T-Mobile: FCC auction restrictions necessary to promote healthy competition

Andy Warhol's Mao To Be Auctioned At Christies

We’ve heard from Verizon, AT&T and even a government body on the plans to restrict the upcoming major spectrum auction. Needless to say, none of them were supportive of the idea that the FCC wants to restrict the amount of spectrum available to carriers which already own a good portion. Under the new plans, a percentage of available airwaves would be reserved for carriers who don’t own a lot already, hopefully giving T-Mobile and Sprint a fair crack at acquiring low-band spectrum they both need.

In a filing to the FCC, T-Mobile argues that it’s not just good for the smaller carriers, but also good for the spirit of healthy competition too. It stops the duopoly of Verizon and AT&T from using their superior buying power to just split everything down the middle, leaving nothing for anyone else (reported by FierceWireless):

“When demand exceeds supply, prices increase,” T-Mobile wrote. “Preserving–and indeed expanding–the occasions when Verizon and AT&T must bid against one another for broadband spectrum, rather than contorting the rules to allow the two dominant carriers to divide the available resources evenly between them, may represent the single most meaningful thing the Commission can do to improve auction revenue, increase payments to broadcasters, and expand the amount of spectrum available for new wireless broadband services.”

If the changes go through, T-Mobile also states that it would help the carrier become an even stronger disruption in the market, helping it to continue on the path it’s forged for the past couple of years.

“access to low-band spectrum and the economies of scale that greater access would enable represent two of the most pressing needs T-Mobile must satisfy if the company is to continue to play as disruptive a role in the market for the benefit of consumers as it has played over the last two years.”

T-Mo’s filing also addresses AT&T’s argument that it needs 10+10 MHz blocks of spectrum. It argues that Big Blue could achieve the same peak data speeds by combining two 5+5 blocks through carrier aggregation. Something T-Mobile knows all too well.

We’re now just 8 days away from the vote which will decide whether or not the FCC’s changes will go through. Changes which Verizon feels are “perverse” and AT&T once threatened would leave it with no choice but to boycott the auction (a threat it quickly backtracked on), but changes which Sprint, T-Mobile and every other smaller carrier would welcome with open arms.

Expect more lobbying and complaints before the end of next week.

Source: FierceWireless

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  • jeff G

    Sprint Dan Hesse has been willing to step down from CEO of Sprint and Let T-Mobile CEO John Legere ,take the helm of the company,remember at one time John Legere worked below Dan Hesse believe it or not.

    If they combine eliminate Sprint Name keep better T-Mobile combined numbers 49.1 and 53 approx you get 103million that is same as Verizon now ..that would put AT&T at number 3 Verizon lol 2 ,watch Verizon get mad and shit themselves about it..how can this be true. Greed falls harder..split Verizon up like the Bells they are to big.

    • DirkDigg1er

      I found that interesting how Dan Hesse wouldn’t mind not getting the CEO job. I guess with the end of Network Vision and beginning of Spark will be his last major projects. Too bad as Sprints network shows improvement JL will get all the credit.

      I also think the old Sprint mentality was not aggressive enough for Son.

  • EnoughAlready

    Way too much of a preoccupation with this spectrum B.S. on this site now. T-Mo has made it with limited spectrum so far, I say leave the auction to the highest bidder until T-Mo can pony up more cash. This is not the final spectrum auction in history – leave the auction alone.

    You all know that government intervention generally SUCKS. Regulating the auction would give SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom an advantage, while both of which are companies that DO NOT need an additional advantage. Let them spend some cash to build out the network and bid like everyone else for once!

    • Butch

      Agreed. SB and DT have more than enough resources to bid competitively. All SB wants to do is absorb TMo anyway.

      • JosephLagalla

        Let’s take this line of thought one step further then. For one, DT is hard pressed to pour any more resources into T-Mo. They have been utilizing the cash that T-Mo US makes for much of their network expansion and other projects. Even if they were inclined to channel some money into T-Mo, this restriction would probably limit them as well. Two sides to a coin. Without the restrictions, considering ATTs commitment to spending for its network and Verizons willingness to spend for profit(Vodafone buyback), it’s safe to assume that they would still readily outbid SB and DT.

      • thepanttherlady

        Why are you posting comments and then replying to yourself? Same IP address, same email address except for the@xxxx.xxx.

        • vrm

          troll/$hill, planted by vz/att. We see a lot of trolls pretending to have an opinion posting for the other 3.

        • Paul

          IN HERE?!?!
          Say it ain’t so!!
          The best part of it is your calling them out.

        • DirkDigg1er

          VZ/ATT are getting desperate. Paying people to blog.

        • Alex Zapata

          Because that person clearly has too much free time. Wish I were so lucky!

      • Adrayven

        DT isn’t going to put any more money into the US T-Mobile.. Infact, thats why they split them off and made them a true US Stock traded company.. to become nothing more than a stock holder.. T-Mo USA is going to have to put up it’s own money, w/o DT’s help..

        And Sprint? Please.. they and SoftBank are leveraged to the hilt trying to mange their debt.. They have some spending room, but they are pushing the limits just to find cash to buy T-mobile..

        In this auction they are quickly going to have to decide if they are going to buy spectrum or risk trying to push forward to buy T-mobile.. don’t think they can go in full at both..

    • bob90210

      No more government intervention in the government auction!

      • Paul


    • S. Ali

      This is like word for word the same language from ATT/Verizon statements to the FCC. Are people serious astroturfing a small site like TMONews? Been seeing the same from S4GRU users forums coming here.

    • steveb944

      You’re on the wrong site.

    • DirkDigg1er

      Shut your mic off! Do you work for Verizon or ATT?

      • Spanky

        Because he’s not a delusional T-Mobile cheerleader?

        • TechHog

          Found the alt.

        • Spanky

          Of course you did. After all, your precious T-Mobile can do no wrong, right?

    • MakeT-MobilePay

      DT could sell some stock and use it to buy some of that necessary spectrum. Oh wait, they are greedy Germans who rolled 20 billion of debt into the new public company. Isnt that the difference, this is democracy so make them bid like any other company.

    • TechHog

      Found the conservative.

  • fechhelm

    There seems to be a lot of contradictions from the government. A merger of Sprint & Tmobile would hurt competition and be bad for the consumer but allowing all available spectrum to go to the 2 biggest providers is ok.

  • Paul

    Glad to see that Legere isn’t letting Magenta sit silent over the issue. I hope Hesse speaks out about it as well, and helps to show that the other carriers can speak just as loudly as the top 2.

    I have a feeling this may go out way and the playing field is leveled.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Basically at and vz won’t even use the spectrum. They just sit on it

    • DirkDigg1er

      Agreed. Only to sell the spectrum to a smaller company years after they complete their network and just before the spectrum use deadline.

      • dontsh00tmesanta


  • Stefan Naumowicz

    I’m with tmo on this, but I don’t think these restrictions will maximize revenue from the auction as they claim. If anything it will do the opposite, as Sprint and tmo are basically getting guaranteed low band, and they don’t have to bid as high for it as they would otherwise

    • kevev

      You do know that the money used to purchase spectrum licenses comes out of our pockets right? Why would you be happy with giving the Government more $$? Less money for the FCC hopefully means cheaper cellular costs for us.

      • bob90210

        Hahaha… That is pretty funny. You think companies will ignore economics and pass on the savings to consumers instead of pocketing the money for themselves.

        • yeah right

          When companies compete consumers win.

        • bob90210

          When companies compete for customers, then customers win.

          When companies complete for exclusive rights to resources, then customers lose if one or two companies end up with the most of the resources.

      • Stefan Naumowicz

        I never said I prefered it to be the other way. All I said was I disagree with tmos claim that auction revenue will be increased with the proposed rules

  • In these Corporatist States of America I expect the FCC to continue favoring Big Blue and Big Red.

  • Fooser

    AT&T and Verizon were basically GIVEN their low band spectrum when initial cellular spectrum was designated int he 850MHz band. A side and B side for 2 competitors in each market. Apparently it has mostly stayed that way since the A and B side spectrum owning carriers are the ones dominating the marketplace today.

    • Magenta Man

      You are exactly right!!! Most people don’t know this.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        That’s what I been telling people since 2010. T-Mobile is a company that started from strach and is working it’s way up.