, I want to be rid of the Germans. Deutsche Telekom is and was an awful parent of T-Mobile US. The only thing they’re good for is their IP.

        • analyzethis

          AT&T had a working wireless system in 1948 and developed the cellular system. Nearly 40 years ago spectrum was received in exchange for commitments to spend billions on new network roll outs.

          Both A-side frequency and B-Side frequency were ‘given’ out so if T-Mobile hadn’t been nearly 20 years late to the market they could have had some of that free bandwidth via lottery in the US the same way Deutsche Bundespost received their spectrum in Germany – free of charge.

          You’re whining about a company not being given any free spectrum when they weren’t even in the market?

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Your missing the whole point AT&T and Verizon has a huge advantage and T-Mobile just wants a 40 to 50mhz reserved for smaller carriers. Everyone is going to get 600mhz but we don’t want a repeat of the 70hz auction because AT&T and Verizon is going to walk away with it all. Americans would lose out the most because right now we already are and have been for nearly 10 years

        • analyzethis

          AT&T and Verizon have twice as many customers each than T-Mobile does so if you want fair dole out spectrum based on customer numbers otherwise its unfair to the larger carriers.

          If you are going to start setting rules in an auction other than high bidder its not an auction.

          Neither Sprint nor Tmobile are ‘small’ carriers. They are part of very large international carriers who have the resources to bid and win at auction.

        • archerian

          It wasn’t free handouts, the earliest spectrum blocks were given out via lottery. People could bid for it, and several people like Hollywood actors and senators won the lottery. Once they won it, the re-sold it to actual telecom companies at a hefty profit, which was Bell in that time. So Bell didn’t get any for spectrum for free, for some circles it had to pay tens of millions of dollars. T-mobile wasn’t around then, so they couldn’t buy any spectrum. You can’t really say Bell got an advantage other than the fact that they were around then, you cannot reserve spectrum planning for a new competitor to emerge 20 years later. T-mobile could have bid in the 2008 700Mhz auction but chose not to, buying AWS spectrum in a later auction which limited phone availability for 3G.

        • Kidney_Thief

          AWS was auctioned before the 700 MHz auction, and because the entities using the spectrum were taking so long to vacate it, they were last to deploy 3G and it’s been haunting them since.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          You realize t-mobile didn’t because they knew the outcome Already. AT&T n Verizon bought it all up and left the A blocks for everyone esle. End of story that’s how the free market works the strong wins the small and weak loses.

        • archerian

          Its pay to play, nothing more. If T-mobile gets as big as the others, they might not have enough of an incentive to offer the same perks as they do now when they are handicapped on several fronts. Regardless of what anyone says, T-mobile is still much smaller compared to ATT or VZW, the smaller size is actually beneficial to current customers as they compete on price among other things.

        • GinaDee

          It wasn’t free. That’s a misconception that T-Mobile retail store employees keep spreading around.

          Truth is: Legere can’t keep bragging about how much bandwidth he has compared to the bigger carriers then cry foul at the same time when the bigger carriers try to buy more spectrum.

          AT&T for example invests more into the US economy than any other telecom around. The idea that we need to do all we can to bring AT&T down and hurt them financially just to prop up a company whose parents are very much German boggles the mind and it very unpatriotic.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          AT&T isn’t only a wireless carrier they have a u-verse. So they make more then Verizon and have that kind of income.

          With t-mobile having some decent low band isn’t going to hurt anyone because a lot of people don’t believe in paying full price for phones anyways. They’ll still have customers. They will just need to compete the consumer wins at the end of the day that is all that matters.

          Take you AT&T fan boy stuff else where. And let the AT&T lobbyist follow you too

        • TK – Indy

          Jay, this is one of the most disjointed and nonsensical posts I have seen you make. I am dumber because I read it. I think you knew it was weak because of the sad attempt to pull out the fanboy card.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Anon beat me with that foreigncompany crap. Complete B.S.

        • Anon

          It’s always someone else’s fault, right?

          If you like foreign companies so much, why don’t you move out of the country and free up the spectrum for people that like being in America?

        • Jay J. Blanco

          your obviously on payroll say no more

        • Anon

          Nope I retired when I was 38. Can you say the same?

        • Anon

          U-Verse (and the wireline that goes along with it) have a negative impact to revenue not a positive one. Wireless is far more profitable than wireline because wireline is heavily regulated and must be made available even where it is cost-prohibitive.

          Why do you think Verizon is currently selling off a large amount of its FIOS customers? Wireline loses money period.

        • Fraydog

          Jay, there’s US based Telco’s DT could purchase. CenturyLink and Frontier come to mind. Frontier post-CA-TX-FL FiOS is a really good growth point and revenue add, especially if T-Home fiber and vectoring like in Germany become a large part of the package. T-Mo can then leverage the remaining Frontier customer base onto LTE.

          Bottom line it comes down to DT giving a deuce. John Legere has done miracles with TMUS so far, adding landline assets would help.

        • Jose Hernandez

          T-Mobile has plenty of Mid-High band bandwidth-capacity. They are trying to make sure they can get a portion of low band spectrum to be better able to compete with the big 2.

          We are talking 2 different things here.

        • TK – Indy

          No, we are talking about the same thing, competition. T-mobile is competing fine as things are. Legere is just trying to get you to help him make his company more valuable so he has a bigger payday when it sells. He could care less about competition.

        • moss

          Lol T-Mobile Retail Store Employees that spread this information? I think you ment to say “the internet” keeps spreading this around.

        • MastarPete

          I get what your thought was and what you’re trying to say, but you should have mentioned 800mhz was the hand-out. The replies to this all seem to think you’re talking about 700mhz as being a hand-out.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          I pretty much did. Lol if they don’t get it they are lost.

      • calvin200

        I don’t want less regulation, I would love more. If someone wins they own all the cards. That is the ultimate lack of competition. It’s our public airwaves.

        • TK – Indy

          Yes, it is a strange situation. If we are talking about TV and radio stations, they only need so much spectrum, and will never need to grow. Using spectrum to carry data has changed everything – and it is a fact that one day the spectrum will all be gone because the need for more data is growing rapidly. That says to me that new ideas for technology to transmit mobile data will be necessary in the future. Whoever comes up with the best ideas will get rich.

  • Mike

    Finicially Verizon, ATT, and Sprint can go into bidding wars and leave T-Mobile with nothing. If the FCC doesn’t make the auction fair for everyone it will make it even harder for T-Mobile to grow and I see T-Mobile and Dish becoming more of a reality.

    • TK – Indy

      Harder than growing faster than anyone? I think everybody is cool with that.

      • Mike

        Sure T-Mobile is putting 700 MHz in some markets but there still behind significantly in coverage compared to the other big three carriers. There network expansion can stall and the other three carriers can just outbid T-Mobile in the auctions and not even use the spectrum so that T-Mobile won’t be able to use it.

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      Sprint will not have their 2.5Ghz spectrum counted against them until after the 600Mhz auction, which means that the FCC sees them as a small carrier as well. That will change after this auction, so they will probably be barred from future auctions or at least heavily restricted.

      Tmobile will still have to battle Sprint and Dish for that 40Mhz, which will still mean a high price, since Dish is spending a crazy amount of money on auctions as well as this probably being one of the last low spectrum auctions.

      Dish+Tmobile may be a reality, because Dish is buying up a crap ton of spectrum with no network to use it on and I do not see them building one either. They are going to have to start using that spectrum or risk losing it.

      • randian

        When has the FCC actually pulled somebody’s spectrum license for lack of buildout?

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          Nextwave wireless is the only example I can come up with off the top of my head, but a lot of companies will put up protection sites just to prevent the FCC from being able to take it back. Also most of the spectrum is bought by companies that have been the carriers, who already have coverage to match the build out requirements.

        • Bravadu

          dunno, but I think they’ll (dish) be fined if they don’t do something with their spectrum by 2016

        • gmo8492

          Verizon was close to losing their 700mhz license that they later sold to T-mobile.

  • Anon

    Maybe the FCC should exclude the top 4 carriers. That would promote competition by allowing a new carrier (maybe Google or Dish?) to emerge and build out.

    • Aurizen

      who uses anything besides the top 4 carriers??? That makes no sense.the major carriers need this to happen.

    • Bravadu

      t-mobile needs 600mhz spectrum because it did not take part in the 700mhz spectrum auction.

      • Anon

        That was their choice not to participate. They failed to bid and now they want special treatment? Life doesn’t reward those that don’t plan ahead.

        • Bravadu

          It does if it’s the public that benefits. America as a country (and all its consumers) benefits greatly if there are four viable and competing carriers… rather than two giant duopolies.

          Unless you’re one of those that think that they never should have broken up Standard Oil.

    • former tmo_rep

      Lol Dish, come on now are you serious. I can’t stop laughing

  • The FCC has no interest but in maximizing the income to the federal government from the auction. The FCC cares not if the spectrum ever comes alive (since half the spectrum is dark) and how much spectrum a bidder gets.

    TMUS’ request is akin to the sheep asking the wolf to change the dinner menu before getting an apple in its mouth.

    • Adrayven

      Sadly, you’re likely right.. or they wouldn’t even sell spectrum to ‘squatters’ hoping to get a payday on spectrum not initially bought.. They wouldn’t allow anyone who cannot show a use-case to purchase it..

      Their greed is overwhelming.

    • TK – Indy

      No, the spectrum is worth what it is worth, the only difference is who gets the inital money from its sale. If it weren’t paid to the government for civic use, it would be paid to whatever private company gets a windfall when they sell it. It is valuable, and that value is defined by what other companies are willing to give for it, regardless of what they had to pay to get it.

  • J.J.

    Yes it is stuck

    • Anon

      Consumers suffer already with 4 carriers dominating the market. The only time the consumer wins is with prepaid. Cricket is leading the example for that right now.

      Post-Paid users lose regardless of the carrier.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Where do u live Canada??? We have choices, and we are getting the best deals and good competition

        • Anon

          Cricket is a company in the U.S. owned by AT&T.

          And BTW, Americans pay significantly more than most other countries for wireless. T-Mobile is not leading the price category. It is just overcharging its customers just like AT&T and Verizon.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Don’t u think I know that. That’s why if all the carriers had low band spectrum to launch a national network prices would go down. Obviously you don’t want that. So hey let t-mobile stay without what they need. And continue to have gaps of no coverage and roaming forever and forever.

        • Anon

          It’s not the spectrum they need but more towers.

          Prices are not going down, they are going up. The more spectrum that is released will only increase prices as companies gobble it up. The high prices they have to pay will only translate into higher prices for the end user. That’s how business works in this country.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          “In the country” it doesn’t have to be that way if the reserve amount is increased

        • Anon

          You should go to business school. Corporations control this country, not the government. It has been that way since the 1950s.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Don’t you think I know that. This country hasn’t been democratic since 1920s.

        • Anon

          There’s very little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats when it comes to their inability to control corporations.

          At least Bill got his ********* serviced in the White House and got away with it. That seems to be a great moment for mankind.

        • Austin

          No, what they need is spectrum. With the current LTE network frequencies of 1900/1700/2100 they need 6-8 towers in the same area a 600mhz tower could cover by itself

        • Goat

          Wouldn’t that place alot of traffic on one single tower, though? Causing a slow connection for the area?

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          The low band will be used as a backup connection in cities where aws/pcs is unavailable and in rural areas where the density is low. Congestion won’t be an issue

        • Austin

          No, because rural areas that need coverage now have many less subscribers.

          The areas they have LTE now are mostly where congestion would be likely if they only deployed low band. So, data strong with more towers and higher frequencies in cities and lower spectrum more spaced towers out in the boonies

        • Bravadu

          It’s not just more towers that they need but also more spectrum because a tower with 600mhz spectrum can cover four times as much distance as a tower with 2100mhz spectrum.

          Why pay four times as much to install and maintain four times as many towers than you need to?

        • afive720

          You contract yourself in your comments. At first you are saying that we have choices, but then you say that you know that our choices here suck lol. T-Mobile forced Verizon and ATT to offer more competitive plans than before. For the first time ever it actually wasn’t more expensive to move over to another carrier.

          Overseas there are way more options and way cheaper for fast service. Compared to some countries we are really lagging behind when it comes to network performance. Granted, USA is huge and we do have pretty much everything covered. Can’t say that for others.

          T-Mobile can’t cry woolf here, there are where they are because of the decisions made by DT for years now. How would you feel if you had an amazing season as say NBA player and pretty much won the MVP, then your coach goes on record saying that you can’t sustain without growing 5 inches..? That’s what happened with T-Mobile in a nutshell. Take it as you may, but thats a sign that your parent company does not want anything to do with you.

          The major network upgrade we had happened because of the ATT cash that now is pretty much gone. With revenue of $1.6B and profit just north of $100m, they are far away from having the cash needed to buy spectrum they lack and to build out. If DT really cared, they would invest in T-Mobile to allow them to keep the momentum going by allowing them to compete.

          What I heard was: “We do not have any money and it isn’t fair that the other carriers who have more profit and more money can get all the spectrum. Support the competition by letting everyone play!” Makes sense, except for their problem lies with their parent company. Sprint has the money, how? SoftBank… T-Mobile would have money too if DT invested.

      • Bravadu

        I’m doing pretty good with t-mobile right now. post-paid

      • Reader1

        You know AT&T owns cricket.

        • Bravadu

          lol good point. AT&T bought Cricket last year, and they’ve been migrating customers to AT&T’s GSM network so they could shut down Cricket’s old CDMA network starting March 15.

    • Bravadu

      Mindlessly hate it all you want, but regulation is what prevents collusion and monopolistic behavior otherwise all the gas companies will all have one name – Standard Oil.

      • J.J.

        I believe i was clear on my disdain of a monopoly, just pointing out i can see the potential negative in both using an open “mind”.

        • Bravadu

          Yes you were disdainful of both. I’m just saying that well crafted regulation is good.
          Such as mandated net neutrality.

  • Anon

    Regardless of what happens I think the FCC should require the winner to build out rural areas first. D.C. did something similar with FIOS and made them build out the poor areas of the city first so that Verizon would not cherry-pick the neighborhoods that would be the most profitable and then ignore the poor areas.

    That would prevent companies like T-Mobile which ignore rural areas and focus their coverage only on high-profitable areas such as cities while ignoring rural areas.

    • TK – Indy

      This issue has been fought in the past. The providers always say “We would lose too much money by focusing our efforts in unprofitable ways.” This is what led to taxes and license fees on the phone and cable bills – it is money designated to be used to build out service for unprofitable or capital-intensive areas. I don’t think many people are up for more taxes and fees to do this.

      • Anon

        Even with the taxes involved, the wireless companies would still complain. They simply don’t want to build out networks in rural or poor areas. That seems to be T-Mobile’s strategy. Focus on wealthy people in the cities and forget about coverage in poor agricultural areas.

        This should be changed. People should have access to LTE regardless of where they live.

        • TK – Indy

          Look at what you wrote. The cities have vastly more poor people than wealthy. Middle class lives in the ‘burbs, which are spreading ever more away from the cities. That is where the money is.

        • Anon

          Actually poor people can no longer afford to live in the cities or the suburbs. Look at D.C. as an example. The poor are fleeing the city for Maryland.

          And no one is doing agriculture in the cities. So if you read what I posted it still stands. Poor people in agricultural areas are ignored by T-Mobile.

        • TK – Indy

          Ok, in the 1st sentence, the reference was simply “wealthy city people”, and I wasn’t aware that poor are leaving cities. It isn’t happening here in Indy, the poor are all downtown, middle class in the ‘burbs, and the wealthy wherever they want.

        • Anon

          It’s not that poor people don’t want to stay in the city or move to the suburbs. They don’t have a choice. For example, a 4bedroom house in D.C. can cost you $4500 a month. But in the poorer agriculture areas, there is no T-Mobile coverage.

        • TK – Indy

          Yikes, sounds like California rent. Here, $800/mo gets a brand new 3br apartment in a nice area w/pool, clubhouse, satellite, etc.

        • gmo8492

          But then again you’re not digging your way out of 4ft of snow, looking out for tornadoes, or being hounded by the impeding floods that wipe out entire areas.

        • former tmo_rep

          Same here in central VA, but i guess its different where he lives. I live in the burbs (nice neighborhood) and tmo coverage can be spotty, so i can’t relate to what Anon is talking about.

        • Mr Paul

          There are also a lot of wealthy people in exurban (commuter town) areas. Not quite rural, but also not truly suburban, at least in NY.

        • Trevnerdio

          Hence T-Mobile’s push further and further out of the city. I am finally starting to get LTE in places that there are only trees as far as the eye can see. Contrast that to a few years ago, where you had to see downtown X city before you could even think about a 4G signal.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          That was t-mobile stragegy like 7 years ago. Lmao T-Mobile is willing to build the network with low band which is better for penatration and travel longer distances then mid band.

        • Anon

          But they will not leave the cities and head into the rural areas. Low frequency spectrum is not going to change that behavior. They need to build more towers.

        • Durandal_1707

          That’s a really simplistic way of thinking. T-Mobile can’t just “build more towers” without the spectrum to support them. High-band spectrum does not work well in rural areas.

        • afive720

          That’s because they know that they have to. Ask your average Joe what they think about T-Mobile and thats one of the top complaints. You have really good performance outside, then in buildings… not so much. I used to work for them and even people who got amazing coverage according to the coverage map complained. It is sad, but the spectrum they have is high frequency and doesn’t penetrate. Now, they do have lowband now from their trade with Verizon, but not too much of it and not everywhere. Some cities it will get much better, others it won’t. This lowband will only help to a certain extent, then they will need more to support growing customer base.

          Point is, they are investing in the network because they need to in order to stay competitive and show people that the perception is no longer true. They may be willing to build out, but they don’t want to nor do they have the money to do it without DT.

    • Bravadu

      The whole point of low spectrum is so that you can cover a larger area with each tower – several times as much actually.

    • Bravadu

      T-Mobile currently ignores rural areas because they did not take part in the 700mhz auction and thus do not have low spectrum. This new 600mhz is basically 700mhz on steriods. Read the tenth point of this article.

      https://gigaom.com/2007/03/14/700mhz-explained/

  • A’Eric Rector Halsey

    I think Google should make a big play and then license to tmo and sprint in exchange for access to their build out.. They have the cash if tmo, sprint, team up with Google they could shut Verizon And ATT out of the 600. That would be best for everybody.

  • Ashton3002

    Sooo they want the FCC to reserve spectrum because they can’t be competitive. Meanwhile they have plans to go “Toe to Toe” with Verizon in coverage by the end of the year before the auction. That doesn’t make sense. and people swear that they will have equal Verizon coverage by the end of 2015. Makes plenty sense.

    • gmo8492

      Considering that both At&t and Verizon were both spawns of the monopoly we love to hate aka ma’bell. This should give them equal opportunity to compete with carriers that buy spectrum with the intention of using later down the road. What’s wrong with leveling the playing field since fair competition benefits all of us not just T-mobile customers.

      • Ashton3002

        There’s no such things as fair competition. As much as people believe it. It’s not.

        • Fabian Cortez

          The problem here is that spectrum is a licensed asset to the carriers by the FCC. It is also limited in scope.

          So yes, the government can indeed level the playing field and provide fair competition.

    • Trevnerdio

      I hope nobody is making that assertion about coverage…that’s incredibly naive to think that. T-Mobile may never reach that level of coverage, they simply don’t have the CAPEX for it.

      • Ashton3002

        Well evidently John and many other believe it.

      • eAbyss

        They aren’t, Ashton’s misquoting Legere. Legere actually expects T-Mobile to be a year behind Verizon and AT&T’s coverage build-outs.

        • Trevnerdio

          That’s still mighty ambitious.

    • eAbyss

      That claim was to be equal to Verizon and AT&T’s coverage as of the end of 2014 by the end of 2015. In other words they plan on being only a year behind Verizon and AT&T in their coverage build-out.

      Verizon/AT&T (end of 2014) = ~300 PoPs
      T-Mobile (end of 2015) = ~300 PoPs

      NOT

      Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile (end of 2015) = ~320 PoPs

      This claim of course has little to do with the conversation on spectrum because low frequency spectrum serves a different purpose, is in short supply, and greatly needed by T-Mobile in order to compete. This is less about covering large swaths of the US and more about filling in the holes.

      • Ashton3002

        No. John legere was clear when he said “toe to toe” with Verizon in coverage. He meant be on par with their network coverage by the end of 2015.

  • TechHog

    I know that Dish fanboy here won’t like me saying this, but something seriously needs to be done about Dish. They are taking tons of spectrum with no intention of ever using it. Were it up to me, they’d be banned from auctions until they lay out a clear plan for using and deploying that spectrum.

    • Mike

      Dish has something up there sleeve and if the auction rules doesn’t change T-Mobile should consider Dish as a partner or risk Dish going with another carrier and being competition to T-Mobile.

    • Anon

      How do you know that they never plan to use it? Maybe Dish has some innovative product they are planning, like say Sling delivered over wireless? Some companies don’t rush out products. Or maybe they are going to be a new wireless provider? You don’t really know. So everything you say is just speculation based on absolutely no facts.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      They are planning to use it. Ergen has made this clear. Whether it’s for video or cellular services, we don’t know – but a hookup with T-Mobile could achieve synergies in both.

      Implying that they’re purchasing it with no plans for utilization is ridiculous. That would be a costly venture… for nothing.

      You won’t be complaining about how much spectrum Dish owns when it’s being used to make T-Mobile’s network stronger, which I expect will happen at some point in the future when the companies marry.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      I’m also guessing that that “Dish fanboy” is me.

  • Juan Pablo Darquea

    Some people are upset because some areas are not coverage look a lot of areas have been covered by tmobile am a 12 years customer and I see the evolution of tmobile for good service now is pretty competitive think about this if you have some money to spend right now on a business and they give you a choice rural or none rural area witch one you choose that’s obvious

  • Blackberry

    Part of the problem here is that the FCC wants to force Deutsche Telekom to invest in Tmobile. The company can’t compete because the parent company has shown no intention of helping TMobile. From that point of view the TMobile claim is meritless. Now from another point of view the FCC has clearly indicated that they want 4 national carriers, they need then to help TMobile to achieve that and be competitive so they can get their 4 carriers. Somewhere in the middle lays the truth to all this and the solution as well.

    • afive720

      True. It is like some kid asking not need to pay to be on a basketball team because other kids have rich parents while his parents are also rich but do not care for the kid. DT hates T-Mobile USA it is evident from how they tried to sell it off so many times, even last year AND from how they literally ran top customer service company into the ground over 5 years prior. You can’t stay competitive if you aren’t willing to invest to expand the network. T-Mobile made amazing recovery from all that ATT cash they got. Now that the cash is gone, you NEED DT to invest because T-Mobile can’t possibly finance the required upgrades and purchases needed to stay competitive on $100m yearly profit.

      • Blackberry

        You are correct. A lot of their improvement came out of the break up fee that AT@T paid. Now DT needs to really step up and provide some assistance to TMobile USA and somehow show the FCC that it is worth bending the rules a little.

  • Bobby Wright

    I’m glad t-mo petitioned but I just don’t think the FCC cares enough to be fair at this point.