FCC chief to recommend voting against T-Mobile’s request for more reserve spectrum at auction

President Obama Expected To Nominate Rep. Mel Watt For Director Of The Federal Housing Finance Agency

According to a report on Bloomberg, the FCC is likely to reject the request made by T-Mobile to reserve more spectrum for smaller carriers/companies and next year’s incentive auction.

“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler will recommend the agency deny T-Mobile’s request, according to two people familiar with briefings agency officials have given industry representatives. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the meetings weren’t public.”

Last year, T-Mobile – and a bunch of other smaller carriers and companies – won a huge battle against the “Big Two” by pushing the FCC to set fairer rules for the upcoming 600MHz spectrum auction. Blocks of spectrum up to 30MHz in size will be reserved in each market for companies who don’t already have a hoard of low-band spectrum. It was great news for T-Mobile who badly needs the spectrum to roll-out better rural LTE networks. But it wasn’t enough.

Since then, T-Mo – along with other companies – has been pushing even harder to get up to half (or 40MHz blocks) of the spectrum reserved to make it a 50/50 situation for the small carriers versus AT&T and Verizon. We’ve seen blog posts, vlogs and even a dedicated site set up to push the Commission to side with T-Mobile and its partners.

T-Mobile’s argument all along is that Verizon and AT&T were virtually given a ton of low-band spectrum when they started out. Since then, competition has been forced to try and catch up. And that’s no easy task given how much of the industries revenue is going in to the pockets of “Dumb and Dumber”.

The reality of the situation – however – is that Tom Wheeler, the FCC’s chief has to try and make the right decision for all parties involved.

“No single party will be happy with everything we’ve done, but the final product is a balanced solution,” Wheeler said Wednesday in a blog post. The proposal “ensures that competitive wireless carriers and new entrants have a clear shot” at winning airwaves and didn’t directly address T-Mobile’s request, he said.

Whatever happens, T-Mobile will be active in the auction. But just how active remains to be seen. It’s a big opportunity for T-Mo to grab some much needed low-band spectrum, and one the company needs to go all-out on.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • vinnyjr

    Wonder how much $ Tom Wheeler has picked up from the Dumb & Dumber for his negative vote? SOB.

    • maximus1901

      You actuall think he really took a bribe?
      And yet in the net neutrality vote…?
      You reveal your childishness when you make such a assertion.

      • Rhodeislandbrian

        Glad you know everything about the world and all those little micro transactions that are made on a day to day! ….Speaking of childish…..

      • dtam

        you’re looking at it wrong, the “net neutrality” vote was really the “title 2” vote. the FCC got more power over the carriers.

        if one was to think that the big 2 were throwing bribes, you’d think that they would have to up the ante since the FCC has more power over them

    • With a career in industry organizations, akin to corporation unions, and a lobbyist, Wheeler seems to continue to cater to those he’s served for decades, likely with an eye at the next career step with them.

  • donnybee

    I don’t think it’s unfair to allow the big two the chance to bid on half the spectrum to increase their portfolio. They already have low band spectrum so this auction would be gravy for them.

    I don’t see how it would be fair to other carriers when looking back at the handout that was given to Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile isn’t even asking for the same treatment they got, they just want the CHANCE to bid on half the spectrum. From there they could win, they could lose, they could get a bite of the pie, but the FCC still gets their money in the bid. It’s stupid.

    I wonder if there is a way the public can have a greater influence on these idiots.

    • archerian

      looking back at the handout

      in reality, the “handout” given to the big 2 form around 5% of their total spectrum holdings, the rest they got through acquisitions and 3rd party sales that cost them billions. At that time they wanted to start a wireless network and so got the best available spectrum, can’t fault them for being first. Also, T-mobile had a chance to bid for low band in 2008, they chose to sit out, no one told them to do that and it was their decision. Now they are buying chunks from VZW, they could have participated in the 700 auction.

      • Fabian Cortez

        And how exactly do you think they were able to move forward with said M&A?

        • archerian

          with cash reserves and stock issue/notes. Are you telling me the FCC discounted the spectrum cost in these acquisitions?

        • Fabian Cortez

          with cash reserves and stock issue/notes. Are you telling me the FCC discounted the spectrum cost in these acquisitions?

          And how exactly do you think they were able to get these “cash reserves and stock issue/notes?”

        • archerian

          Like any other publicly traded company with a fiduciary responsibility to maximize shareholder value. Definitely not hat in hand at the FCC.

  • Joe

    T-mobile better spend all the money they can on this auction to get 10×10 in med to high populated areas and 5×5 in low populated areas, and then buy cavalier, cox, and continuum 700, add carrier aggregation and that would pretty much set them up for life.

  • Thomas Czinder

    Dingo

    • Aurizen

      John Oliver!!

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    TMO better find a sugar daddy soon. LOL

    • archerian

      Comcast doesn’t have any sugar but some red delicious poisoned apples.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    I thought the FCC has mandated for 30 MHz spectrum to be reserved for bidding only by carriers who own less than 45 MHz of spectrum below 1 GHz in a given market.

    • archerian

      Yes and T-Mobile wants it to be raised to 40 MHz so they won’t get into a bidding war with another ‘small’ competitor. If 40 MHz is set aside, T-Mobile and Dish or whoever is the dominant player in the reserved part get to dominate and share 20 each.

      • yeah right

        most likely going to be dish tmobile and spring bidding on the reserved sections… I suspect a lot of 5 x 5 pieces for each one will be won, and AT&T and Verizon will have 10 x 10 and 15 x 15 chunks in most markets… It is inevitable at that point that two of those smaller three (tmobile / Dish / Sprint) combine if there is ever hope of having a truly competitive third player in the market.

        • archerian

          Sprint didn’t show much interest in the 600Mhz auction, and Dish would have to borrow even more money to get 600 Mhz. That’s a lot of spectrum Dish will have with no wireless network deployed. Some of their spectrum will be returned to the FCC in 2017 unless they build out, so doesn’t really make sense for them to buy more now unless they are colluding with T-mobile. Most likely we’ll know the result of the T-mobile merger with Dish before the auction.

        • Jay Holm

          Which band will have to be returned if Dish doesn’t use it by 2017? Why not just sell it to T-mobile? Is it the 1700mhz?

        • archerian

          40% coverage needed by 2017 for AWS-4 which is the upper 2000 band. Not really useful for T-Mobile in the near term as they need low band. Not sure if any major operator uses it, if not getting device support will be tough like it was for AWS-1 a few years ago

        • Fabian Cortez

          40% coverage needed by 2017 for AWS-4 which is the upper 2000 band. Not really useful for T-Mobile in the near term as they need low band. Not sure if any major operator uses it, if not getting device support will be tough like it was for AWS-1 a few years ago

          You really don’t know what you’re talking about and are making wild speculations at this point.

          There’s a very high chance that AWS-4 will be interoperable with AWS-3 per the FCC. And even if it wasn’t, T-Mobile hasn’t had a hard time getting Band 12 into devices, contrary to your comparison of them back in 2007/2008.

          You need to keep up.

        • archerian

          You really don’t know what you’re talking about and are making wild speculations at this point.

          Why don’t you actually point out what I am wrongly suggesting instead of a blanket accusation? Per the FCC, they left it to the carriers to “voluntarily” support AWS-3 and AWS-4 interoperability, no way that means “very high chance”. Good luck getting actual devices on that band as long as Dish is using it. It’s also the FCC Auction rules that mandate 40% deployment or license forfeiture for Dish’s AWS-4. And do you dispute that T-mobile’s immediate need is for low band?

          Remember, you and I aren’t part of T-mobile’s management team and this isn’t their annual strategy planning session, this is a freaking comments section of an unofficial blog – there will be much of speculation and ideas thrown around.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Why don’t you actually point out what I am wrongly suggesting instead of a blanket accusation? Per the FCC, they left it to the carriers to “voluntarily” support AWS-3 and AWS-4 interoperability, no way that means “very high chance”. Good luck getting actual devices on that band as long as Dish is using it.

          If any carrier expects to get a slice of Dish’s spectrum, they will definitely go along with interoperability. Mid band is still valuable to the duopoly. Likewise, it’s possible for Dish or any other carrier to petition the FCC for mandated interoperability. You also forget that the 3GPP can reclassify AWS-3 and AWS-4 under one band. All possibilities.

          It’s also the FCC Auction rules that mandate 40% deployment or license forfeiture for Dish’s AWS-4.

          Okay? There’s also a year attached to that and Dish has licensed their spectrum to other companies before. I’m not so sure why you brought this up.

          And do you dispute that T-mobile’s immediate need is for low band?

          There is no immediate need. There is definitely a long term need and short term need which this upcoming 600 MHz auction provides.

          That’s not because of T-mobile’s or JL’s clout, but because ATT agreed to do it as per the FCC.

          You are once again incorrect.

          T-Mobile has had Band 12 in devices due to them owning and deploying Band 12. Also, there aren’t many AT&T devices with Band 12 in them yet. AT&T agreeing to switch to Band 12 only facilitates cross-carrier switching and potentially cheaper rates on devices at wholesale.

          T-Mobile is the it carrier right now, capturing 100% of the new postpaid phone subscribers. It would not be in the interest of the OEM phone manufactures to omit Band 12. Not the other way around.

          Simple supply and demand.

          Remember, you and I aren’t part of T-mobile’s management team and this isn’t their annual strategy planning session, this is a freaking comments section of an unofficial blog – there will be much of speculation and ideas thrown around.

          A great deal of your speculation that your purport as fact is easily debunked with real facts.

          In the future, I suggest you preface your statements with speculative verbiage so that you look less ill-informed when the facts are presented.

        • archerian

          Likewise, it’s possible for Dish or any other carrier to petition the FCC for mandated interoperability. You also forget that the 3GPP can reclassify AWS-3 and AWS-4 under one band. All possibilities.

          “It’s possible”, “all possibilities” .. speculative verbiage much?

          There is no immediate need.

          Then why are JL and the CCA wanting the auction as soon as possible, and why is T-mobile actively going after 700Mhz?

          Okay? There’s also a year attached to that and Dish has licensed their spectrum to other companies before. I’m not so sure why you brought this up.

          Since you claimed it was wild speculation and this was actually in reply to another earlier quote from someone else.

          it’s possible for Dish or any other carrier to petition the FCC for mandated interoperability.

          Dish trued that – the FCC didn’t not allow that petition, this was over a year ago.

          the 3GPP can reclassify AWS-3 and AWS-4 under one band

          Oh yeah, with the influence ATT and VZW have at the 3GPP as compared to Dish, it’s going to happen soon. Last I heard, the working group did not plan to do that. But hey, they might transfer/lease the spectrum to someone else and then that entity might exert a different amount of influence at the 3GPP. You can speculate anything as possible but for others it’s a strict no-no right?

        • yeah right

          Dish is going to Merge or partner with a wireless provider by the end of 2016. This is a fact. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a handshake agreement with Tmobile at this point to be purchased /combined/ merged/ partnered six months to a year after the Auction.

          tmo + dish spectrum could be a real boon.

        • Jay Holm

          5×5 chunks would really, really suck!!! Dish should just merge with T-mobile already, that would help them get a more decent 20mhz chunk! But 5mhz is nothing to get excited about!

  • Fabian Cortez

    This is not good for everyone considering this is the last low band auction for a few decades.

    • archerian

      Well T-Mobile can buy more from VZW or ATT in a few years if needed!!! But if 40 MHz is reserved, won’t it lead to lesser competition among the smaller carriers as then the bigger of the smaller carriers could collude to keep 20 MHz each?

      • SirStephenH

        Yeah, because they’re just going to give up this spectrum…

        • archerian

          none expects anyone to give up spectrum they paid billions for, but sell… like being done for the 700Mhz right now.

        • Fabian Cortez

          none expects anyone to give up spectrum they paid billions for, but sell… like being done for the 700Mhz right now.

          The Lower 700 MHz A Block is a different beast.

          That has long been plagued by Channel 51 “interference” issues. Add in AT&T’s anticompetetive move of carving out their own band (Band 17) and Band 12 became less than desirable.

          I’d refrain from commenting no this issue until you take the time to understand the sub-1 GHz predicament that carriers other than AT&T and Verizon face in this country.

        • archerian

          I’d refrain from commenting no this issue until you take the time to
          understand the sub-1 GHz predicament that carriers other than AT&T
          and Verizon face in this country.

          Predicament? Oh you mean poor T-mobile didn’t have the pull with 3GPP and device makers to ensure proper device support and so chose not to bid? Why didn’t they bid on the B or C block?

        • Fabian Cortez

          Predicament? Oh you mean poor T-mobile didn’t have the pull with 3GPP and device makers to ensure proper device support and so chose not to bid? Why didn’t they bid on the B or C block?

          You know why they didn’t bid and if you understood business, you wouldn’t be making such foolish statements.

          Please educate yourself about how the 700 MHz band plan(s) was/were crafted and the lies that were perpetrated by AT&T before you make such a foolish statement.

        • archerian

          Why don’t you lay it out then, since you seem to be the wise one with 20/20 insight into T-mobile’s business and strategic decisions. Your holier than thou comments is clouded by blind dislike towards ATT and VZW.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Why don’t you lay it out then, since you seem to be the wise one with 20/20 insight into T-mobile’s business and strategic decisions. Your holier than thou comments is clouded by blind dislike towards ATT and VZW.

          Your sarcasm and attempt to change the nature of the discussion is ineffective.

          Go back to previous conversations we’ve had and even try GOOGLEdotCOM for information regarding T-Mobile’s lack of participation in the 700 MHz auction.

          If you have a memory and/or comprehension issue then I cannot help you.

        • archerian

          Your sarcasm and attempt to change the nature of the discussion is ineffective.

          No, its your condescension and blind attempt to blame ATT and VZW for all of T-mobile’s spectrum problems that make it ineffective.

        • Dustin Roe

          Would you choose to sell at any price if it leveled the playing field and caused you to reduce profits by reducing price?

        • archerian

          not to level the playing field but due to necessity. As far as I know the 600Mhz band has not been standardized and at some time VZW and T-mobile or VZW and Sprint might swap some of their low band for high band to provide higher data rates.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Well T-Mobile can buy more from VZW or ATT in a few years if needed!!!

        You know that’s not going to happen.

        But if 40 MHz is reserved, won’t it lead to lesser competition among the smaller carriers as then the bigger of the smaller carriers could collude to keep 20 MHz each?

        40 MHz or half. That actually forces the duopoly to bid against each other.

        • archerian

          You know that’s not going to happen.

          Yeah maybe you’re right, it’s never happened that T-mobile voluntarily sat out of a low band auction and later went around buying pieces of it from the winning bidders.. oh, wait !…. oops

        • Fabian Cortez

          Yeah maybe you’re right, it’s never happened that T-mobile voluntarily sat out of a low band auction and later went around buying pieces of it from the winning bidders.. oh, wait !…. oops

          Again, you’re making a blanket statement as if it’s somehow going to repeat itself. I have already laid out the issues related to the 700 MHz auction and we’re still dealing with the aftermath. I have also laid out the issues related to why T-Mobile didn’t participate in the 700 MHz auction. Where was Sprint in AWS-1, 700 MHz, and AWS-3?

          If you choose to ignore it in an effort to substantiate your point, then by all means.

        • archerian

          I’m not saying it will repeat itself, this is a discussion board where ideas are thrown around. I cannot and do not claim this is going to happen 100%, but list scenarios. There is a possibility in the future where VZW and TMUS might trade spectrum and cash, can you claim this will never happen? For all we know T-mobile might be T-Dish or T-cast by then.

        • Fabian Cortez

          I’m not saying it will repeat itself, this is a discussion board where ideas are thrown around. I cannot and do not claim this is going to happen 100%, but list scenarios. There is a possibility in the future where VZW and TMUS might trade spectrum and cash, can you claim this will never happen? For all we know T-mobile might be T-Dish or T-cast by then.

          No.

          You threw in sarcasm for shock value and a reaction. Be direct as sarcasm is very unbecoming and unappreciated in any form of serious discussion.

        • archerian

          Seriously, are you the discussion etiquette police now? I’m free to comment as I like – sarcasm, quips, whatever as long as there is no name calling or hostility.

          You’re under no obligation to respond and quite frankly you have no place judging others use of the language unless its derogatory. I have always been civil and never directly insulted your intelligence or knowledge, yet you seem to attack the same in every alternate comment.

        • archerian

          Interestingly, in another article I saw a comment from you –

          For example, if there’s 40 MHz of unreserved spectrum in a market, the twins will simply split it in half, 20 MHz each. Now if T-Mobile gets its way (Sprint and the other CCA members are behind this plan as well), then the twins will have 30 MHz to bid on. And there’s no such carrier configuration of 7.5×7.5 MHz in LTE. So they’ll have to competitively bid against each other for a slice of 20 MHz and a slice of 10 MHz. And
          they don’t want that.

          wouldn’t the same happen if 40Mhz were kept for reserve? Sprint and Tmobile could split it in half, or T-mobile would work with Dish and split it evenly. Now if its only 30 Mhz reserved as per current rules, to quote you, “they’ll have to competitively bid against each other for a slice of 20 MHz and a slice of 10 MHz” ..

        • Fabian Cortez

          wouldn’t the same happen if 40Mhz were kept for reserve? Sprint and Tmobile could split it in half, or T-mobile would work with Dish and split it evenly. Now if its only 30 Mhz reserved as per current rules, to quote you, “they’ll have to competitively bid against each other for a slice of 20 MHz and a slice of 10 MHz” ..

          No, because there are other carrier who fall within the <45 MHz range that'd be bidding.

          With the reserve already in place, the only carriers that fall outside of the reserve in large markets are AT&T and Verizon. No one in their right mind would go toe-to-toe with them.

          There is also zero evidence that Sprint and T-Mobile would collude in an effort to drive out competitors like the twin bells historically have. Likewise, both Sprint and T-Mobile are members of the CCA.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    Why can’t DT let T-Mobile borrow the money or give up some money so T-Mobile can have a fighting chance?

    • Sushimane

      Wishful thinking maybe dt would give them a cut of the selling of the EE lol

    • archerian

      interesting point – the “small carrier” reservation is for carriers who’s major stockholders are mega multi-billion dollar corporations.

      • Fabian Cortez

        interesting point – the “small carrier” reservation is for carriers who’s major stockholders are mega multi-billion dollar corporations.

        No.

        The “small carrier” reservation is for carriers with less than 45 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum in the specific market.

        • archerian

          Your point is correct, I was highlighting the side effect that any protection via reservation being afforded to any carrier is to prevent them being outbid by the so-called larger entities. But they all are in fact owned by huge multinationals, which makes one wonder if the reservation criteria actually makes any sense at all – price protection in several markets but in several markets the Big 2 can compete but everyone is part of corporations with huge pockets anyway.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Your point is correct, I was highlighting the side effect that any protection via reservation being afforded to any carrier is to prevent them being outbid by the so-called larger entities. But they all are in fact owned by huge multinationals, which makes one wonder if the reservation criteria actually makes any sense at all – price protection in several markets but in several markets the Big 2 can compete but everyone is part of corporations with huge pockets anyway.

          The reserved spectrum based upon the current criteria makes perfect sense. You truly need to understand ROI, especially in rural and cities when you own sub-1 GHz spectrum.

          I guess in your world, a company should endlessly provide service to a few people using mid and high band spectrum and continue to eat the cost due to its (mid and high band spectrum) inefficiency.

    • Richard Roma

      This is why we need a real global carrier like Vodafone to buy T-Mobile US.

      • Raiterio Patterson

        I don’t think that’s a good idea. Too variables involved when dealing with mergers. 2 heads are better than 1 sure, but which head is the dominant one? Vodaphone or T-Mobile?

  • Bordelais

    I kinda hope this causes T-Mobile to buy Continuum 700a licenses. I certainly would get a better signal sooner.

  • JustWondering

    Will there be more low band auctions after the 600Mhz auction? Or is that it?

    • Jay Holm

      The FCC made mention of freeing up 400mhz band, no date though.

      • dtam

        probably take another decade before that’s available.

  • TK – Indy

    These are all businesses, and favoring any one or group of them is a ludicrous proposition. The cellular market is already showing that there is plenty of healthy competition and no monopoly or duopoly exists, except in the minds of those without sufficient capital to ante up. They whine often and loudly.

    • dtam

      how many times must I say that cellular is not a traditional business. the two smaller guys tried to compete by merging and was told that it wouldn’t fly. now that same governing body won’t prevent the two big guys from hoarding most of the prime real estate. FCC is a joke…they need to make their mind

      • archerian

        hoarding is a strong term. The Big 2 have lesser average spectrum per subscriber than T-mobile or Sprint or many of the “smaller” carriers, which would negate the hoarding argument. In several markets, ATT would actually be a “protected small carrier” as they don’t have enough low band to cross the threshold in those areas, and be able to bid on reserved portions.

        At stake here is low band spectrum which T-mobile needs for better building penetration and coverage. Around 8 years ago, they chose the AWS-1 band and sat out of the low band 700Mhz auction, and now they want auction protection for low band. Auctions are about money, and they should come prepared to pay to play. Can’t complain of being a small carrier just during spectrum auctions and the next day say we can compete with the Big 2 in marketing and ads.

        • Fabian Cortez

          hoarding is a strong term. The Big 2 have lesser average spectrum per subscriber than T-mobile or Sprint or many of the “smaller” carriers, which would negate the hoarding argument. In several markets, ATT would actually be a “protected small carrier” as they don’t have enough low band to cross the threshold in those areas, and be able to bid on reserved portions.

          By your own admission, there’s no unfairness or protectionism. Proof being AT&T being able to participate in the reserve spectrum in many regions.

          At stake here is low band spectrum which T-mobile needs for better building penetration and coverage. Around 8 years ago, they chose the AWS-1 band and sat out of the low band 700Mhz auction, and now they want auction protection for low band.

          They already have protection. They have showed the FCC what they can do by shaking up the industry without low band. The duopoly has barely budged. They’re pressing the FCC so that more can be reserved, stating that for true competition to prevail, all carriers need a sufficient amount of low band spectrum.

          Auctions are about money, and they should come prepared to pay to play. Can’t complain of being a small carrier just during spectrum auctions and the next day say we can and are competing head to head with the Big 2 in marketing and ads.

          If you want to be taken seriously, try not to be selective in your understanding and commenting about these issues.

          You know very well that this isn’t solely amount money. This isn’t your standard run-of-the-mill car or house auction.

        • archerian

          By your own admission, there’s no unfairness or protectionism. Proof
          being AT&T being able to participate in the reserve spectrum in many
          regions.

          I was commenting on the assumption that the Big 2 were hoarding spectrum. The fact that a large operator can bid for reserved spectrum in several locations as a “smaller carrier” or bid as a shell company DE is more to the point that these reservations do not help promote competition nor help “weaker” carriers gain more spectrum.

          They’re pressing the FCC so that more can be reserved, stating that for
          true competition to prevail, all carriers need a sufficient amount of
          low band spectrum.

          so why did T-mobile not gain access to a sufficient amount of low band via the 2008 auction but sit out? The ‘protection’ afforded with 40Mhz here is not about promoting competition but to thwart any possible heavy bidding as there will be more to win and distribute.

          If you want to be taken seriously, try not to be selective in your understanding and commenting about these issues.

          You pass judgement on my comments while being highly selective in your own interpretation. This is an auction, and the past bidding process, amounts and winners have proven money is a major factor. If you think this auction isn’t about the money, maybe you should ask the FCC and the broadcasters who are eager to get it what their major objective are, maybe they will be satisfied with buckets of social justice. There are other compromises/agreements reached as requirements for this auction to be allowed by all members of the FCC, but money is one of the top ones. And quite possibly the method by which other agreements like promoting competition are supposedly going to be achieved in the next auction might be seriously deficient in achieving their goals.

        • Fabian Cortez

          I was commenting on the assumption that the Big 2 were hoarding spectrum. The fact that a large operator can bid for reserved spectrum in several locations as a “smaller carrier” or bid as a shell company DE is more to the point that these reservations do not help promote competition nor help “weaker” carriers gain more spectrum.

          The reserved spectrum screen is set. Please respect it and stop making up things that only make sense in your head.

          Small carrier per the 600 MHz auction rules: less than 45 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum in a market

          Large carrier per the 600 MHz auction rules: 45+ MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum in a market

          so why did T-mobile not gain access to a sufficient amount of low band via the 2008 auction but sit out? The ‘protection’ afforded with 40Mhz here is not about promoting competition but to thwart any possible heavy bidding as there will be more to win and distribute.

          I’ve explained that to you before. Also, GOOGLEdotCOM

          You pass judgement on my comments while being highly selective in your own interpretation. This is an auction, and the past bidding process, amounts and winners have proven money is a major factor. If you think this auction isn’t about the money, maybe you should ask the FCC and the broadcasters who are eager to get it what their major objective are, maybe they will be satisfied with buckets of social justice. There are other compromises/agreements reached as requirements for this auction to be allowed by all members of the FCC, but money is one of the top ones. And quite possibly the method by which other agreements like promoting competition are supposedly going to be achieved in the next auction might be seriously deficient in achieving their goals.

          This isn’t entirely about money and the auction restrictions that were created in May of 2014, prior to the massive amounts of money collected in the AWS-3 auction, proves this. The government has made their money four times over (AWS-3 was estimated to bring in ~$10 billion). The 600 MHz auction is nothing but icing on the cake.

          Accept it or continue to live in denial. It’s your choice.

        • archerian

          The reserved spectrum screen is set.

          I never claimed otherwise, if you felt so, it would have been in your head. I however do not think this would achieve the actual goals that were the original source for this reservation.

          This isn’t entirely about money and the auction restrictions that were
          created in May of 2014, prior to the massive amounts of money collected
          in the AWS-3 auction, proves this.

          Again, I never said it was entirely about money but that it drives a lot of the decision process. The fact that the auction was delayed to give VZW time to get more funds is proof that ultimately money runs the auction.

        • Fabian Cortez

          I never claimed otherwise, if you felt so, it would have been in your head. I however do not think this would achieve the actual goals that were the original source for this reservation.

          That has been your point from the beginning. So much so that you have ignored the main point of this auction: offering up spectrum.

          Again, I never said it was entirely about money but that it drives a lot of the decision process. The fact that the auction was delayed to give VZW time to get more funds is proof that ultimately money runs the auction.

          If you think the auction was delayed so that Verizon had more time to get more money once again shows how misinformed you are about quite a few things.

          Any more conspiracy theories?

        • archerian

          One of the subtle reasons, VZW was feigning disinterest since they need to shore up their reserves for the auction after the payout to VF. Their own CFO mentioned this, and the FCC knows an auction without VZW would depress bids. Nothing amounting to a conspiracy about it, it was mentioned in several news outlets a few months ago.

        • Dustin Roe

          In my opinion it isn’t the the now they cannot compete on. It is the fact that data demands are growing exponentially and the only providers that have enough low bandwidth to create the quality bandwidth to meet that future demand are T and VZ which make an unbalanced Broadband(Fiber/Cable) vs DSL(Phone lines) tier system in the wireless market. It also prevents future expendature to migrate to the higher tier since the auction winner holds a monopoly/Duopoly on capacity with no future resources available to the pool.

        • TheRealStory556

          why is spectrum being auctioned and sold by the FCC in the first place? the government shouldn’t be in the business of “selling” anything. that’s not their function

        • dtam

          the entire discussion is really about low band spectrum because of how great it is for travelling long distances and building penetration, not average total spectrum per sub. if there was a 2000+ mhz auction, and att and verizon didn’t have a majority, they should get a reserved amount as well.

          att should bid where they can on the reserved portion. it honestly is to try to be fair to all of the carriers. yes, tmobile sat out of the first 700 mhz auction, but that point is moot now. Since then, tmobile agreed to be bought out once, and was flirting with the idea of merging. Both times were shot down, they are stuck in this business so they might as well allow it to thrive. The prices still won’t be cheap, they just won’t have to bid against the guys with much deeper pockets

  • Philip

    I wonder if ATT and Verizon lobby him for the change? Why not support the small guys? I dont get it!

    • GinaDee

      Yes they lobby just like T-Mobile lobbies. They all do.

      They all want their way. Sometimes they win sometimes they lose.

      T-Mobile’s issue is that they are majority owned by a 80 + billion dollar company. The fact that DT refuses to invest more capital to compete against VZ and T (because they want to sell TMUS) is not sufficient reason to side with TMUS on this issue.

      TMUS wants the FCC to carve out a large chunk of spectrum just for them and the other “small carriers.” Technically since TMUS is owned by DT they aren’t exactly a small carrier.

      The FCC also wants to maximize the profits. They want another blockbuster event and right now both VZ and T are stockpiling cash and resources to spend like they’ve never spent before.

      TMUS’s only solution would be to be purchased by a large conglomerate with the pockets deep enough to compete with VZ and T. I don’t know if this can happen in time?

      • Fabian Cortez

        You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        TMUS wants the FCC to carve out a large chunk of spectrum just for them and the other “small carriers.”

        The chunk of spectrum has already been carved out. They’re just looking for more so that more of these “smaller carriers” can get some low band and so that AT&T and Verizon will be forced to actually compete against each other in the auction.

        Technically since TMUS is owned by DT they aren’t exactly a small carrier.

        Actually, technically, they are a small carrier. The technicality of the “small carrier” classification comes back to the amount of low band spectrum owned, not the size of the carrier’s check book.

    • Amurin

      John Legere was Periscoping right outside the FCC building where him and other T-Mo execs were lobbying to try and get this deal. If he can lobby, so can they.

  • Alex

    It surprises me that Google doesn’t come in and purchase spectrum for which they could lease to T-Mobile in the long run. That would beg the question….Why doesn’t Google just do that? Nobody is exempt from buying spectrum.

    • Nostradamus

      That doesn’t make a lot of sense… Google is a for-profit corporation as well. On even a spectrum lease they’d want to at a minimum make back what they paid for it at the auction if not more. At that point T-Mobile is effectively paying the auction amount (more likely a premium) to lease something they could’ve owned at an equal or lower price.

      • nelagster

        Right but if T-Mobile only has X amount of money to spend on the auction, someone like Google could buy up more and then lease it later when T-Mobile has freed up more cash

        • Nostradamus

          Google still doesn’t really have any incentive to do that though. What is in it for them? All they’d be doing here is essentially acting as a financial intermediary to acquire the spectrum at a lower cost of capital (something they’ve never done, nor is there any indication they’d be willing to do so for T-Mobile). Again though they aren’t a charity. T-Mobile would be paying a

          What is the uncertainty of T-Mobile being unable to meet the financial obligations of the lease? This is also a fairly legitimate issue if DT is unwilling to put up the money to outright buy the spectrum and as long as there are overtures of German overlords wanting to offload the company.

        • Dustin Roe

          You are looking at Google’s perspective as only generating profit via the airwaves purchased. Google has proven for years that the customer is the product to them and routing the customer through their channels is the goal. The partnership on Project Fi depends on it drawing customers via any of the three channels it has in place and making them more desirable does that even at a loss on that end. If for example 20% of the profit came from the leasing of the bandwidth, overhead reduction created another 20% margin over doing it themselves and and traffic analytics with advertising generated another 80% profit then they come out 20% ahead of doing it themselves on just the spectrum profit, while T-Mobile and/or Sprint save 80% plus the interest on the capital they would not have to raise.

        • Nostradamus

          Yes, because I can’t fathom them spending billions on spectrum and them not expecting it to generate a profit (hence why I think this idea is highly unrealistic).

    • Tim O. Towers

      “It surprises me that Google doesn’t come in and purchase spectrum for which they could lease to T-Mobile in the long run.”

      That would be unnecessary because of Google’s Project Fi, which will use a combination of W-Fi, T-mobile, and Sprint networks.

  • UMA_Fan

    The FCC should be ok with Sprint and T-Mobile merging then. They can’t have it both ways.

    • AS118

      I agree. They have to either make sure the 2 can be more competitive, or let them merge.

    • archerian

      What’s the logic behind this conclusion?

      • Fraydog

        In the short run, I can see the opposition to a merger because Sprint. In the long run? It has to be considered, especially if Dumb and Dumber are more aggressive in pricing. You think Verizon and AT&T are going to go down without fighting? That isn’t how any of this is going to play out. Now if DT would buy out Sprint and abandon the whole ambition to sell EE to BT to buy BT, then I’d be happy with it. Imagine John Legere running T-Mobile with Band 41 atop it, and that massive spectrum horde. Sprint’s networks other than Band 41 wouldn’t even have to be integrated, CDMA networks and Network Vision could be shut down ala Metro PCS. Sprint, like most acquired companies, would essentially cease to exist. Honestly, I think DT should do this and sell off Britain and Central/Eastern Europe. Then they’d have two really strong markets (Germany and the US) instead of two weak ones.

        As far as Wheeler goes, if he doesn’t want to give the 40 MHz reserve, then I have to ask why he opposed the original Sprint/T-Mobile proposal. Was he afraid Sprint would ruin T-Mobile like they did Nextel? I wish I could pick his brain on this.

  • AS118

    Honestly, I feel like Sprint and T-mobile need as much of an edge as they can get to stay competitive vs. AT&T and Verizon. I think both should get more low-band spectrum.

    • Truffles

      Then they should bid on it.
      If the FCC reserves anymore spectrum, the broadcasters that are selling the spectrum will lose interest and hold off on selling it. Then nobody gets any spectrum.

    • TheRealStory556

      as is, TMO doesn’t have to do a thing. Verizon and ATT are bleeding customers to TMO at a historical rate. these aren’t “new adds” in the industry since the market has already been saturated. these are paying customers ditching Verizon and ATT b/c they are sick of their (s)$h11t and moving to a carrier that offers a better value

  • Methuen man

    I wonder how much AT&T and Verizon put in his pockets…

    • yankeesusa

      They probably bought him a new house or something so it’s under the radar lol

      • Android_God

        have any proof of this or is this just some wild fantasy in your brain?

        • Prove it?…. no need.

          Of course they don’t have proof… It’s just speculation. BUT for the FCC chairman to make statements that he encourages fairness and then ACTS to the contrary…. there is definitely cause for concern and speculation that some political maneuvering is going on and it’s very likely that big money is involved.

          To your “prove it” point… Do you have any proof that there are no bribes or otherwise influencing this recommendation?

        • Android_God

          You’re not very educated as to how debate works I see. 1) You CAN’T prove something DOESN’T EXIST (Can’t prove a negative) 2) if one is claiming that bribes are being paid the burden of proof IS ON THEM!

          Following your logic people can claim all kinds of wild stuff and never have to prove it!

        • Android_God

          Read a high school level science book. ..that might be BIG HELP

        • Dustin Roe

          You mean the one that explains how the scientific method to test ideas and make them accepted theory’s of how things are works? Nothing is ever proven in science just accepted as the most reasonable explanation until someone disproves it.

        • Spanky

          On TmoNews, any time T-Mobile doesn’t get its way, it automatically means that another carrier(s) must be bribing someone. Whenever T-Mobile does get its way, it automatically means that everything has been handled fairly and in the best interest of the consumer. The fanboyism is extremely strong here.

        • Android_God

          No doubt! It borders on delusional and mentally illl.

    • Android_God

      Oh really? I take it you have proof of this?

    • Kogashuko

      AT&T will be putting about 100mil in.

  • yankeesusa

    Someone got paid by the big 2 companies. This will help consumers overall, but i guess they really don’t care.

    • Spanky

      So the fact that T-Mobile didn’t get preferential treatment means that someone paid off the FCC?

      • yankeesusa

        They weren’t asking for themselves, they were asking for all those smaller wireless companies. If you like to pay higher cell phone bills then go ahead. Either way it doesn’t matter. Money always wins out and the consumers get screwed, like what verizon does to their customers.

        • Spanky

          Contrary to the popular belief on this site, T-Mobile is a FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS, not a benevolent entity out to make things better for the consumer. If you honestly think that T-Mobile cares for the “smaller wireless companies” and is speaking out on their behalf, I have a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. As has been stated several times in the comments to this post, T-Mobile is a multibillion dollar corporation, the majority of whose shares is owned by one of the largest telecoms in the world. It’s rather audacious of them to request preferential treatment.

        • yankeesusa

          Nobody said they weren’t here to make money. And of course their bottom line is making money over customers. But that doesn’t change the fact that as of now they are customer oriented and offer great pricing and benefits. Until they offer otherwise i have no issues with the smaller wireless companies getting a little help. And that bridge saying has been said millions of times, doesn’t really mean anything anymore.
          In the end all i care about is saving money when i can and tmobile is currently doing that. Once they stop then i’ll rethink my options. Until then i am more than happy using them.

        • archerian

          have you wondered the only reason T-mobile is the Uncarrier and offers cheaper rates, more features and other perks is because that’s the only way they can compete with the Big 2? If T-mobile had the same network and marketing pull as the Big 2, no way you’d get service for the price you do today. Like you said, they’re here to make money and if they could afford to charge more they certainly would have. So, in a way, its best to have two big 2 premium carriers who compete on coverage and being “upper” tier (for whatever right or wrong reasons) and 2 lower tier carriers who compete on price and frills. Gives consumers more choice. If everyone had equally strong networks and the “aura” of being premium, they would all move towards price collusion as seen in other markets where there are equal players.

        • yankeesusa

          Like iv’e said before, i go with whoever gives me great service and pricing and right now it’s tmobile. If that changes in the future then I will make other choices. At this point i don’t care how they are able to offer that as long as they do. The wireless industry is constantly changing so i don’t really care as long as i’m getting a good deal and good service which currently i am.

        • Elco Elcondis

          you appear to either not understand or are intentionally misrepresenting how free markets work.

        • archerian

          if it were a true free market then there wouldn’t be the need for any spectrum reservation at all, which is the basis for this article.

          In a free market, how do you suggest a weaker competitor acquire customers from a far stronger one? And do you really believe the US telecommunications market is a free market?

        • Kogashuko

          You are absolutely right. They tried to rig the auction so they could compete with the smaller carriers and crush them instead of the large carriers. If they really wanted low band spectrum they would finish purchasing the 700mhz a licenses already available. This is why I left Tmobile for ATT. You can also bet that verizon and att will do a more complete build out of the spectrum they won. Besides, after Tmobile pushed for net nuetrality and then secretly started throttling heavy users I doubt the FCC will side with them on anything. Besides the FCC should hit TMobile with the same violation as ATT but make the fine big enough to end them or at least cripple them in the 600mhz auction.

        • Spanky

          I also left T-Mobile for AT&T a while back. I appreciate what T-Mobile is doing to force other carriers to lower prices, but they simply cannot compete on coverage. Of course, that may change in the future, but I’m happy with where I am right now.

        • Elco Elcondis

          You are correct but you are spinning the reality that ATT and Verizon have already abused their position and continue to do so, So while T-mobile may wish they could get in on the act, the bad actors right now are ATT and Verizon.

        • Android_God

          or maybe they are just trying to be fair to all the parties involved.

      • Android_God

        don’t even bother with logic and reason. these f****** retards are like keyboard commandos.

  • taxandspend

    40MHz. Just the right amount for 2 to get 10×10. The auction is over before it even began. 30MHz would make it much more interesting.

  • iMotoXperiaGalaxy

    Good for the FCC! T-Mobile is just doing too much right now.

    Haha!

    • taxandspend

      Yes Tom is worried that he may not see another dinner at Morton’s for a while if he doesn’t do what Verizon and AT&T want.

      • GinaDee

        Morton’s is damn good. Haha

  • Android_God

    its cute watching all of you retards with your conspiracy ideas. It’s kind of like a keyboard commando. the bottom line is you can’t prove s*** so you make up crazy s***

  • GinaDee

    I have a feeling we’re going to see AT&T spend record money to make sure they aren’t going to get the less favorable licenses (compared to VZ) like last time. They know their future depends on it so I expect them to go big. It will be interesting to see how much money AT&T and Verizon plan to spend here. The FCC knows it and doesn’t want to discourage the deep pockets from opening up their wallets.

    • The FCC, as auctioneer and representative of the recipient of the proceeds, the federal treasury, has a conflict of interest in maximizing the income from auctions.

      • GinaDee

        In reality you are right but that’s our reality right now.

        T-Mobile’s problem is that their majority multi billion dollar shareholder (DT) isn’t interested in investing in them. They can afford to but they refuse because they want to sell their stake off.

        Unfortunately (if you look at it realistically) that’s not AT&T’s or Verizon’s problem. They are all businesses trying to win the only ways they know how.

        T-Mobile US is in a good position to jockey for a huge multi-billion dollar investor or be acquired outright. They need to compete this way instead of trying to get the government to make special rules just for them. They need bulk, cash and size and they know it.

  • k

    just hope they keep the dates set. At the very least, both AT&T and Verizon have to make big stretches on funding. And they are eyeballs in debt from what I gather.

  • oldmantiburon

    Money under the table from dumb and dumber for this chairman. It must be nice to get paid cash no tax and a check from federal government.

    • Ascertion

      T-Mobile doesn’t get its way, so obviously its being bribed by the government. Do you realize that if AT&T and Verizon is limited anymore from this auction, that the broadcasters selling the spectrum may hold off on selling it? Which is better, the 30Mhz reserve for Sprint/T-Mobile and other “regional carriers”, or nobody getting spectrum?

      • Android_God

        Don’t go and add logic and reason to this discussion! These idiots will get confused!

        it’s a mental illness called disordered thinking that these people have. They seem to think because they have typed it on the internet that it makes their claims of bribes true.

  • TheRealStory556

    why is the FCC is the business of selling anything? they are a government entity charged with regulating the communication industry. why is 1 person given the authority to restrict wireless spectrum to a business who will use that spectrum to add value to the economy through the addition of jobs to deploy that spectrum on towers, add value to consumers, and increase competitiveness against the duopoly

    • Why, don’t you know that regulations are written by the regulated ones who bid higher? This is government in the real world, away from 6th grade civics class.

      • TheRealStory556

        the mere existing of auctions for spectrum should be illegal
        unless the funds acquired by the government are then returned to the tax payers as tax credits at the end of the year. after all, the costs of acquiring these rights from the government is then directly passed onto the customers through higher fees and/or rate plans. the FCC is an already fully funded federal agency using our tax dollars.

        this is different than lease rights on federal land which cover additional costs of maintaining those lands and environmental cleanup from leasing the land

  • Raiterio Patterson

    Million dollar question from someone not in the loop: why is T-Mobile so adamant in getting the 600MHz from the FCC auction when they only have moderate amount of 700MHz up and running??

    • Bob

      Low band spectrum travels longer distances and penetrates buildings ALOT better. In other words having low band spectrum reduces the need to buy or lease land and build large EXPENSIVE towers since that signal will go further. The FCC literally gave a ton of low band spectrum to Verizon and ATT. Basically creating the “duopoly” since smaller carriers can’t afford to buildout the needed towers to cover the same area the low band frequencies would cover with one tower. Cost differential is 4-1 or more.

      • Raiterio Patterson

        So in other words, Tom Wheeler is in Verizon’s and AT&T back pocket ? I refuse to kneel before the Duopoly, they’re individual plans are the same as their family plans