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


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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