T-Mobile Moves To Block Verizon Acquisition Of Cable Company Spectrum

T-Mobile has indicated via fillings with the Federal Communications Commission their intent to persuade the government to block Verizon Wireless from acquiring spectrum from a number of cable companies. In the last few months Verizon has finalized deals to acquire spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. T-Mobile argues that the Verizon deal would place an “excessive concentration” of wireless spectrum in the hands of one of the nations largest carriers.

Coincidentally, the spectrum Verizon is attempting to purchase from the cable companies falls in the AWS band, the very same Frequency T-Mobile uses for their 4G network. T-Mobile argues in their statement is unlikely Verizon will see any near-term benefits considering the company already holds AWS spectrum they have yet to put to use.

“The Transactions come before the Commission at a critical time for the future of competition in mobile services, and particularly in mobile broadband. Verizon Wireless, with its extensive holdings of valuable low-frequency spectrum, already has a significant advantage in the industry migration to LTE as the new wireless broadband standard. Its smaller competitors do not have excess spectrum in which to first warehouse bandwidth and later deploy LTE. With current spectrum holdings, their effort to deploy LTE is more complicated, costly and time consuming. Moreover, its smaller competitors are largely relegated to the higher frequency ranges, which are more difficult to deploy due to their propagation and building penetration characteristics, and their ability to keep up with demand as the industry evolves to the LTE standard will be significantly capacity constrained, to the detriment of competition. “

T-Mobile doesn’t hold back as they also state that smaller competitors, such as themselves are better suited to acquire this AWS spectrum as they could put it to use “…quickly, more intensively, and more efficiently than Verizon Wireless.”

It’s an interesting read and you should catch the bottom of page 19 as our own Neal Gompa, better known to the rest of us as TmoNews’ resident spectrum guru Conan Kudo finds his ExtremeTech article cited inside T-Mobile’s FCC filing.

Read the full FCC filing.

Associated Press

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  • haters on the rocks

    Awe damn T-mobile throwing punches to the big red lol. I’m with T-mobile so hopefully they win this and maybe T-mobile would buy the cable company spectrum for themselves. Just saying

    • Inswinging_Yorker

      tmo coverage sux in San Jose CA

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for sharing

  • jon

    And….why not? The FCC has said it wants four national carriers. Period. So, T-Mobile is simply saying “walk the walk fcc. If you want four national carriers, help a brotha out!” I love the move and it forces the fcc into a pretty tight corner.

    • WillieFDiaz

      Maybe the FCC should now require all spectrum purchased to have time limits.
      If purchased spectrum is not used within 3 years it reverts back to the FCC, no refunds, and that reverted spectrum can never be bid on or purchased or acquired by the company that gave it up for a period of 15 years.
      Any spectrum purchased in a new frequency should result in the same porportion MHz given up in an older ffrequency, ie. Purchase 10mhz AWS but give back 10mhz of Cellular or PCS or 700Mhz. Its an even trade.

      • Blank21

        This is in place, however its common practiced to deploy limited hardware to satisfy the spectrum use requirements. I witness this with a different carrier where we co-located hardware on a tower for the sole reason of preventing the FCC from reclaiming it. We didn’t maintain it nor had a single customer use it.

  • Visual FX

    T-Mobile is just upset that they are in 4th place on all fronts and are headed down the crapper fast!  Verizon is the top wireless carrier and is growing even larger in leaps and bounds.

    • Right, you nailed it. How silly of me.

    • zack

      Verizon sucks. overpriced network for most people in this economy considering people are trying to prevent their homes from getting foreclosed. true, the speeds are faster but most people seriously don’t need 35mbps speed to check an email.

      I’ve had tmo for years and their speeds are sufficient enough. I can run my whole home theater off tmo data speed without an issue. and I’d rather be throttled than capped off.

      • Visual FX

        well obviously Verizon is not overpriced since it is the largest carrier and it does have many many more customers than T-Mobile ever has.

        • Respawn

          No one said people were smart. Most people in this country are either too lazy, too misinformed, or (like you) too high to notice the substantial speed and price difference (aka the fact that Verizon screws them), let alone switch to anyone else.

        • Littlesis1774

           and yet they are number one in JD Powers

        • Respawn

          LOL yet T-Mobile was number one in JD Powers many many more times, and this year can easily be attributed to the AT&T takeover that never happened. You try working under the stress of losing your job.

        • tdn062000


        • Visual FX

          excuse me for wanting to have a far superior carrier with speeds that blow the competitors away. i have a galaxy nexus and a droid bionic under verizon and am purchasing a new tablet from them on top of the xoom 4g lte i already have. i always get consistent 25 mbps here in houston and a max of 30 mbps and even on a bad signal i still get 10 mbps. not once have i ever experienced t-mobile going above 8 mbps…i was with tmobile for over 10 years but switched to verizon and now have multiple lines with them because contrary to most peoples reviews they have great customer service and great network service as well. so dont get upset because you cant afford to pay for better service…like the saying goes…you get what you pay for…you and everyone else on tmobile pays cheap prices so they get cheap and crappy service.

    • Anonymous

      They aren’t headed down the crapper just yet, my personal take is that it’ll take a few years until the bigger carriers really make it hard for them.  As much as i’d personally like to see them fold and reform, they may actually get their heads out their butts and stop their bleeding in time.  Even i have to give them credit, they are disadvantaged in many ways from their poor credit  and highly risky customer base, to their lack of buying power and smaller coverage area .  They still manage to stay afloat somehow, it can’t be easy and i’m not sure how long it’ll continue this way.  They can’t let the other guys get too far ahead or they’ll never catch up.  

      • zack

        They stay afloat because lower income families are the majority. plus they cover every major city. they would crash and burn if they raise their rates. as long as they’re not charging an arm and a dick plus your firstborn for service, they’ll be in the game. that’s what it really boils down to at the end.

  • wow, happy to see T-Mobile finally putting up a fight and be ProActive about fighting for future spectrum. I really hope Magenta can grab ahold of some of that and improve our network and move it forward to a future LTE network.

  • Dawnoffaith2000

    Verizon needs to fix their network 1st before buying anything! 3 outages in the same month and now they have another outage today?! Really!!?? Verizon fix your shit!

  • Edc1189

    Man f Verizon and att theybsre a bunch of thieves and crooks not only that there rate plans are rediculously expensive not to mention the service isn’t all that great either f’em!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think they’ll actually be able to stop it.  It’s good to see T-mobile actually care now that they have to worry about existing and being competitive again.

  • Sidekicker89

    Coincidentally there is a Verizon Data outage happening right now hahaha

    • WillieFDiaz

      Which is what Verizon is going to use as ammo to say, “More network outages are coming unless we have more spectrum”
      The FCC should require all 4G networks moving forward to not broadcast unless they are well built out, have indoor and outdoor coverage as well as enough current or recycled spectrum within a single or partner company to launch for a period of 5+ years uninterrupted.

      • Anonymous

        Their outages have more to do with CDMA/LTE playing together.

  • Anonymous

    We need Sprint to join the flight . Where are you at Dan Hesse?

    •  Funny you should say that, Sprint is fighting against it as well.

      • Respawn

         Not really. They’re not completely against it. They just wussed out and told the FCC to “give it a thorough review.” They haven’t said anything about wanting it “blocked.”

  • Butterbeam38

    I am glad they are fighting back. If Verisux has already got the AWS they aren’t using, why purchase more? If they buy it all up, It leaves little to nothing for the other carriers. I like the move TMO is taking to block Big Red. Being in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place doesnt mean alot when there isn’t anyone else that can compare or even compete with you. Being in 1st mean’s that you are the best? No, it mean’s you have to try harder and spend more money to stay there. I buy phones off of the internet and off of craigslist alot. The most that are listed are: #1 Verizon, #2 ATT, #3 Sprint, and #4 T-mobile. So being 1st in the “I want to get rid of this phone because I can’t afford the High Bills catagory” is a good thing too? No! If you get on the Internet and look in all the listings just on Craigslist from all over the USA. You will see what being in 4th means to TMO.

    Following is with ulimited talk, text and andriod web:

    Verizon- unlimited Talk, text, and 4G of web: $69.99+$20+$30
    ATT-      unlimited talk, text, and 4G of web: AT&T hikes rates on smartphone plans – Jan. 18, 2012
    Sprint-    unlimited talk, text, and 4G web: $99
    T-mobile- (Which I have) unlimited talk, text, and 5G web: $70
    Alltel-      unlimited talk, text, and 4G web: up to 3.1 Mbps 5 GB Monthly Allowance Not Applicable $59.99

    Now which one would you think the consumer would chose if they could have a choice in their area of the country. Just because you are the largest and you put out flashy comercials doesnt make you the best. It shows that you have marketing ability to sucker the innocent into a contract they can’t afford. I on the other hand, shop around, look at the coverage in my area and then I decide. Sprint had no coverage at my house, Att was only 3G and very little to no signal, Verizon had 3G but very little to no signal, T-mobile has 3.5G <—lol, 3 out of 4 bars of signal, Alltel is a joke.

    Make and poke at what I have posted if you want, but the proof is in the pudding. If TMO is trying, then by all means, let them go for it. I'm a customer for life. If you are with the other companies, then I am glad you have to pay for the cost to be with them and not me. What you gonna do when Gas hits an all time high? But thats another subject…

    • Wilma Flintstone

      What plan is that?  If I call Customer Service, what do I ask for?  They say I’m on the Loyalty plan but my bill is much higher.  How much are you paying with taxes a month?  I have Unlimited Talk Text and 5GB web and I’m paying $101.75.  I’ve been with Tmo since 03 and haven’t used an upgrade.

      • Anonymous

        Unlimited talk/text/5gb
        Value – 75
        Classic – 90

        • Anonymous

          Monthly 4G – $70

    • Ron

        I would like to know which plan the $70 is as well?!  I have the same options, (Unlimited everything and 5Gb and it’s$89.99.  $59.99 voice, text and $30 for the 5Gb.  Been with Tmobile for 9 years.

    • the_truth

       But the difference is—you can make a call inside a building with Verizon. I’ll pay for that.

      • Butterbeam38

        $70 UL Talk Text Web (5GB at $G)    $70.00
        Unlimited Nationwide Voice
        Unlimited Nationwide Messaging
        Unlimited Web incl up to 5GB 4G data
        Rate Plan Charge $70.00

        • Butterbeam38

          If I wouldn’t get overwhelming spam e-mails, I would give you my email and send you a pic from my G2x My account app. You have to ask for the plan. That is truthfully what I am paying for the service.

      • Tmo_chick

        Funny, I have had T-Mobile for 10 years now and have never had an issue using my phone in a building. Also funny how my T-Mobile phone also works in Elevators. So The_Truth…. sorry to say this but the truth is your lying to yourself and paying for a name. You keep throwing your money away. I’m going to enjoy my service and the finer things in life with all the money I’m saving.

  • The level of hypocrisy in this move is astounding…

    • BigMixxx

      OK? There are no rules of engagement in business.  T mobile could not respond to Verizon’s move on that specturm.  Verizon intentionally bought up specturm to slow down ATT because they knew the writing was on the wall with the buyout being killed.

      however…Verizon and ATT are known for sitting on tons of spectrum.  Why NOT sue to block stifling of business.  Verizon will NEVER do anything with the AWS spectrum.  They paid a premium and and the cable companies got out with gold in their pockets…I think, however… this move may be a pathway into something else….open up more spectrum for fair use, more than likley…

      •  Funny how they didn’t want regulators stepping in during the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, but now they don’t.

        Funny how that works out when gov’t is involved in EVERY aspect of business/industry…

        • Anonymous

          Apples and oranges. 

        • Anonymous

          and maybe a banana too!!!!

        • Jehernandez4688

           You have to remember that AT&T and DT did not want regulators stepping in. T-Mobile USA had no say in the matter. DT their parent company was trying to sell them. DT told them to “Shut it and take it”. They do not have the same constraints as they did back then. It looks like DT had changed it’s mind and they are not free to fight for there survival. So, T-Mobile USA, now has the ability to fight back and work on becoming a stronger company. Please be aware of your facts before you make this comments. Also, Government involvement in this case would be a good thing. I am not pro having them be a part of all business decisions in operations and what not, But when it is this clear that a company (Verizon) just wants to get this spectrum to keep others for using it and maintaining competition alive, well that is a good thing.

  • Whiskers

    You mad Bro …
    Take a deep breath before your head pops off , lol.

  • TMoFan

    Verizon made a calculated move to buy this of spectrum just as the sellout was imploding. The timing tells me that Verizon’s motivation was to keep this out of at&t’s and T-Mobile’s hands under the guise of “improving” their network.

    T-Mobile has to do this. It’s future existence rests of whether it obtains more spectrum whether it buys it outright or partners with somebody. Far too long the have buyouts of companies and spectrum gone unnoticed, without a vigorous review.

    • GinaDee

      What boggles my mind is why T-Mobile has sat on the sidelines for years letting the bigger guys buy and swallow up regional carriers and rapidly deploy their 3rd generation networks.  T-Mobile also sat on the sidelines during the 700 MHz auction.  

      They shoot themselves in the foot then hope the FCC helps block the spectrum purchase of a competitor. 

      The best way to keep Verizon and AT&T out of the spectrum auctions is to require them to build out ALL OF THEIR SPECTRUM nationwide even in rural areas.  The same should equally be applied to T-Mobile who sits on swaths of AWS spectrum in rural areas yet refuses to build it out and keep their customers on GPRS in 2012.  

  • Gwapo

    Good job Tmobile!!!!

  • Mike

    The fcc should just make law saying each company can own so much unused spectrum and anything more then that should be heavily taxed/fined. That way no 2-3 companies can hord spectrum. They will want to sell it to not pay the fines. 

    • Anonymous

      The FCC does not have the ability to “Make” laws. they have no authority.  That is the job of congress. 

      • Hoosier580

        The FCC can certainly “make law” by issuing regulations.  Whether it has the authority by its enabling statute to issue the regulations the OP wants, however, that I do not know.

    • Asdf

       They do require that though. Companies are required to put up whats known as substantial service sites in each market to keep the spectrum.

  • Visual FX

    they dont raise their rates because they have a crappy network and horrible phone selections so it would be completely unjustified to raise rates and have to paymore for shitty service and all.

    • guest

      How do they have crappy phone selection? Sure they don’t have 10 super phones pumping every month but the few they get are way better than a majority of the phones out there. Take the Amaze 4G. Its an amazing phone sure there is the rezound and vivid but they’re not substantially better besides lte really and that’s a big battery drain. And the Samsung galaxy s 2, well its just awesome. Other than the iPhone they have plenty that can meet and beat competitors.

  • dieverizon

    yea man fuckk verizon and at&bitches man t-mobile 4g is not that much slower than verizon i get ok coverage could be better but hey i pay 70$ 5gb internet 500 talk and unl messagine i dont ttalk and when i do its tmobile users so yea long last FLexplay

    • Guys, watch the language please!

      • Anonymous

        I could barely read that, props to you for even being able to translate fool-speak.

  • Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility are using their market power and deep pockets to exercise unfair anti-competitive practices to kill off their smaller competitors. Instead of competing fairly like they’re supposed to, these two giants are trying to eliminate and hoard scarce spectrum from the smaller carriers.

    The fact of the matter is that Verizon and AT&T have ENOUGH spectrum as it is. They have the VERY valuable low frequency bands 700 MHZ, and 800 MHZ which can penetrate deep into buildings, also they have other frequencies such as 1900 MHZ as well. While having all this spectrum they still have the audacity to now want to buy up the AWS spectrum as well? And on top of all that, Verizon has some AWS spectrum of its own since the year 2008 and has NEVER put it to use.

    FCC needs to block this deal IMMEDIATELY. We know it is NOT in the public interest. The public’s interest is COMPETITION. Verizon’s deals with the cable companies to have a joint marketing campaign is NOT the exact definition of competition.

    T-Mobile USA needs the spectrum more than Verizon does.

  • Anonymous

    If you read the full filling by T-Mobile it STRONGLY suggests T-Mobile is imminently interested in building out an LTE network. 

    • I didn’t read the full filling by T-Mobile but I do think that T-Mobile definitely is interested in LTE.

  • I have Verizon, service is good, but too expensive.  they are the most expensive cell company.  looking at switching to t-mobile much more affordable & save me about 50 to 60 bucks a month.  

  • keep posting such awesome posts :)